Pro Choice & Pro Life

Cancer coach and blogger Elyn Jacobs comments, “Yesterday I spoke with a woman with stage 1, wanted to treat her cancer naturally, opted out of surgery.” She goes on to talk about the challenge of finding a doctor who could HEAR and respond to the needs of the patient, rather than play their own scripts about treatment expectations.

Elyn’s comment reminded me of a the day when I had a new support group member. This lovely, older woman was the only “newbie” that afternoon, amongst a group of in-treatment and post-treatment women. When it was her turn to share, the woman told us that she had a lump. It had been there for about four years. Moreover, she had lost a mother and sister to breast cancer.

To say the other women in the group went on the attack would be an understatement. They were beside themselves, with responses that ranged from “How could you?” to “I’ll go with you….” It was all I could to fend them off. As facilitator, it was my job to honor this woman’s choice, even if her choice was not life.

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The Arts of Doctoring and Patient-ing

“You’ll need to stop crying and start doing something. This is serious.”

THAT was my introduction to cancer. It was about 48 hours after my diagnosis and I was in the doctor’s office to schedule surgery. In the post-diagnostic haze I actually thought to have a lumpectomy with this man. The haze lifted the next morning, and when I realized that I could cry and act I cancelled my appointment and found another doctor. More

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