When it comes to cancer treatment, the little things can make a really huge difference…
The truth is, the “little things” make a huge difference when it comes to cancer care. When you find yourself muddling through one of the most stressful and traumatic times of your life ANYTHING that makes the process go easier is a win that you want to take full advantage of.
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Memorial Sloan Kettering goes above and beyond in those areas that have been shown to make a big impact when it comes to treatment…
A few little things that make a HUGE difference to the care and comfort of someone battling cancer…
Private Treatment Rooms
For anyone just starting, cancer treatment such as chemo and immunotherapy is typically given in a community setting.
This was our general experience…
You enter a large room where several people are already receiving treatment. The patient gets a reclining chair, so you can relax, sleep, etc. while they’re hooked up to an IV. There is usually a second chair, so they can have company, and the whole process takes place with several (sometimes 30 people getting treatment at the same time.)
The truth is, you get used to it. It doesn’t seem like that big a deal after a while, it’s just one of those things.
Until you realize that there is another option…
Private treatment rooms are a game changer. You can really relax, sleep through treatment (and so can your family if they want) in a comfortable and private place where people are not watching you drool on yourself.
It’s a pretty big deal in terms of comfort and privacy. You can experience the treatment you desperately need without the stress of people watching you and without worrying about judgments or interacting with other people if you don’t want too.
This is such a little thing that makes a HUGE difference in the quality of care.
24- Hour Urgent Care
Sloan has a 24-hour Urgent Care available at the main hospital if you have any difficulties during your journey, and FYI you will…
The Urgent Care has everything a hospital emergency room has, with a less “crazy” feel. The teams that we have worked with down there (we’ve used this a few times) have been fantastic.
The medical staff is fantastic and just like in the emergency room… if you need to see a specialist (like a neurologist) they will send one in.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is totally and fully equipped to deal with all of your cancer emergencies, symptoms, and needs.
If you have the experience of being admitted to the hospital overnight for further monitoring or treatment, you’re in great hands. They bring you upstairs where the care is above and beyond.
The hospital staff are incredible, and they have some fabulous perks…
Admitted to the hospital? No worries! You’re in good hands…
When you call to order your meal, they answer the phone as “Room Service, where we provide care and food.”
They have a FULL menu with several appetizers, entrées, side dishes, and dessert choices. And, they have rotating daily specials and a separate milkshake and smoothie menu.
The first time my dad ordered, he chose 3 entrees (they actually let him have 2) and a bunch of appetizers and sides.
Then they deliver your meal dressed as a maître D. In a uniform with a tie.
This place is a class act.
Even better… if you start to experience any swallowing issues (which we did) and need to order a different texture of food, like ground, or puree’ it tastes the exact same.
One of the maître D’s talked with us when we were struggling with the regular consistency and shared with us that as part of their training, they have to eat every consistency of food to ensure that it tastes like the “real thing.”
We were totally shocked when we ordered puree French Toast that was AMAZING (I tried it!) and to make it even more insane… it looked like French toast. Seriously!
Finally, for a small fee they have an incredible guest menu, so you can coordinate family meals, and all eat together. We’ve used that service a few times and the food was exceptional. It gave us the opportunity to all enjoy hot food at the same time so we could have an actual family dinner.
I can’t say it enough… it’s the little things, that make a huge difference.
Sloan has doctors of virtually every specialty (who also specialize in cancer as well) to help with virtually every issue or concern that may come up during your journey. We had a ton of specialists or services involved in our care team at one point or another because we, unfortunately experienced some pretty debilitating symptoms.
And ALL were provided by Sloan…
- Speech and Swallowing
- Physical Therapy
- Pain Management
- Radiation Therapy
- Medical Oncology
- Glaucoma Specialist
- Lab Technicians
Their referral process makes it really easy to see whoever you need to see as quickly as possible and they all work together to make sure that every issue you’re having is covered.
You can check out the best resources to battle cancer in new york city here.
Sloan Values Your Time
They work really hard to get things done for you while you’re there, so you don’t have to keep coming back. Our very first appointment, when radiation was the recommended treatment. They offered us the opportunity to stay overnight and they did a complete work-up and created the mold for my dad the following day.
Their waiting rooms are always packed, and their schedules are pretty full, but they work really hard to manage everything and get you in as quickly as possible. And they literally did things like that for us every time.
If an additional test was needed… they would send us to get it done right then, while we were there. Or, they would set it up to happen the next time we came down.
They would squeeze us in, or rearrange our appointments based on when we were already coming down for appointments or treatment or whatever…
That kind of approach means that we got all of the medical stuff out of the way at the same time so that we could take full advantage of our good days and do things!
Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Graham Crackers
Our last great examples of little things that make a huge difference…
Because we don’t live in the City, my dad would say “we have a full day today, tons of doctor’s appointments today.” I would reply… “It’s cool, I’m gonna drink free coffee all day long.”
Every floor, every office, every area of Sloan that I have ever been to has coffee machines (which also offer tea and hot chocolate), unlimited water, hard candy, graham crackers and saltine crackers that are always available for patients and their families.
The one exception to that is surgical areas or floors where you can’t drink or eat an hour before a test or procedure…
I think the snack choices are pretty deliberate… Something warm to drink, water for hydration, graham crackers when you need something sweet, saltine crackers to settle your stomach or when something salty would be best, and hard candy to help with the taste in your mouth…
They just go the extra mile to make sure everything is available, and you don’t have to search for things. Straws, for example, are available at all times, which is SUPER helpful if for example, you’re dealing with a facial droop and your mouth doesn’t seal…
The little things that don’t seem like a big deal can actually make a huge difference when it comes to the comfort of families battling cancer. Memorial Sloan Kettering is the leader of comfort and care. It’s like they have literally thought of (or more likely have dealt with everything) and are totally prepared for what you need before you even need it.
P.S. If you’re drowning in all this cancer business, and you have no idea where to start… The Cancer Combat Plan is a step by step guide from someone who has struggled through this and found ways to manage the chaos, the stress and the overwhelm.
Things feel better, and more in control when you have a plan. So if you’re looking for action steps, resources, and strategies that will help you manage this crisis, we’ve got you covered. And it’s totally free…
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