Monday, August 15, 2011

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Yesterday's post generated a few comments on Facebook so I decided that I wanted to write more about decision making in medical treatment. You have an ailment, you go to the doctor, and they tell you what they recommend. It is your choice to follow it. You are a mature adult and you can decide what you want to do to your body.

However it is your obligation to make a good decision. A good decision is defined as one that is based on a rational decision making process. You can ask your doctor what the side effects would be or the pain level of the 'medical adventure' or whatever else you want to know. You can get a second opinion. Or you can do some research on your own - online at credible websites or through other medical professionals or even people who have gone through the procedure.

You should also put some thought into the big picture. Yesterday's example was that of a woman who is refusing chemo because she didn't want to lose her hair. This was a potentially life saving treatment being refused because of a minor side effect. But if you are having chest pains and the doctor says you need a bypass or you will not survive through any more stresses on your heart and you choose not to follow their advice. You need to realize that this could kill you.

I know numerous people who have chosen to skip traditional Western medical treatment and have gone with alternative medicine, modalities such as acupuncture or reiki, or diet modification. They are happy with their decisions and credit them with saving their lives.

Yes it is your body and your choice as to what you want to do. I guess my point is that you make your decisions as you want. If you don't change your behavior in someway - through medical or other treatment - your health isn't going to improve. A decision is an action. An action causes change. An inaction does not result in change. But a bad decision that is done without thought to the consequences is just as bad as indecision or inaction.


Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline,

My name is Nicole and I assist the manager of the Community Outreach efforts on behalf of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and it’s initiative, the Love/Avon Army of Women.

The mission of the Love/Avon Army of Women is to enlist One Million Women to participate in breast cancer research. We would love to explore the possibility of Caroline’s Breast Cancer Blog becoming a supporting blogger of the Love/Avon Army of Women. We would be thrilled and honored to have your support. The Army of Women is dedicated to representing ALL women in breast cancer research so that the research results will apply to ALL women.

If this sounds like something you are interested in I would love to send you more information (and a more formal letter of interest). Feel free to e-mail me at

Thank you and I look forward to your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

May I just point out, Penguin Cold Caps! Research those, you CAN keep your hair.....with chemo!

Elizabeth said...

It's hard sometimes to stand up for yourself when all types of information is coming at you. I agree that people should make their own decisions. I wrote about my decision not to do chemo in my blog. (

I Started a New Blog

I started this blog when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Blogging really helped me cope with my cancer and its treatment. Howe...