How to deal with an insensitive oncologist?

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How to deal with an insensitive oncologist? - Sunday, April 23, 2017 5:06 PM
I'm finding that many oncologists are insensitive to BC patients.  For me, this is the third time, same doctors, but it metastacized (sp).  When I saw the lump, I didn't even consider that it was BC, because my oncologist sent me to a surgeon and  I had a bilateral mastectomy.  Following that I had a partial hysteretomy.  I apologize about my spelling, but I've been in chemo for over a year now.  The oncologist I was seeing for more than 20 years, did not tell it BC could come back, and then forgot I tested BRAC 1 positive.  He scared me, at that point.  He also diagnosed me with chronic myelogenous leukemia, for which I am, thankfully, in remission after 8 years of treatment with Gleevac.

Since my old (first) oncologist frightened me so badly with his memory loss, I was lucky enough to see a young oncologist who looked at my scans and said "the tumor on your lung isn't that big."  The old doc had me feeling like I had one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel.  The young doctor said I should see somebody else in the practice, but that he was leaving at the end of the week to go to the Hillman Cancer Center, in Pittsburgh.  He referred me to another doctor in the practice and said that this doctor was a talker.  I was happy to hear that, because after a year, I still didn't know what type of BC I had, and I asked many questions.  I would make a list, print one out for me and one for the older doctor.  His answers were no, no, yes, etc.  When he forgot critical health problems that I had, I had to find somebody else.

The new doctor (who's older too), walks into the exam room and says "I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear."  I realized that his partner (my former doctor) thinks that I didn't want the truth, when in fact, my questions were all begging for the truth.  The new doc showed me my scans, my lymph node tests, etc., and told me that I had triple negative.  

I'm so disgusted and frightened.  Why didn't my first doctor tell me this, because I told him, during an exam, that my cousin's daughter had triple negative, he said nothing.  Wouldn't that seem like the time to say, "so do you."

I was in chemo 3 weeks on, one week off for a year.  Now, I have chemo only once a month.  

I'm really upset with the insensitivity of the doctors.  Don't they realize that this is frightening?  Why can't they show some compassion.  Every time I see one, I feel like I'm looking at a funeral director.  Never a pat on the back, encouragement.  Just dower looks, and not a smile, even once.  

How do you get through to them that you're a human being, that you don't want them to lie, but to be more sensitive when delivering bad news?  I've tried over and over again, but I can't seem to break through their walls.  It's like they've built a castle wall around themselves, with a mote filled with alligators.  

I have chemo this Friday, and will be seeing the new (old) doc who made the assuming comment above.  I don't know what to say to make him see me, and to tell him to stop treating me like I'm not worth his effort,....I just want him to smile, and encourage me.  I don't feel like I have an expiration date stamped on my head, except when I have to deal with an oncologist.  I need some advice.  It would be very difficult for me to find another oncologist where I live, so this is kind of it.  I'm so tired of taking xanax just to get through an exam with an oncologist.  They don't seem to care what they say to you.  I'm scared sick.  Ty.  

Tricia Keegan
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Re:How to deal with an insensitive oncologist? - Monday, April 24, 2017 12:48 PM
Hi, I just replied on your other two posts and hope you'll check out this link to our closed Facebook group
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

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Re:How to deal with an insensitive oncologist? - Sunday, April 30, 2017 9:51 AM

It isn't easy dealing with all of this.  Tell the doctor point blank about your feelings and what to expect the ongoing relationship to be.  If he/she is aware maybe the approach will be a little different.

dx 2/1/11 DCIS
Lumpectomy 2/27 results DCIS/LCIS Stage 0 ER+ PR+
Bi-lateral Mastectomy 4/26 with expanders 
6/3 Surgery to remove contaminated expander due to infection.
7/22/11 Surgery to reinsert the expander. 
10/11/2011 Surgery to replace tissue expanders with implants.