Support and Resources
Life after Treatment
St. Peter’s doctors and nurses are dedicated to their patients. They continue to answer questions about each individual situation for their past and present patients. No patient can ask too many questions. Many patients tell the doctors and nurses the St. Peter’s atmosphere feels like their second family, because of the welcoming feeling they receive.
Many patients continue to go to support groups even after treatment has ended, for emotional and spiritual support. Medical checkups are regular (every three months) for two years, and then every six months for three years, and then finally once a year. Follow–up care depends on the type of cancer and type of treatment along with overall health. It is usually different for each person.
Some common questions you may want to ask after treatment is completed:
- Should I tell the doctor about symptoms that worry me?
- Which doctors should I see after treatment?
- How often should I see my doctor?
- What tests do I need?
- What can be done to relieve pain, fatigue, or other problems after treatment?
- How long will it take for me to recover and feel more like myself?
- Is there anything I can or should be doing to keep cancer from coming back?
Movement and Exercise
Cancer patients are not restricted by movement in any way during and after treatment. In fact, patients are encouraged to live their lives as normally as possible. If there is surgery involved, then movement might be restricted, but it depends on the patient and the type of surgery. Please consult your oncologist for specific information on what type of movement and exercise might be most beneficial.
Birth Control and Sexuality
It is always important to ask your chemo doctor or nurse when you may have sex, what precautions you need to take, and how your treatment might affect your sexual function. If you think you may want to have children in the future, it is important to talk to your doctor about this before starting chemo. You need to know if treatment will affect your fertility. Many chemo drugs can damage the ovaries, reducing their output of hormones. Sometimes the ovaries recover after chemo, and sometimes they don't. For more on fertility, visit www.cancer.org.
Financial and Insurance Information
Because there are several variables to each individual cancer patient’s treatment, costs may vary greatly. In setting its prices for procedures, St. Peter’s compares its charges to those of other Montana healthcare providers and makes adjustments where necessary to remain competitive. Because the services a patient may require are not predictable, it is not possible to quote an exact price in advance. For more information, contact the Director of Patient Business Services at (406) 444-2184.
The Cancer Information Service is a nationwide telephone service for cancer patients, their families, and friends and health care professionals. The staff can answer questions and send booklets about cancer. The service also includes PDQ, an up–to–date list of clinical trials all over the country. Call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
"For One Another" was founded by volunteers in 1990 to provide support for Montana families dealing with cancer. The group is part of the Bozeman–based Cancer Family Network. Call (406) 587-8080.
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