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I think doctors who see patients with pancreatic cancer everyday can sometimes become immune.... they separate themselves from the tragedy of the disease, as it is the only way they can continue. I'm being generous. Other doctors are cold. And even though I support academic medicine, sometimes they are looking at you as a potential trial participant. And if you don't fit their criteria, time to move along.
If only they knew how powerful their words are. That what they say will be remembered FOREVER. Perhaps then they would choose their words more carefully.
'Why did you come here?' Are they insane? Do they have no insight or empathy?
Sometimes, all we look for is a word of encouragement .... of support. That can still be given in any circumstance. Just a little humanity. A plan can always be made.
We saw a genetic counselor. A nice, but very young and naive woman. At one point, she said to my mom, 'I'm sorry, but we have nothing to offer you....'. It was said off-hand, while staring at us with a smile...... Not necessary to say, and kind of irrelevant. She was not our doctor and of course would not be involved in treatment. And my mom started crying, of course. Because she took those words and extrapolated, and she has never forgotten that statement.
Why did this woman have to use those words? Did she really have no idea of their power? I actually called her later, and told her gently of her errors and encouraged her not to speak this way to any patient with a chronic, terminal illness. Yet she is just one, small cog in the wheel. I would never dare tell our oncologist or his nurses or the clueless fellows (a different one each month....) of the ways they have hurt us rather then helped us. Because we are desperately dependent upon them. It is that desperation that is one of the worst things about this ordeal.
If you are fortunate enough to have a doctor that you have faith in, that supports you.... it is perhaps the most valuable thing.
Well, actually the most valuable thing is having family/friends that support you. No one will fight harder for you then the ones who love you.
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