Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 19

Making Treatment Decision
AS A CAREGIVER
Tips From a Caregiver
HOW TO HELP WITH THE RESEARCH AND DISCUSS OPTIONS WITH THE
ONCOLOGIST/MEDICAL TEAM
BY VI JAY ANAND
I
can still remember the day
when my 17-year-old daughter
Jen was not feeling well. She was
crying that she was unable to
help me move some furniture,
as she had done in the past.
A regular follow-up check-up was scheduled for
the following morning at our pediatrician's office.
My wife Ammu called me from the doctor's office
later that day. It was cancer. More tests and scans
and blood work followed, and by Wednesday, it
was diagnosed as Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL),
stage 4.
My first item of research was to Google Hodgkin's
lymphoma. Although I love Wikipedia for many
things, it was not my first choice. It should not be
yours.
There are three resources I will share where you
can learn about any type of cancer and find all the
details and responses to any questions you may
have, in depth.
1. PDQ FROM NCI
https://www.cancer.gov/publications/pdq
Our tax dollars at the National Institute of
Health (NIH) funds a great institute, the
National Cancer Institute (NCI), which
publishes the most useful resource-the PDQ.
PDQ (Physician Data Query) is NCI's comprehensive
source of cancer information.
And there are two versions of the PDQ-
the Patient version and the Health Professional
version.
Start with the patient version: This
resource includes well-documented and
easy-to-understand illustrated diagrams and
videos, and uses simple language. Print it,
highlight it, read it, and study it. Once you
have grasped it, go to the Health Professional
version. Do not be overwhelmed by any
scientific jargon you find there. In teaching
my homeschooled kids (we have 7) to do research
when they were in middle school and
high school, I always taught them to read the
paper, and see what they could understand
by looking at the pictures, the tables, and
through a cursory reading. They will get 50
percent of it by just doing that. By the second
or third reading, looking up terms online,
you will be able to explain 80 percent of any
paper. Because you care so much about your
loved one, you will do this.
The PDQ lists all the latest treatment
options-by age and stage-and contains
the most up to date established treatment
regiments.
A word on treatment regimens and hospitals:
For most cancers, the treatments are
standard treatments in the U.S., across most
large hospital systems. You will get the same
treatment regimens across most hospitals.
ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
HODGKIN LYMPHOMA ISSUE 2021
19
https://www.cancer.gov/publications/pdq https://www.cancer.gov/publications/pdq http://www.ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021

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Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Cover1
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Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - 1
Elephants and Tea: Hodgkin Lymphoma Issue 2021 - Contents
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