The arrival of a medium-term new year greets a simple text message, “Do you think?” The story is familiar, but this time, the vote is different. The patient was related to my childhood friend and I felt it all in mainland China and in the time zone. Desperate to seek oncologists, investigate the maze, a lot of advice, the most important thing is the spicy taste of fear.
Every day bring new test. Our friends and I talk when awake and free. I texted the patient who was responding but did not call. I was trapped by my own patient, until a few days later, this behavior made me feel that I was deliberate, brave, very wise. Like many oncologists, I am accustomed to making phone calls with my friends, friends, relatives, relatives, friends and strangers. If you’re hit by cancer and you’re close to an oncologist, it’s tempting. However, if it is not appropriate to provide unsolicited advice, it may be dangerous to give advice in good faith. Cancer is many diseases; modern therapies are many different things; emotions and prejudices are forever hidden in the background. Too much guarantee will bring remorse; hope is too small, not easy. If you do not want to elaborate, I want to make patients benefit from the wisdom of others. This is what I want to say.
Find your favorite oncologist
Once a cancer patient, has been a cancer patient. Descriptors like treatment, partial remission, complete response, and wait and see will cross your path. But this journey is long and difficult, so having a compassionate oncologist around you is worth it. If you have unwanted relationships with strangers, you eventually end up sharing many intimate relationships with oncologists. Find someone who will listen to you, treat you as a fellow countryman, and do not let you feel petty about your own smallest fears. Eligibility is important, but experts are not rigorously trained and censored places that did not get them. You do not have to choose between smart and beautiful – you should be smart and look good.
Buy a laptop and carry it with you
One of the most difficult things about cancer is out of control. Suddenly, everyone is talking to you, your brain is overwhelmed. But knowledge is power. Now that you can not remember everything, write down the key points, such as what tests you have, where are the oncologists, what your nurse is suggesting, and all your appointments. Scribble in the middle of the night came to your side of the problem. Make a note of the date of the drug and chemotherapy. You do not need to be addicted to details, but it is invaluable to have your information at your fingertips in the age of decent care. A neat notebook tells the story when you feel unwell to describe your history. Some applications can help, but for most people, simple notebooks and pencils work.
Say no to suggestions you do not need
Just as cancer treatment does not work hard enough, common stress in patients is an unnecessary recommendation. The cashier offers vitamins to chemotherapy, your brother recommends naturopathy, the boss sends a box of organic spinach, the baker knows that one person has exactly the same cancer and your mother will not leave you. Then someone offers stories about them, shaving their hair, holding fundraising events, overwhelming your food room with food.
You know what they mean is good, and you are very touched, but politely resolutely say no, but it is really important for rude advice. People who know cancer have innumerable feelings on bystanders – sympathy, fear, guilt, love and regret. It’s not your job to deal with these emotions. Your job is to be kind to yourself, to make your time and quiet to understand any future lies. Restrict calls, emails and messages, and issue weekly updates. You can decide who is in your innermost circle. For other blessings, suggest a small but important list of work to keep your house open. These tasks may include replenishing the groceries, arranging the house, driving to the treatment, mowing the lawn, folding clothes or walking the dog.
Let things unfold over time
When one of my favorite patients showed advanced disease, her prognosis was six months. Three years later, everyone was surprised at their own health. My elderly patient’s response to treatment is better than half the age. The two are worried about the worst, but the performance is better. In contrast, other patients were worse than expected.
One of the curiosities of Oncology is its endless ability to surprise and humble even the most experienced oncologists. Cancer treatment is guided by available evidence, but statistics do not represent personal experience. Statistics tell us what happened to the patients in the trial under those circumstances, but the real world is different and everyone is unique, so do not rush to find the best and worst things that happen to others . Although there are many things available, nothing more is sometimes the best choice. Communicating oncologists will help you understand your situation, and building a harmonious relationship will allow both of you to gather good news and bad news.
Good point to people
This sounds paradoxical, but be kind to others even if you are sick. You do not need to go your own way, in fact, you are opposed to inappropriate treatment or unprofessional behavior is crucial. However, working in a busy hospital for many years, unexpected delays, this is a good patient I found. They smile, say thank you, show grace under pressure.
Recently, I forgot to see a patient’s file buried in my file. He waited patiently while everyone else left, and I was embarrassed to ask why there was no fuss. “Obviously, you are busy, my dear, those are cancer patients.” His generosity made me speechless, giving me a lesson longer than a long story. Another time, an elderly patient told me that because she looks really uncomfortable, one patient is seriously ill compared to a brain-metastatic patient, but she is concerned about the well-being of others. Such kindness and sacrifice are almost always noticed and repaid – it is human nature. However, at a cancer clinic, everyone understands that if your days are not good, your treatment will not be affected if you do not say hello. But, if you can, you can extend your helping hand to those who greet and treat you.
Your family and friends are behind you. This is also true of your doctors and nurses, and those who can not see the future treatment. May you find hope and comfort in knowing how much care, goodwill and dedication are fueling your journey.