In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I post a blog each day with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections all stem from something in the play. (All quotes are from lines in the play).
Day 15: Picking a Doctor: “How do you pick a cancer doctor? This is not an easy question. I soon learn that a lot of our friends have or have had cancer or they know someone who has or has had cancer. They all swear by their own doctor. And no two people seem to have used the same doctor! Well I know what I want to do, I want take Susan to the Mayo Clinic or Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, or MD Anderson in Houston.” The Actual Dance
Picking the oncologist is a very important, if not the most important step in the cancer journey. The doctor’s approach and knowledge of the field can impact the treatment you get. More importantly though it impacts how you will react to the unfolding disease.
In the play and in life I resisted the urge to take control of the process – a typical male response – and did not argue with Susan who picked a local oncologist who was recommended by a friend who worked in the corporate headquarters of our big regional hospital. I resisted a very strong urge to take Susan to a major cancer center. Even in the midst of the worst news and dire prognosis I felt that conflict over what to do was not going to help. It was the last thing I wanted to add to our marriage.
I have been proud of that decision. Perhaps a bit righteous in my telling how “I let” Susan pick her own doctor. It has been pointed out to me though that my view of this part of the story is colored by the fact that Susan has survived. Had she not, I wonder how guilty I would feel for not having insisted on her seeking other opinions and treatment?
There are no easy answers on the cancer journey.
Stat of the Day: The CDC reports that in 2013, 40,860 women and 464 men in the United States died from breast cancer!
Task of the Day: It is October – breast cancer awareness month. Be part of the process by doing your part. Today put on something pink if you are going out, wear a pink ribbon or change your Facebook profile to include a pink ribbon. Here are some images
Resource of the Day: iCare Do not pick a “doctor” pick a team. iCare presents a new approach to cancer treatment that coordinates patient, physician and research that are expert in the specific cancer and diagnosis of each patient.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.