Patients try to spare their care givers, so they “fudge” a little when asked “How are you feeling today.”

At least that’s how it is in the beginning.  We care givers catch-on as time passes and we pick-up on signs our loved ones don’t even know they’re sending. A frown with a movement, a jaw grinding, or a look in their eyes; the eyes speak volumes.

So when we visit the doctor, we can advocate for our patients.  We might have to do it outside the exam room instead of inside, but either way, we can fill-in where the patient leaves off.

Why do patients fail to tell all to their doctors?  There’s fear in cancer world.  If you don’t say it, you don’t have it.  Of course we know that’s not true, but it’s a mind game we all play.  Ignore it long enough and maybe it just goes away.

Advocating for your patient is an important piece of care giving.  The care gets better, the treatment, as difficult as it is, improves because it’s tweaked to treat what’s really going on, and in the end, your loved one will benefit.

Be prepared for some backlash because it could come your way.  Bottom line, it’s the right thing to do.

Honesty counts in cancer.

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