Start Here... Take a deep breath.
When you first learn that you have cancer, it seems like your life is suddenly out of control. It helps to focus on one step at a time (e.g., the next doctor’s appointment) as opposed to thinking about everything that might happen in the months ahead.
In most cases, you have some time to explore your options. You should ask your doctor how long you can safely wait before treatment begins.
Many people visit or call our Resource Center when they’re first diagnosed. Here you can talk with staff and trained volunteers who can answer your questions and provide you with the information you’re seeking. Many clients say that the Resource Center provided them with a sense of calm and understanding when every other aspect of their life seemed rushed and unsettled. Click here for our Welcome Folder. Click here for our Caregivers Guide.
Some helpful resources written by former Executive Director, Bob Riter:
OncoPilot is designed to help answer questions commonly faced in the early steps of a cancer diagnosis. Topics include second opinions, your first visit with the oncologist, preparing for your first chemotherapy treatment and more.
OncoLink, the first cancer information website on the Internet created Oncopilot. Started in 1994, this award-winning site is maintained by a group of oncology healthcare professionals who understand the need of patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. OncoLink’s content is continually updated and ranges from treatment and disease information for a newly diagnosed patient, support through the side effects of treatment, and into survivorship.
Most cancers can be treated in Ithaca. Surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists practice here. Some people choose to receive care at larger medical centers, most often in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, or Syracuse. Other clients receive their care in Ithaca, but travel to a larger medical center for a second opinion. There is no single “best” place to be treated. What’s most important is for you to have confidence in and feel comfortable with your physicians.
Yes! We recommend that you have someone accompany you to doctor’s appointments. This is especially true at first when there is so much to absorb. Don’t hesitate to invite a family member or friend to go with you. They’re likely to be honored to help you in this way. They can help you remember what was discussed and provide personal support.
CRC has information and resources to provide specific support for families, including a lending library of books for younger children and teens. Check out our CRC Cares About Families Information on our Services page.
We listen, we comfort, and we share. We don’t give medical advice. Rather, we help you to understand what is happening and support you to make more informed decisions. We also identify resources and offer referrals that might help you. We offer wellness support through our yoga and other wellness classes.