There’s so much more to cancer than treatment and I think sometimes those other things get pushed to the back of the exam room because the focus is on treatment and even cure.
But cancer is more than that, being educated and informed about your cancer is critical. Will it take your life? Are there mets or is it confined to one area? Surgery, chemo, radiation….where will your cancer road lead? And how are you told about all of this?
That’s the million dollar question.
Knowing what I know now about cancer and meeting so many doctors and nurses along the way, I sometimes think it would have been better to hear some of this news from the oncology nurses rather than the doctors. Some of Leroy’s nurses had such compassion and understanding. They just seemed to ‘get’ the emotions that went with hearing bad news. That’s not to say some of his doctors weren’t good at this too, but some of them were clearly absent the day they talked about “patient-doctor conversations” at med school.
Cancer is an emotional ride. Social workers who work on oncology floors in hospitals are special people. They carry a calming vibe with them just walking into a room. Nurses who work in oncology have a special place in my heart. I’ve never met more caring, open-hearted souls. TLC are the invisible letters that follow all their hard-earned levels of accomplishment on their medical diplomas.
As important as it is to get cancer treatment right, it’s just as important to get the other side of cancer care right too. Patients and care-givers need that gentle touch….believe me, they do.