Deity of Cancer
Your doctor is not a god, they are not a deity of cancer. You are entitled to proper care, you deserve to be treated like a human and your doctor is working for you, you are their boss.
I will say this again, YOU ARE THEIR BOSS. YOU ARE PAYING THEM. If you are not satisfied with their performance make it known. You must say something, if you feel like you can’t do it over the phone or in person, then do it through electronic communication. If your doctor refuses to give you the treatment you deserve, find someone who will. FIRE THEM! Your doctor is not the only one who can treat you. Most likely they aren’t even the best person for the job.
Chemotherapy can cure your cancer, but it might not. Radiation can treat your cancer, but it might not. Surgery can remove your cancer, but it might not. These treatments are incredible tools in the crusade against cancer, but they are not the only ones.
Talking to Your Doctor
When talking to your doctor it is up to you to take charge and become your own health advocate. You do this by asking questions. Once again your doctor is not a deity. They need to sell you on the treatment they want to do. You need to be willing to pay the price in PAIN that you WILL experience for buying into their plan of care.
Ask your doctor if you can record the conversation.
Why would I want to ask my doctor if I could record him? First, its the ethical thing to do if you want to record them. Secondly it increases your retention, understanding and helps you fact check their evidence based approach to treatment. Why wouldn’t my doctor want me to record them? The following article provides some insight.
Recording what the doctor says allows me to:
- have a better ability to remember what they said.
- fact check the information they give me.
- effectively research the treatment options they suggest.
I believe that most people are afraid of the power differential between them and their doctor. This is something that has caused me great duress throughout my interactions with my oncologist. Any tool we use to reduce this power differential increases our comfort, confidence and improves our treatment are valuable assets.
As patients the last thing we need to be concerned with is the ego of our doctor. Their fear of being scrutinized for malpractice is not our concern. The only concerns we need to be having is: are we receiving the best, most appropriate care available?
Ask why the treatment options are the best for you.
If you are about to make permanent changes to your life, you need to know why. Why does the doctor believe these are the best treatment options? How did they come to this conclusion? We are talking about your life here, you need the facts and you need to make sure that your doctor is using evidence based information to determine your best possible care.
Ask them about your options.
Ask them if there are any specialists more qualified to treat you. Is there is any research on your cancer? What are some other options available to you outside of the treatment options they suggested?
So many will say that this approach creates friction between them and their doctor. That they’re afraid of angering their doctor, because it will impact their treatment. If that is the case why would want that kind of person to treat you?
Once again this is about you, not them. Friction gives you footing, if you want to stand you need some kind of traction. You are the only one who is going to stand up for you. Use all of the tools you have to get the treatment you deserve.
Continue the Learning Journey
If you would like to learn more about options available to you, feel free to follow this link and read about Palliative treatment.