Always feel free to ask your radiation oncologist, therapist or nurse questions. Write them down as you think of them and take the list with you to your appointments. We can also guide you to resources for transportation, financial assistance or any emotional support or counseling you may need.
To help make life easier, here are some tips based on questions we get asked frequently.
Can I take over-the-counter medication during treatment?
Be sure to ask your radiation oncologist or nurse before taking any medicine even over-the-counter medications. This includes aspirin. You should list all medicines you are currently taking and any allergies you may have and discuss it with your radiation oncologist.
How can I reach my radiologist?
The office hours at each center are Monday—Friday, 8 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
Riverside Radiation Oncology-Newport News (757) 594-2644Riverside Radiation Oncology-Williamsburg (757) 220-4900Riverside Radiation Oncology-Gloucester (804) 693-4900After hours: You may reach the radiation oncologist on-call by contacting the hospital operator at (757) 594-2000. If you are unable to reach one of the doctors, you should call your family doctor, surgeon or medical oncologist.
Can I drive to treatment?
Radiation therapy is usually given on an outpatient basis. Most patients will feel well enough to drive themselves. If you are not feeling well, arrange for a family member, friend, or neighbor to drive you.
Are there other transportation options?
There is limited transportation provided by the Peninsula Chapter of the American Cancer Society. If help is needed with transportation, contact your nurse or radiation therapist, we'll be glad to help with a solution.
Can I work during treatment?
How you feel depends on the treatments you are receiving and how they affect you as an individual. Some people are able to work full-time, while others work only part-time or not at all. As the treatments continue, you may get to a point during your radiation therapy when you feel too sick to work.
Talk with your employer, in advance, to find out if you can go on medical leave. Make sure that your health insurance will pay for treatment when you are on medical leave. Riverside offers support services to help you navigate these issues. Ask your nurse.
What should I bring to my appointments?
You may have to wait in our waiting room before your treatment can begin. Many people bring a book, crossword puzzle, needlework or other crafts to make the time pass more pleasantly.
What should I wear to my appointments?
Wear clothing that is easy to get on and off before and after your treatment.
Can I remove the marks around the treatment area between sessions?
Do not remove the marks around the treatment area until after all treatments. Depending on where the marks are, you may want to wear old underclothes because the marks may accidentally rub off on your underwear.
How do I arrange for help at home?
Think about asking neighbors to do your grocery shopping along with theirs. Plan easy-to-cook meals and menus which can be prepared in advance.
If you need help at home, ask about Riverside Home Health Services.