Your Brain Tumor Education
What To Do Now?
Talk to your doctor
Who is your doctor?
Get to know your insurance company, and don’t take no for an answer.
Talk with your employers.
You or someone you love has a serious medical problem that no one you know will really understand unless it happens to him or her. Be upfront with your employer – you will need time off. Take Family Medical Leave. Chances are no one at your job is going to take you by the hand and explain this to you – the U.S. government has provided the Family Medical Leave Act to help you in this situation. Your employer is required to give you time off to care for your own serious medical condition or for a seriously ill family member. Ask for a Family Medical Leave packet that the doctor must fill out from your Human Resources department. You cannot lose your job because you or your loved one is sick. It’s against the law.
Find a support group.
You need to connect with other people who are going through the same ordeal. There are many on-line support groups, such as the BrainTmr e-mail list where you can share information on treatments and find emotional support. Check with your hospital for outreach centers and support groups. Check with your church or religious organization. These are invaluable and free resources for support and information.
It’s a good time to have “the talk”.
This is a good reason to talk to your spouse or loved one about your wishes for medical care. Who will make the decisions for you if you are too ill to make them yourself (a health care surrogate)? Do you have a will? Do you have a living will? Do you have a guardian designated for your minor children? How do you feel about artificial life support? Burial or cremation? Religion? Check out the Caring Connections website’s article “Talking with Others about Their End-of-Life Wishes.” This website also provides state-specific medical directives. We also recommend the American Bar Association’s article “Tools for Health Care Advance Planning.” Even if you are not the sick person, talk to your loved ones about your own wishes and what-ifs.