Do we put too much faith in our doctors?
It was a topic that came up in a group of cancer patients and for the most part, this group thought the patients should take more responsibility for how they feel and how their individual cases were treated.
If the chemo is too rough and the side effects are causing too many problems, most patients tend not to complain. They don’t tell their doctors or nurses in a timely matter. They just suffer, thinking this is the way it’s supposed to be; It’s NOT. This group spoke up and said “Tell your nurse, tell you doctor, changes can be made.” They’re right…keep a journal with detailed notes about how you feel day to day. Did you have an upset stomach? Was there a fever during the day or night? Did a rash develop, or loss of appetite? Be your own strong advocate.
Doctors and nurses can only treat what they know and if they don’t know how you’re feeling, they can’t make the changes necessary to make you feel better.
Some in this group actually kept spread sheets on their treatments. They felt a need to share in the course of their care. That is a new approach in doctor-patient relationships. It pushes the individualized treatment of cancer care to a different level.
We still lean on our doctors, heavily, we have to put our faith in the medicine. Thinking good thoughts just isn’t enough, not with cancer.
But, there’s no harm in sharing the load.