On Borrowed Time?
I decided to try something different this evening with my blog post. I am using Dragon Naturally Speaking to post my blog this evening. I have come to the realization that I am much better at speaking than I am at typing: this just might be a better way for me to communicate my thoughts, feelings and emotions as I moved forward with ‘The Purple Jacket.” So far so good!
This past week, The Little One had his appointment with the oncologist. What was amazing about this appointment was that I did not feel the need, nor did I have the time to go to the appointment with him. Now the ‘Mother Hen’ in me worried all morning about the whereabouts of “The Little One” yet I knew deep down inside me that he could handle the oncologist, handle the drive down to the office and be independent. He did not get to be 81 without some form of independence!
Just as is the primary care doctor was encouraged at his progress, so was the oncologist. It just so happens that the oncologist and the primary care doctor share the same office space, convenient for sharing information between staff and doctors. The other benefit of this location in that the chemotherapy treatments is on the site, too! This setup has made easier, not only for “The Little One”, but for all the patients that these physicians see on a regular basis.
The oncologist continued to spread good cheer, good health and well-being for “The Little One.” As I mentioned in my last blog post, the oncologist had projected three or four months to live after the initial diagnosis and subsequent treatments. While he is pleased to be proven wrong, statistically speaking, the cure rate for esophageal cancer is one of the lowest there is. If we are going solely by the book, then three to four months is correct.
It is understandable why a diagnosis like this would be attached to such a short lifespan. That being said, we forged ahead mindful of the pitfalls, yet striving for the best possible results. We never want to rule out hope!
I guess what amazes me the most about this visit to the oncologist is not the fact that we all recognize that “The Little One” has far exceeded anyone’s expectations; it’s why is the doctor felt like he has to end a positive visit with the words: ”You know you’re on borrowed time!”
Granted I was not there for this conversation, and I have no reason to doubt what “The Little One” has told me in regards to this conversation. I am not sure what the purpose of comment like this does for a patient, for the caregiver or for the physician themselves. Throughout this whole ordeal, we have taken a positive approach to dealing with the effects of cancer. We could sulked, we could’ve played the blame game, we could have gone into denial. However, what good would that have done for either one of us? That’s just like saying,”You know we’re on borrowed time.”
I do not claim to be a doctor, I do not claim to be a clinician, but I do think that I understand how a positive outlook and healthy communication can have a soothing and healing effect on the mind, on the body, and of the spirit when dealing with critical health issues. When you think about it, we are all on borrowed time, yet does a cancer patient really need to be reminded of that?
The healing power of body, mind and spirit plays such an important role in overcoming physical (and mental) illness. To use a sports metaphor, the best defense is usually a good offense. The best way to deal with a diagnosis of cancer is to be as realistic and honest as possible. Our best offense was to plunge full force When I look at this comment from the oncologist in this light, I can understand it. Yet to presuppose a diagnosis without the addition of hope, only leads us to despair. Realty is painful enough, more so without the effects of hope!
Through this experience, I am convinced that one of the key tools in transmitting hope and reality is the ability to be an empathetic communicator. Calmly, empathy transmits hope and reality. I don’t think that there is anymore that we can ask for when dealing with the stark reality of cancer or any other disabling illness.
You see…We Might Have Cancer…But Cancer Does Not Have Us!