An equally important part of your treatment program is attending your follow-up visits with your healthcare provider.
These appointments will be your chance to let your healthcare provider know how your treatment is going, and also ask any questions you might have. Your provider will use these check-ups to make sure that everything is being done for you to maximize your chances for a successful treatment.
When you come to the clinic, you'll be asked about how you're fitting your medications into your daily routine. It's important for you to be honest about how often you're taking the medication, and whether or not you've missed any doses. This information will help your healthcare provider better understand how you are responding to the medications, and why. It will also help your provider help YOU with your treatment. Please know that your medical care will still be continued, even if you haven't done the best job of taking your medications.
Your healthcare providers want your treatment program to go smoothly for you, so take advantage of your follow-up visits to talk about any questions or concerns you have. Don't be afraid to discuss the things you might be having a hard time with, even if they seem small or not very important.
(Patient:) "When I go to my study appointments, it's my chance to find out how I'm doing on the treatment and to get all my questions answered. I write down any questions I have when I think of them, and save them for the appointment. That way I won't forget to ask them. I also talk about any side effects I'm having, especially any new or unusual side effects."
If side effects are a problem, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she may have specific recommendations or treatments to help your particular side effects. But, your healthcare team can only help you if you let them know how you're doing.
So be sure to attend all your follow-up appointments. Many people find that marking their appointments on a calendar helps them remember when they need to go to the clinic. You could even use the same calendar that you use to remember your weekly interferon injection. What's most important is finding a way to remember that works for you.