In retrospect, everything went as well as could be expected…
Only in retrospect did I realize that my skin cancer case was presented early and was readily treatable.
Only in retrospect, did I realize that this really was my easy cancer–because it wasn’t going to kill me or make me scary to children.
Only in retrospect, did I realize that I wasted four months of totally unnecessary anxiety, nausea, and insomnia.
But I did not know any of these things at the time.
How could I know? When none of the experts told me what to expect.
I understand that doctors can’t make promises, but they can certainly refrain from off-hand remarks that might send your stress level through the roof.
I also understand, because of our litigious society, that doctors need to be defensive, but they can certainly be sensitive to the stress you are enduring and can share something to help you manage your expectations and put things into perspective.
Despite their many years of experience, the medical professionals in my dermatology clinic apparently have no clue what it feels like to spend weeks preparing oneself to die a slow, painful, disfiguring death.
Despite their many years of experience, the medical professionals in my dermatology clinic told me nothing about what to expect during the healing process.
Instead, my imagination ran wild and sickened me for months… both before and after my surgery.
So much unnecessary trauma that could have been easily avoided… if only their life-saving services were delivered with a wee bit of empathy.
Don’t they realize that a patient’s emotional well-being is also part of their healthcare?
Which brings me to the end of this series and a time to reiterate the three messages I want to send loud and clear:
- The sun’s rays are a carcinogen. Protect yourself from them.
- Early detection will (not can)… WILL save your life… and will also save you from disability and disfigurement.
- The treatment process may be extremely stressful and traumatizing, but you are going to get through it and be ok.