I am often asked ‘which (doctor) would YOU go to?’ Whether it is for reconstruction, chemotherapy or radiation, I have to say I don’t believe in the ‘best’ doctor, but rather the best doctor for you.
Your journey is a very personal one! As individual as you are, so is your cancer, and so should your treatment be. To this end, you may relate better to certain doctors’ personalities and their way of explaining or organising your treatment.
Do your homework! Go for second and third opinions. The doctor you ‘click’ with will be the right one for you. Beware though, of looking for the ONLY answer that suits you; if you look hard enough you will always find someone who will give you the treatment you WANT, as opposed to the treatment you NEED! Know that sometimes we may not like to hear what is best for us. (sometimes honesty hurts)
For example, when my son was diagnosed with a heart condition as a five year old child (I don’t think there is a cardiologist in Johannesburg I haven’t met!!) I went for many opinions and although the one we stayed with (quite a cranky old chap) did not have the greatest bed side manner, he made me feel safe with regard to my son’s condition and treatment. He also listened to what I had to say!
Another ‘dangerous’ place for getting the wrong idea about doctors is in treatment rooms and waiting areas. Try not to be influenced by ‘gossip’ and other patients’ ‘horror’ stories, it may well be a personality clash between patient and doctor. As mentioned earlier, there isn’t a ‘recipe’ that is followed for all patients with breast cancer, it’s individualised care.
Steer clear of negativity as best you can and remember, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” George Addair
Written by Julie Belloni