I am a stage IV patient of two and a half years. The best advise I can offer is to find another Doctor or Doctors. You, your Mother and the rest of your family need honest and frank discussions about your Mother's condition. You are part of her team and if the physician is not working with you as a team member, get rid of them. I currently have seven Doctors of various types and have fired seventeen doctors to get where I am now.
When first diagnosed I had an original site in my upper axila (under arm) but it is considered breast cancer. I mets in left lung, under two sides of my collar bone, four places on my spine, my liver and spleen. I had one chemo treatment, then a perforated colon, which required two emergency surgeries (first surgeon botched the job, followed by pneumonia a month later. Docotors told me for ten months that I was going to die and I refused to believe them.
The first oncologist who saw me, a young woman about 32 years old, had
clearly written me off already and was certainly not interested in being a partner in getting me well. The third oncologist I spoke to came into my hospital room at 7pm the Friday evening before Christmas
gave me a stack of scan and lab results and dicussed in detail each
test result, what he thought was likely true, what was questionable, and what he felt might not be true. He spent over two hours with me.
No question was irrelevent. I asked him to be bluntly honest and frank with me. No going to my children behind my back, give it all to me and let me decide what I would share and how I would prepare my family. When I had a significant problem on Christmas morning, he was in my hospital room in under thirty minutes(he has a family and children). I am so fortunate to have him as my oncologist.
I do not allow Doctors to treat me who:
1. Do not return phone calls.
2. Do not frankly/honestly answer questions.
3. Do not respect health choices as being made by me.
4. Who use Residents or Interns in hospitals so they are off the hook.
5. Who do not routinely visit me in the hospital to monitor my condition for themselves.
6. Who sit and recite the hours during which they are available, then tell me after hours I have access to the emergency room. Your illness is not part time, so neither can your doctor.
7. Who do not fully disclose the ramifications and side effects of all drugs and proceedures they are prescribing or recommending.I would suggest you always ask about the negative impacts of these items
before, not after, you agree to them as a course of treatment.
Two and a half years later the only active, and shrinking, cancer in my body is under my collar bone. I have had many surgeries and spent several years largely in bed.
But I am back at the gym this week (after three planned surgeries in seven months) and advance planning to participate in the Tin Man Marathon in Hawaii with my two daughters three years from this last July. Afterwhich I intend to go back to work full time. I may not get to do those things, but I AM working toward them optimistically.
Am sure you might have heard this before, but it is certainly true
in my case that cancer has improved my life. I am much closer to my children, I have (painfully) found out who my friends are and aren't,
and the things I take on now are much more meaningful.
I wish you and your Mother the gift of optimism and the energy and
fortune to get her back to good health and more time spent together.
You are in my prayers.