Functionality with Optune GioTM
By: Susan, Optune Gio Patient Ambassador
Learning that you have cancer is a life-altering experience. In many respects, I feel lucky to have such a supportive healthcare team that looks out for me and my health. The team includes my neurologist, neuro-oncologist, the MyNovocure™ team, and my Device Support Specialist (DSS). Thanks to them, my introduction to Optune Gio was informative and easy to navigate.
There was so much information for me to take in—not just with my diagnosis and standard of care—but learning how to use Optune Gio as well. I worked primarily with my neuro-oncologist and social worker when the discussion of treatment with Optune Gio came up. My social worker answered all the questions I had at my initial appointment, and she was available for any other calls I had afterward. I was given a lot of information to take home and read about Optune Gio and I also used resources from the Novocure website prior to starting this treatment.
My DSS is my primary point of contact for any discussions regarding my Optune Gio usage. I meet with her almost every month and when that is not possible, I download my monthly usage myself via MyLink™. She proactively communicates with me and is available by phone or text if I have any questions. Thanks to this communication, I have consistently stayed over 90% with my usage since starting Optune Gio. My DSS and I also discuss array changes, when to change them, and how to develop a good scalp care routine. I always try to write down any questions I have for her ahead of our visits in a journal so I can keep track of everything I learn. However, my DSS does not offer any medical advice and refers me to my neuro-oncologist if I have any medical-related questions. I also call the MyNovocure team if I have any questions over the weekend or late in the evening.
Adjusting to alarms
When I first started using Optune Gio, my biggest learning curve was understanding what the alarms on the device meant. My DSS went over these with me and gave me a handout to keep at my bedside to use as a resource if I needed help in a pinch. This handout assisted me in terms of understanding whether the alarm meant the device was overheating or if the alarm was connection related. I’ve become quite adept at recognizing what is happening if an alarm does sound—I can usually fix it myself, too.
On one occasion, a connection alarm went off that I could not seem to fix. I called the MyNovocure team, and after a quick download, they were able to determine that one of my arrays just needed to be replaced. It’s nice to know I’ve got a team behind me that has my back.
Carrying and committing
I am a member of a few social media support groups and websites where I have seen many discussions regarding tips and tricks for carrying Optune Gio. You can also join the Opt for Optune Gio Community Facebook Page by clicking here!
It’s always helpful to get other patients’ opinions on what works best for them!
When it comes to wrapping the cords connected to the device, I use the protective sleeve that came with it. I use white tape to keep the cords at the bottom near the junction box together as well as at the top where it zips up. If I have any loose wires on the top of my head, I use additional tape or an elastic dressing retainer to keep them down.
I am committed to having Optune Gio work for me, and I think I have the best healthcare team to help me do so. I would strongly advise other Optune Gio patients to take advantage of the resources and support available to them including the resources and support we share with each other!