Friday, March 12, 2010

Have a good day—or else

Funny how nearly every medical encounter I have these days seems to irritate me. I went to my GP’s office yesterday morning to have stitches removed from my last excision. He did so quickly and efficiently, and with his face inches from my booty, we chatted casually about scar tissue and healing factor—the usual shop talk. Not once did he mention “cancer.” At the end of the conversation, as he was dashing out the door, he chirped, “Well, hope things go well.”

I have stage 4 melanoma, he’s just touched up a delicate piece of anatomy where a third metastasis was removed two weeks ago—and that’s the best he can do? “Hope things go well”? Hallmark has better lines than that.

A couple of hours later I got a call from the perpetually cheerful Roxanne, the nurse for my medical oncologist. She asked about the plan for my next body scan as if she were the activities director on the Love Boat. I don’t need people to speak in solemn whispers around me, but my goodness. I continue to be reminded that, as with all of medicine, cancer is a business. Must service always come with a smile?

Thanks to Little Miss Sunshine, my next PET/CT scan is now scheduled for April 23—six weeks from tomorrow. My cancer, if not my emotional disposition, appears stable for now. I’ll contend with the predictable “scanxiety” when that time arrives.

Have a good day.


Steve said...

Sad stories. Ideally, we should all show appropriate care and concern in every human encounter. I'm sure I fall short, and thanks for the unintentional reminder in this latest blog. I'm reminded of the renowned USC doctor (oncologist?) who suddenly dropped dead at age 40 last year. Reports were published of his unbelievably caring approach toward every single patient. I"m guessing he was a Christan.

jeancie said...

Your thoughtful comments touch me in so many ways. Thank you for being so honest.

Anonymous said...

Those same nurses and doctors can show a very different side to the sale rep.