Right now, someone who knows of your metastatic melanoma diagnosis wants to do something to help you through this. Someone who loves you, lives near you, or maybe has never even met you. As your healthcare team may advise you, it’s a good idea to let them in. Staying connected to people throughout your treatment may help to inspire you and encourage you to speak out with your doctor about what—and who—matters most to you. It can also help you play an active part in your treatment decisions.
Some ways you could stay in touch:
- Create a personal website with updates, links, photos, as well as personal blogs or writings
- Set aside phone time. Catch up with those you love by phone at a specific time every week
- Spend time with someone. A movie, a walk, even just a cup of coffee could change your entire day
Reaching out to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors may seem like the obvious route, but don’t overlook the strangers in your life, too. People who’ve also been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, like you, could be attending nearby melanoma support groups or posting online about their experience on melanoma support websites.
Knowing first-hand what you’re going through, they may offer personal wisdom from their own experience that could help you. Sharing and supporting and simply communicating can give you new perspectives and help you build bridges to a patient community that may not only help you, but actually need you as well.
Learn all you can about your diagnosis and the treatment options out there
You’ll want to stay connected to what’s going on in the world of cancer research and cancer treatment. New approaches to treating cancer begin with ideas and discoveries that must be proven through long, methodical research that get reported after each phase. Developments in metastatic melanoma treatment, like YERVOY, came from this research. Stay curious and connected to the latest research, if possible. Your doctor or a local support group may be able to guide you to the research that best applies to your diagnosis.
Report how you’re feeling to those who care about you
Staying connected also means reporting side effects and any changes in your health to those involved in your care. Keeping your doctor and your healthcare team in the loop is key to your treatment, as they’re the best source of information for your health.
Other resources that can keep you connected: