Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Although Leroy Sievers has left us, his NPR blog lives on. If you haven’t already seen today’s (08/27/08) blog entry, it is really worth the trip. It was written by his oncologist, Dr. Joe Herman. Dr. Herman provided wisdom that all patients (cancer and otherwise) should take to heart… ask questions and understand your options and consequences.

Reading Leroy’s blog today prompted me to write the following paragraph. The standard of treatment is constantly changing. What wasn’t a standard last year may be a standard today. In an ideal world, the most successful treatments would be adopted by all medical professionals immediately. But we don’t live in an ideal world and the time to adoption is not instantaneous. Take the time to research your condition and then come prepared when you meet with your doctor to ask the tough questions, push the envelope, and understand your options. Good doctors will listen to you, provide honest feedback on your queries, and most important, respect your wishes. In Cancer World there are not always clear cut results and directions. It’s no different than many other decisions one has to make; moving forward with imperfect or the lack of full information. Much of what happens in Cancer World is outside of one’s control, but that leaves a portion which is within one’s control. As a patient, it’s your life and you have the obligation to yourself to take the initiative and exercise that which you can control.

My hat is off to Dr. Herman for writing so powerfully today about the role a patient can take in his or her own treatment.

Take care everyone.


Anonymous said...

If you haven't seen it, you might be interested in the book, How Doctors Think. Written by a doctor, who interviews other doctors, it's an insightful, and alarming (to medical "consumers")look at the whole issue of what goes on in the minds of physicians. All of the complaints that we may have about how hard it is to talk to our own doctors are shown to have an explanation. And in gaining an understanding of this, it becomes clear what we have to do to maximize our interactions with those people who literally have our lives in their hands.--Marion (Mycancer blog reader)

Meg Rodgers said...

Thank you for posting on our blog today. So happy that your treatments are working for you! We wish you good health, physical & mental!
Meg Rodgers (soon to be Waeger)