How can I feel more in control of my emotions and what’s going on with me?

When you were younger, your parents or guardians made a majority of the decisions regarding your healthcare.  Now, you are a part of the decision-making process.

Making good decisions about your health isn’t as easy as “yes” or “no.” Good healthcare consumers learn as much as possible to understand their health condition and needed treatments.  You should ask the doctors and nurses as many questions as possible.  There are no “dumb” questions—all questions are good questions even if you think they may be obvious, silly or embarrassing.

To make it easier, make a list of questions before your doctor visits.  If you are uncomfortable asking questions in front of your parents or guardians, request private time with your doctor or nurse. It is important to know that your doctors and nurses are not judging you; their top priority is helping you and being there for you. You can feel free to ask anything.

You can also feel more “in control” by:

  • Taking a tour of the Cancer Institute from one of our child life specialists. These tours allow patients to see where they will be at CHOC and what they can expect during clinic appointments, infusions and even surgeries.
  • Talking to your teachers or professors about your absence from school.  Along with the school’s counselors or administrators, they can help you come up with a plan to keep your education going and modify your assignments as needed.
  • Asking friends to lend a hand. Friends can also keep you up-to-date on what is going on at school—both academically (by taking notes or recording classes) and socially (by writing about special events and sending you pictures) when you can’t be there.

While preparing for and undergoing treatment, it is important to simplify your life as much as possible. Talk to coaches or advisors from extra-curricular activities about your absence and efforts to try and reduce your stress.  Those activities will be waiting for you when you are ready.