Starr13 Posted December 28, 2007 Share Posted December 28, 2007 So, a few weeks ago, my radiation oncologist told me that I am a very difficult, frustrating patient. I told her, well, hmmm, sorry, I've never been a cancer patient before, I suppose I'm not very good at it. Actually, I've never been a "patient" of consequence of any kind before: the last time I needed a doctor for anything was for a sinus infection like 10 years ago, and, 10 days of antibiotics fixed the problem. And since extensive sclc isn't a 10 day, $25 fix, please pardon the confusion while I get adjusted to this... Actually, I'm not a terrible patient - but I absolutely DO ask a lot of questions, verify all information, refuse medications that I do not believe are appropriate, and I also inquire about items of research etc. I am always very respectful and courteous and I bracket everything in "please" and "thank you", but, I am very aggressive and demanding in terms of my health care. I will also ask the same question ten times and ten different ways to make sure the answer comes out the same. And, I happily pay the $22 to download complete articles from the Journal of Clinical Oncology or other periodicals (the abstract never tells the complete story) and bring them to my appointments and ask questions. And I have no problem breaking or bending rules, if common sense and circumstances warrant it. As an aside, the appointment with my radiation oncologist ended with her hugging me, so, we did part on good terms in spite of the trouble I tend to cause for her. And I do have good relationships with my doctors, but, I take a sort of "trust but verify" position that probably drives them a little nuts. So anyway, following the "difficult patient" indictment, I spoke with a psychiatrist who specializes in cancer patients and shared this experience with her, and she cheered. She said patients who are "difficult" have the very best prognosis and tend to live a lot longer. She said PLEASE continue being who I am, it's a VERY good sign. Then, I found some studies on pubmed.gov that measure "free child" vs. "adaptive child" specific to sclc, and, it turns out that studies support the concept that the difficult patient does indeed have a far better prognosis and typically such persons live far longer than the more compliant, agreeable patients. I am curious to know if anyone else has noticed this more "difficult" patient behavior on the part of long term survivors? Are long term survivors more iconoclastic? Or is this isolated speculation on my part? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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