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Saturday, April 27, 2013

A doctor asks, "How would you react to a cancer diagnosis?"

A post by Dr. Suzanne Koven, on KevinMD blog:

Since I have a cancer that will probably give me multiple opportunities to have a reaction, I figure I will probably react differently each time. Maybe I will work up to an Oscar-worthy performance by the final time I get the news that cancer has come back again. Do I think about that, or polish up my delivery?-no frickin' way. Too busy doing other things, and wondering about the mysteries of life. I will be scanned this year (took last year off - a slow cancer doesn't deserve that much notice, in my not-so-humble opinion), so I guess I will have some of the usual build-up after the tests until I get the word from the doctor if I am good to go for another period of time.
As a former active Army wife (now just an in-active one), I figure the news is similar to when we would find out it is time for a move - expected in the abstract, and you know it is coming for years ahead, but causes quite a rush of emotion when spouse gets those actual official orders. Most of my life has been knowing that I do not have significant power over my future - my health status fits into that mold, no matter how many messages they put out about preventing cancer. I can choose some paths (work hard through college, have a career that I love, family life that is fulfilling...) I have lived a pretty boring life (as far as risky behavior goes), yet still have cancer. Go figure.
What I find interesting is when I have turned down other cancer scans - mammograms, colonoscopies, whatever (I still get checkups, though). The health providers look at me in a way that makes me wish I could see what notes they are recording in my health record. My point to them - even if cancer is located in another part, I am not sure I would take on the fight against it - I know what that fight looks like, have done it admirably (if I do say so myself), and figure I am not going looking for other types of tumors to throw money or time at. If something is found during the scans for my first cancer, then I will have a different kettle of fish to deal with at that time. I am glad I rode the treatment train I did - I figure I gave it my best shot at the time to gain years before cancer comes back. But I am not looking for another train at the station, believe me. Accuse me of hubris; of being short-sighted - let me know your comments, and I will post them gladly. I will defend your right to track and attack your cancer how ever you choose- just give me the same latitude.

Dr. Koven's blog address:

1 comment:

Ali said...

With ACC I can understand your not wanting to constantly stay vigilant & focused on finding. It took me a long time to accept when my Mom made the decision to stop with all the testing & doctor visits and to focus on living life. Quality over quantity. Still hard not to wish for both! Honestly looking back, I'm really glad she used her time & energy to pursue happier thoughts.

Hoping that you get great news as long as you can & that when you do hear the dreaded news, you don't let it drain you. You fight then.

No regrets. :)

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