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Doctor Q&A for Dr. Anna Westmoreland

A 59-year-old female asked:
Dr. Anna Westmoreland
Palliative Care 24 years experience
I'm : I'm not an oncologist, but a palliative care physician. (we work on symptoms, and on helping patients and families in your situation see a way forward.) i'm so sorry. It sounds like your husband is in a tough spot. If the lymphoma can't be cured, it's time to have a discussion (or maybe several) with his oncologist about how long his disease might allow him to live, and about what's most likely to happen next, medically. Often even when the cancer cannot be cured, many of its complications (infections, and so forth) can still be addressed. Make a list of questions ahead of time, so that you both remember what you want to ask. (sometimes sitting down with a friend who is willing to play the role of the oncologist and help you phrase questions helps.) if your husband's oncologist is accessible by email, you might send some of them ahead of time. At some point, a physician may mention hospice care to you. That can be a scary word. My advice is to get lots of information about hospice way before you feel ready to use this important tool. Its easy to misunderstand hospice, and most patients wish they'd gotten information about this kind of medicine earlier. I hope that you have some good days along with the hard ones. Your husband is lucky to have you.
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