Patient Education - ECHO Associates

A Beacon of Light on Your Cancer Care Journey

EASTERN CONNECTICUT HEMATOLOGY & ONCOLOGY ASSOCIATES

Patient Education

When you face a cancer diagnosis, our goal is to make sure we educate you about every step of your cancer journey – from diagnosis through recovery. We want to make sure you understand what to expect, how treatment works, risk factors to watch for, and when to contact us.

General Treatment Reminders

Diarrhea:

Utilize Imodium (generic is fine) for diarrhea.

Dose: Start with 2 tablets with the initial loose stool, then one tablet every 2 hours until diarrhea stops. Do not exceed 8 tablets the 24-hour time period.

Constipation:

Utilize Senekot (generic is fine) for constipation.

Dose: Start with 1-2 tablets at bedtime. Call the office if you have no bowel movement for 3 days. You can also eat pears, prunes, or drink warm prune juice to assist.

Temperature:

Check your temperature at home daily. Also take your temperature if you experience chills, sweats, or other fever-like symptoms.

  • If your temperature is 100.4 or higher, call the office immediately at (860) 886-8362.
  • Do not leave a voicemail on the triage line to report a fever, talk with a nurse directly.
  • An answering service will pick up between 5pm-9am, and weekends. They will alert the doctor on call.

Mouth Care:

Keep mouth and lips moist. Rinse frequently with:

½ tsp of salt and baking soda with 8oz. of water at least 3x at day (rinse and spit). Use a soft bristle toothbrush. Leave dentures out if causing discomfort. Continue to see your dentist throughout the treatment and keep up with dental cleaning appointments.

Triage Line: (860) 886-8362, x301

The triage line is helpful for general questions about medications, treatment, or to discuss with a nurse a symptom/side effect. It is not for emergencies. If you have an emergency and the triage nurse does not pick up, do not leave a voice message. Hang up and call back and ask to speak with the change nurse to report and emergency. A temperature of 100.4 or higher is considered emergent.

Neutropenia:

Some treatments can cause a decrease in your white blood cells (WBC) which help you fight again infection. Neutropenia means your WBC count is low. When neutropenic:

  • Avoid large crowds of people
  • Avoid anyone close to you that could be ill
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Wash fruits and vegetables very well and/or cook fruits and vegetables prior to eating

Below is some additional information to help you manage your care:

Patient Videos

Below are some videos from ECHO team members:

Understanding Cancer: How to Get Started When You Face a Diagnosis

Chemotherapy: Risk Factors Due to Low White Cell, Red Cell, and Platelet Counts

Other Side Effects of Chemotherapy: Nausea, Hair Loss, Mouth Sores

Meet Our Social Worker: A Valuable Member of Your Care Team

ECHO’s Unique Palliative Care Program: A Team Approach to Helping You Navigate Cancer

Learn about immunotherapy and some of the key side effects of treatment.

Additional Patient Information

Screening recommendations by age>

Identifying skin cancers>

How to assess a stool sample>

Patient Resources

Our team and our social worker can direct you to numerous resources that can be of value. This includes financial assistance, support groups, rehabilitation services, travel assistance. Click here for a list of resources. For additional information or resources, please contact our social worker, Heather Kwasnick. She can be reached at (860) 886-8362, x237 or by email at: hkwasnick@echoct.com

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We are Here for You!

Our nurse navigator, Tami Chapman, RN, will meet with you throughout your treatment and can be reached at: (860) 886-8362. Your doctors and nurses are also available to answer questions.

Our Triage line can be reached at: (860) 886-8362 x301. The triage line is helpful for general questions about medications, treatment, or to discuss with a nurse a symptom/side effect. It is not for emergencies.