He Said, She Said; Finding Balance in a World of Words

This blog isn’t political though I have deeply strong thoughts about my government, the direction I’d like to see the country move, and the lack of integrity everywhere. Instead of talking about Kavanuagh or Ford and others in today’s hearing, I want to discuss language. The use of language in medical scenarios, such as melanoma cancer as described my Mayo Clinic.

Cold Calling

Health information is critical to making sense of a frightening diagnosis, mine was a second cancer diagnosis in 2017. The first time the biopsy came back positive for melanoma, my dermatologist left a terrifying message on my phone, the second time the same. I appreciated knowing up front that I have metastatic melanoma, and each time returned his call for more details.

phone-old-year-built-1955-bakelite-163007

It’s what I describe as a cold call, learning that something is seriously wrong but needing to call to find out the details. Somehow, it would be more fitting to do this in person, but keep in mind time is of the essence when fighting cancer. After each of these calls, life went in to hyper-mode to learn what was next. The power of words, right?

Words can be critical to how we feel, our perspective on healing, and where we find our hope and courage. I want to hear what words have brought challenge to your life, what words have brought joy? Something as simple as clean scans are ginormous in a cancer patient’s life.

Them’s Fightin’ Words

Medically speaking, I’ve had some curiously frustrating situations. For example, in talking to my first local oncologist when I felt my cancer was back, she told me not to overreact. My local dermatologist made an illustration of how my excision was done and described the healing process. Unfortunately, I believed what they said, there words the gospel of medical belief.

cancer tablet

Except I pushed for a biopsy, except something felt wrong, except I needed to believe in myself because metastatic melanoma was in another area of my face. No blame as these medical professionals felt they were right, but jeez the time lost while I am feeling the he said she said of medical mistakes. Meanwhile, time had gone by….

My Hearing – No, I’m Not Up for SCOTUS!

Working with Dana Farber has been an incredible experience, the level of knowledge, the cancer research done there, and the integrity of the staff is amazing. Though my local radiation doctor didn’t feel I would have hearing loss, one of my Dana Farber oncologists, said it was very probable. Another he said, she said…I am going with what I know: my hearing is poor, I no longer have ear wax (just what you needed to know, right?),  and my left ear just feels different.

Sorry to complain, it’s not my point here at all. This writing is really a reminder to the collective we. We know our bodies, our minds, our spirits. Believe in yourself and find your inspiration. Balance is critical to our healing from disease; accurate information is essential and professional staff builds confidence.

Doctor, Doctor Give Me the News (Robert Palmer)

In August, I had a CT scan at Dana Farber that found a questionable area, and the minute I went in to see the best skin cancer oncologist ever (okay, I may be prejudiced!), he greeted my and immediately disclosed his concerns. He also let me know it was not melanoma, and that this was not his area of knowledge.

It turned out to be nothing of concern, but how reassuring to have my oncologist explain what they saw, what needed to happen, and admit that he was not the doctor for this concern. That’s integrity of words, using language to tell what is known, and what direction my medical challenges need to go.

There is no fake news and real news, no he said she said in the medical world. Find your best possible information and staff, and move toward your medical reality confident in the integrity of what is known at this point. I only wish that we could use the words integrity and government in the same phrase…that would be language I’d be hearing!

water and words

#hesaidshesaid    #melanomatheskin   #cancer   #melanoma #naturalskinrocks #medical integrity #danafarber  #scotus

We can-cer vive!

Janis

 

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Author: melanomatheskinwerein

Writer, librarian, humanatarian, and survivalist, melanoma has provided me with the gift of knowing that each day, each moment matters. Family is so important as is the ocean, both course through my veins and are in my heart! Well, that and the immunotherapy drug that's kicking my butt! Let's work through this and infuse hope and education into our lives.

2 thoughts on “He Said, She Said; Finding Balance in a World of Words”

  1. Morning! Love these articles Janis!! thankyou! This makes me think back and reflect and at first I only thought of one call but as I reflect I am noticing this happens often. And language is so important especially when traumatized by a diagnosis. Something I’m not sure all drs/nurses recognize or truly think about. I pray they never experience it personally but the emotional piece is huge. I was just feeling great after six weeks post surgery when I got the cold call. Tom and I were just about to have dinner when the phone rang. The call that results had come in and I would need chemo. Dropped me to my knees. I know the drs want to get things rolling but there’s no need to do it over the phone I say. Same wiTh diagnosis. Oh gosh and two months after chemo treatments when they noticed ovarian cysts. My local primary nurse said, “ there’s no need to worry but we did find six ovarian cysts that you will need an ultra sound for.” I can tell you I have changed my nurse since because just saying the word cyst triggered the fears into hyperventilating emotions. I realized quite quickly after that i needed a nurse who has dealt with cancer before. I loved her, she’s a talented nurse, but I am a different breed now, and the littlest thing is not “no big deal”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So well said, Jamie. I agree that so, so many medical professionals are fantastic but and it’s a big BUT no one has any idea what it is like until they have lived it. I say that with no disrespect but emotion and mind games are such a part of cancer, with no way for medical staff to be able to truly know the challenges, with words being a huge trigger. It’s all a big deal!!!!!

      Like

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