A Bone to Pick

I have developed several pet peeves since my diagnosis and they certainly can conjure up emotions from irritation to disgust.  Most of mine are, in fact, small ones that would probably not even be noteworthy except that I see them repeated too often.  So, I’ll be sharing my “bones” with you as I identify them.

At the top of my list is a response I sometimes get from health professionals.    I am so fortunate to have wonderful, extremely gifted doctors and nurses and other medical staff.  They have certainly earned my respect and I value their opinion.   I am often very interested in their recommendations.    However, I sometimes get the response “it’s really your personal decision.”  Duh…do I look like I don’t know that??  Btw…what decision that I make isn’t ???  For me, that response really puts a halt on the conversation and feels as if the person I am asking is in retreat mode.  I have recently found that if I begin my request with “I know this is a personal decision, but..”  that I usually get their opinion.  Along this same line of thinking, is that too many times professionals prefer to give the pros and cons as opposed to their real thoughts about the topic.  A situation I had this week made me think about this.  I was calling a hospice house to check on a dear friend of mine.  I asked the nurse how my friend was feeling.  She replied that the family had requested that her medication be reduced and that, as a result, my friend was really “paying for it now.”  I wondered if the doctor had been clear about whether or not he felt this was in her best interest when asked.

In case you think I am sounding very callous and wanting the doctors and nurses to be the authority, please rest assured that I sure don’t!  I’m just thinking maybe they may be in a culture that encourages them to play it a little too safe at times.

Do you have any bones to pick?


  1. Willamina Sugg

    I’m surprised you got this info because of the privacy laws…


  2. Lauren Mullis

    I have found that you can get an authentic response when you ask the doctor…”If I was your mother, what would you do?”…or “If I was your spouse, what would you do?” It makes them think personally, which they may typically avoid doing (not intentionally always, but just a protective coping mechanism of the profession).


  3. Ellen Johnson

    Your blog today is right where I am now . . . my decision . . . but how do I know I am making the right decision? My limited knowledge and my belief system . . . but what about the fear of the unknown? My gynoc is brilliant, and I trust him completely . . . how do you accept that you alone are making the “right” decision when there’s no way to predict the future. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has experienced this . . . thanks for making me feel like a “sister”!


  4. Willamina, so good to hear from you. If a patient/family gives you his or her code word and you give it to the nurse, you can access the information.
    Lauren, what if the doctor is having an affair 🙂


  5. Jodie

    Sorry my kitten nudged me and I clicked something on my iPhone! Anyways I wanted to say I know exactly where you are cOmIng from,I have stage 3 cervical cancer,I have had cancer for all


    • Jodie

      Arg sorry! For almost 4 years,it started as ovarian,that got after a very hard battle,it spread to
      Other places, and lots of surgeries,(16 to be exact!) i was in remission and 3 years later they found it in in my cervix,nOw i
      Have had 26 weeks of intensive chemo and three sessons Of internal radiation,and now I am on and a quarterly planned chemo for the next 7 years 😦 I am gratful my onco team are beIng over cautious though! Anyways,huge hugs babe! You will get through this! Oh btw I am in Australia and have just turned 30 years Old 🙂 I have five beautiful children and an amazing husband!


  6. Ingrid

    So I am a health professional (RN) and work with breast cancer patients. I want and expect health professionals to be honest, trustworthy,ethical, informative as I am with my patients. I have been diagnosed stage IV ovarian cancer, metastasis to right lung. We ALL need to be real, real in what we need, want and expect from others. If you are not happy or feel that you are getting enough information, it is YOUR body, ask for information, demand information so that you can make your own informed decision. As a health professional I would hope that anyone can ask me a question and I will answer if I know if not find out and get back to you. Be Strong


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