Your First Visit
An introduction for new cancer patients in Waterloo-Wellington
Transcript for: An introduction for new cancer patients in Waterloo-Wellington
Mark: Hello and welcome. My name is Mark Karjaluoto and I work for Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, By now, you’ve likely been told you that you’re going to need cancer treatment. We understand that you’re nervous and you may have a lot of questions.
What we’d like to do is take you through cancer treatment in Waterloo Region and Wellington County, and tell you what you might expect along the way.
With me today is Jennifer Lounsbury. Jennifer is a nurse practitioner and she’s been a care provider in Kitchener since 2002. So Jennifer, what would you like to talk about today?
Jennifer: there’s a lot to absorb when you’re diagnosed with cancer and you’re starting treatment. I’d like to review seven important topics for patients when they’re starting their treatment.
First and foremost, there’s a system of care in place within Waterloo Region and Wellington County to support our patients as they undergo cancer treatment. You may receive treatment in a regional cancer centre, a satellite clinic, or hospital close to home. We all work in partnership and collaboratively to deliver the highest standard of care throughout the region. Individual needs are unique and we want to work with you to address your needs.
Mark: What about care providers? Is a patient going to have one doctor or one nurse along the way?
Jennifer: Your care will involve a team of care providers. We’re going to work with you to understand your individual needs. Each provider has expert knowledge and will be able to work with you in partnership to provide you with the information that you require to get through your treatment. Cancer treatments may include medication, radiation therapy, and surgery.
Mark: Cancer isn’t easy to deal with. So what are some of the ways that patients can get extra support?
Jennifer: Cancer can be stressful for patients and their loved ones. We’re here to help.
We have a team of care providers that offer additional support to our families when we understand what your unique needs are. We have social workers, registered dietitians, spiritual care providers, occupational therapists, and genetics counsellors. Throughout the region we have a team of volunteers that also support patients, navigating them through their cancer experience.
Mark: For a patient, what’s the most important thing they need to do when they’re having cancer treatment?
Jennifer: It’s important for our patients to tell us about their symptoms. Each time you come in and meet with a health care provider, you’ll be asked to tell us about your symptoms.
In some cancer centres, we have computer terminals where you can self-report your symptom. . This is called “Your symptoms matter”. Your care team is then able to look at those symptoms to best address your need.
The more information that you have, the better we can support you and your family.
Mark: Patients sometimes would like to do their own research, find out own information about their care. How can they do that when they’re going through cancer treatment?
Jennifer: Knowledge is power, we want to work with you to find out as much information as possible.
When you start your cancer treatment, we’ll give you a binder like this one. This is unique to your cancer treatments and cancer experience. We encourage you to build information in the binder, and to bring it with you to each encounter when you meet with your care providers. Having this in one spot is important for the continuity of your care.
We also have a patient and family resource centre and we encourage you to visit the resource centre and bring your binder in to build informational and educational resources for yourself. This patient and family resource centre is in partnership with Kitchener Public Library. You can download a movie or read a book for leisure. The patient and family resource centre has been supported by donors with the Grand River Hospital Foundation.
Again, please ask us questions. Every question is a good question.
Mark: How do patients get more support along the way?
Jennifer: We encourage you to let us know if you need extra support. We’re here to support you and your family.
We also recommend you to bring your family members or support people to your appointments. We can connect you with resources in the community as well.
And we also welcome your presence on our patient and family advisory council when your treatment’s complete.
Mark: What about the financial side of cancer care?
Jennifer: This is something you may need to consider. Additionally, may need to take away of work.
Most cancer treatments in the province are covered under health insurance plans. There may be some additional costs related to medications. We will work in partnership with you and your family to understand your financial needs. We may explore extended health benefits through your workplace if they’re required and if you have them in place.
Many patients are also worried about parking and transportation. We want to re-assure you that we work in partnership with community organizations to support you. So if this is a concern, we can help.
Mark: Thank you very much Jennifer for all of this information, which we hope will be helpful for you when you’re dealing with your cancer treatment, and we look forward to providing you the best care along the way.
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Care closer to home
Community cancer clinics across the region allow patients to receive some of their care (which may include chemotherapy) closer to home.Find out if there is a location near you.