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I should have known that a big decision about changing my chemotherapy regimen, rejecting my oncologist’s recommendation, wasn’t going to be so easy. I wrote about it here, describing a discussion I will be having with him on Monday. But now I realize that there is more involved than just looking at the statistics and research. It means, from a big picture standpoint, that I will be bucking the “science,” telling the experts that when it comes to making decisions about my life, all the numbers in the world can’t determine what is best for me.
Only I can do that. And I am very anxious about telling him my decision to defy his recommendation. I’m even nervous about discussing my situation with my internist on Friday prior to that meeting. Am I just wanting the treatment to be finished? (Yes.) Am I tired of being tired? (Yes.) Do I want life to return to normal? (Yes.) And in spite of all those desires, I believe I know what the best course is for me.
I guess I’ve been just as outspoken as anyone else about condemning the Covid-19 experts who repeatedly have said “it’s the science,” when in fact they are clueless about the actual science (the little there is). But when it comes to consulting with my own doctors, face-to-face, and knowing that I am going to disagree with them (or at least one of them), I’m intimidated. Rationally, I know that I have the final say about my treatment; doctors rely not only on the data, their years of experience, but also on their own intuition and their desire to heal. I also realize that I can look at the same data and come to different conclusions, based on what I know about myself, information, subtle and obvious, that my doctors don’t have access to.
But I am still anxious about “just saying no.”
I do realize that physically I am not my usual self. I do feel more fragile, less resilient, and I’m quite frankly not in the mood to be defiant. My husband will back me up, but ultimately, it’s on me. I’ve even developed a nervous cough that I haven’t experienced for over 20 years. I can tell myself that this question of how I will proceed will be resolved by next week, and the cough will likely disappear, but that is little comfort.
I can’t tell if I’m more upset about meeting with the doctor, or upset with myself that I’ve let my anxiety get the better of me.
Either way, I’m struggling.Published in