SELF-ADVOCACY GUIDE

SELF-ADVOCACY GUIDE

A comprehensive step-by-step guide to the blood cancer experience

.

Before Cancer Diagnosis

Before Cancer Diagnosis

Each type of blood cancer is different, but signs and symptoms can be similar. Common signs and symptoms of a blood cancer may include coughing, chest pain, fever*, chills, drenching night sweats* requiring you to change your pajamas and/or sheets, weight loss* (especially loss of more than 10 percent of your body weight), persistent fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, frequent infections, itch...

Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer Diagnosis

You’ve been diagnosed with a blood cancer, and there are a million questions going through your mind.  You may feel overwhelmed and anxious Have doubts about your ability to cope with or overcome the disease Worry about your job, financial security and your loved ones Feel confused about your treatment options and what comes next
  AT THIS STAGE, YOU CAN Learn about your typ...

Blood Cancer Treatment

Cancer Treatment

There have been significant advances in blood cancer treatment with additional promising therapies on the way. Your doctor can help you choose a treatment plan that’s right for you. AT THIS STAGE, YOU CAN Manage your blood cancer with a wait-and-watch approach if advised by your doctor Become informed about what each treatment involves, its risks and benefits Find out what side effects and physical cha...

Remission - A Step by step Self-Advocacy Guide

Remission

Your blood cancer is in remission when there is no sign of disease, usually as a result of treatment. The length of remission depends on individual circumstances. You may feel relieved and overjoyed at this point. It’s also normal to worry about recurrence during the first year after treatment. You may be required to continue on additional chemotherapy or receive further treatment even after achieving rem...

Refractory/Relapsed

Refractory/Relapsed

Refractory patients do not respond to their initial treatment. Their blood cancer may be getting worse or staying the same (stable disease). Relapsed patients undergo a recurrence when their blood cancer returns after it has been successfully treated. Their disease can return months or years after their treatment ends. Your doctor can give you more information about your status and treatment options going forward. ...

Life After Cancer

Life After Cancer

The new normal. Your treatment is over and you can begin a new step in your journey: life after cancer. You may feel anxious and excited about the future Your sense of purpose and spirituality can deepen at this stage It’s important to take time to reflect on your priorities, relationships and goals
  AT THIS STAGE, YOU CAN Review your follow-up care plan with your doctor so you...

This step-by-step guide is made possible by

THE COLLINGS FAMILY FOUNDATION