My sister met with her oncologist yesterday and it was a rather difficult appointment. He told her that:
- It was not her that he was treating anymore, but her need to be treated.
- If she wanted, she could stop treatment altogether so as to enjoy a few weeks without side effects.
I'm sad because she was alone to meet with him as I'm still in SF, California (we're leaving this Saturday).
I know her oncologist is right in saying that more treating won't do much for controlling the cancer. However, she needs to know that 'something is being done', otherwise she starts having anxiety crises. She is not ready to give up and I'm afraid she never will (she just turned 46, in SF).
Dr. West and other Faculty members, I was wondering how you would handle such a situation? Would you be as blunt as her doctor was? Your job is a really tough one, having to balance medical and psychological considerations. You have all my respect.