ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – You’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Now what? What’s the best way to tell your friends and family? What kind of questions should you be asking your doctor? Should you participate in a clinical trial? These are some of the many questions answered in a new book called “Cancer: Now what?” from Kenneth Haugk of Stephen Ministries of St. Louis.
“We have a chapter in the book on medical questions to ask and when to ask them, and we talk about how to prepare for the appointment, and how to lay out your medical questions with the most important ones first on down, because you may not be able to get all of your questions asked in a meeting with a physician,” Haugk says.
Haugk says the practical guide, which also delves into the emotional impact of cancer and the impact on families, is getting international attention.
“There’s a chapter called “The Emotional Aftershocks of a Cancer Diagnosis,” there’s also a a lot of chapters on relational aspects, how to relate to friends and immediate family, family dynamics, because families get torn apart,” he says.
Often, says Haugk, a person feels sucker punched when they hear the doctor say “cancer.” They get home and realize they missed a lot of what the doctor said after that. Unfortunately, in speaking with oncologists, Haugk says people then get lot of bad information on the internet.
“Bring someone along to appointments, someone who can take notes, and when you’re hit with something they can be there so four ears are better than two,” he says.
Groups, hospitals and medical centers are handing out copies of the book to people as they’re diagnosed.