Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let us analyze these

In preparation for the month formerly known as October (or lets over do the sound bites on breast cancer) there were three items of interest in the news this morning. First of all, there was an article on how little empathy doctors apparently have when faced with terminal illnesses. This does not surprise me. I have some doctors who are very compassionate and others who are not as much. But to be fair, you need to look at it from their side.

Every day they go to work and see some very sick people - some of whom did nothing to deserve their current medical status, they ate right, exercised, and follow their doctor's instructions and the others who chain smoked cigarettes, ate 3 times a day at fast food restaurants, and still party every night like it is the end of the world. It would be very difficult to face the people who did everything right and be compassionate every day. But it would also be very frustrating to deal with the people who can be helped by changing their life styles and listening to their doctors, but choose not to.

While I think there is a distinct shortage of 'Bedside Manner 101' taught in medical school, I also think as part of the patient population we have to do our part. Show up for appointments on time, take the medicine they give us, eat right, exercise, blah, blah, blah. Then you can expect a little empathy. If you stop for a cigarette on the way into see your doctor for your lung cancer treatment, I would expect a little less. Also, we can't go into our doctor appointments and expect them to wave a magic wand and cure everything - life doesn't work that way unfortunately.

The second article I found, is the one I really have a problem with. Basically it says that a new study, announced in Boston on Monday, finds that the standard 5-7 week treatment of radiation for breast cancer is not as effective as a three week, higher dose course of treatment. So, what I had isn't as effective as this new treatment?? Well, now read the fine print - the study did not compare the effects of a the boost radiation (crisping) that I had as well. So, did what I have not do what it was supposed to? Should I have had a different course of treatment? Or does this study really mean nothing because it is not comparing the full standard treatment to the full standard treatment? Just another little bump in the roller coaster ride called life. What would you do? What would you think? Ready to start doubting your doctors???

One last article I found says that if only I can get past my thing about needles and I can perhaps do something about this story on the benefits of acupuncture for breast cancer treatment.

So get ready for the month of October - where it will be sound bite city of everything taken out of context and causing more bumps and roller coaster rides.

In the meantime, I actually did get a good night's sleep last night and didn't wake up to take pain meds. Perhaps I can finally switch to just Tylenol so I can get my life back out of the percocet fog...

1 comment:

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