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WHAT SHOULD I HAVE DONE?


Calintay

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I WAS AT WORK ON SATURDAY ROOMING A PT, WHO TOLD ME THAT SHE WAS A 18 YEAR BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR AND STILL FEELS LIKE EVERY ACHE SHE GETS MAY BE CANCER. SO I TOLD HER MY MOM IS CURRENTLY NED, FROM LC. THIS LADY SAYS "IT WASN'T THE SMOKING KIND WAS IT?" I LOOKED AT HER AND FOR THE SAKE OF MY JOB I SAID "NO!" SHE SAYS GOOD THE PROGNOSIS ON THAT IS NOT GOOD. NOW WHAT SHOULD I HAVE SAID? SHE WAS NOT BEING RUDE BUT MAYBE IGNORANT. I WAS AT WORK AND FELT I SHOULD NOT DISCLOSE ANY MORE INFO NOR TELL HER WHAT SHE SAID REPULSED ME AND WAS DOWN RIGHT INCONSIDERATE. WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE????

HEIDI

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I would have told her that people who smoke and people who don't smoke can get the same "kind" of lung cancer, that believe it or not everyone is at risk for developing lung cancer, and that my mom was doing very well, thank you very much.

What a rude woman.

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B/c you were at work I would have laughed and said "unfortunately lung cancer does not discriminate, I know plenty of poeple with it who never smoked."

She probably did not mean harm, people just don't think.

It is sort of like when we hear that somone had a heart attack, a question comes to mind "was he/she fat?". It happens to both fat and skinny people, but people just ask

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Heidi,

I wouldn't have offered any personal slam regarding her disease (18 w/breast cancer??), nor would I have let the "not the smoking kind" scoot by, either. I would have asked her what it mattered - she was educated enough to know that not all lung cancer is caused by smoking, after all. Your mother did not ask for lung cancer any more than this patient asked for breast cancer, THAT is the reality. At 18, I'm sure she's still pretty me-centered in her world. She'll learn as she ages, but right now, the world is all about her.

Try not to take it personally, it really seems that it was personal, but I don't think it was.

Take care,

Becky

P.S. Kudos to you for reaching out to someone who was probably scared, no matter how she reacted afterwards.

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It doesn't sound like she was slamming your mom for getting LC, she just was ineptly expressing her hopes that your mom's cancer was of the type that had a better prognosis.

I always have a stammering response at the time of the question, then think of a great response later. Not gifted with wit, sad to say. But I guess I would have thanked her for the kind words and just left it at that.

You did fine. :)

~Karen

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I kind of agree that most people don't mean harm. I think most people hear the stats, and simply go from there. We all have to remember that we are in the age of media, who love to make that hype. This was very rude of her, and I am so sorry that you had to be at the end of that one!

I like the idea of just using it as an educational opportunity. "You know, lung cancer is a horrible disease," without answering the question at all.

Jen

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Considering the circumstances Heidi, you did the right thing.

This poor lady was speaking out of ignorance. Remember, she was once someones little baby girl. She is probably a Mom herself. Let this comment pass for the sake of those who love her. If she were my Mom, I'd want her to be treated with kindness and understanding.

Best wishes on your Mom's NED! Now that's reason to rejoice. :D

Barb

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Prior to my lung cancer, I thought I was immune to it since I was an EX-smoker for many years (17).

When I heard of a lung cancer dx, I too, would ask, because I wanted to know that I was safe.

Then the dx came, and along with that, came my new knowledge. I am at a good place, not fighting the disease, so I do answer that question with a crash lesson in lung cancer. And yes, Dana Reeve's name does come up.

I just did this last week at the eye doctor. Remember, breast cancer was a big secret years ago. No one discussed it.

gail

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LOL - I read this wrong! I thought the patient was an 18 y/o with breast cancer! I think it was about the fourth time through that I figured out she's an eighteen year breast cancer survivor! OOOOPPPPSSS! Blonde moment! :roll:

ANYHOW, I still stick with the basis of my answer - I don't think she was being cruel, just uneducated and commonly inconsiderate. You know, like people who state "you'll have other babies" to someone who just miscarried - inappropriate and assuming, but not intentionally cruel.

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