• When you were diagnosed did your doctor use terms like Incurable, hard to cure,advanced disease, stage 4, incurable, palliative

    Asked by RockTom on Monday, December 4, 2017

    When you were diagnosed did your doctor use terms like Incurable, hard to cure,advanced disease, stage 4, incurable, palliative

    and metastatic? Or did they act like, regardless of what the stage was, or your condition that they were going to handle it, take care of it. In other words, have a positive spin on it, or was it a doom and gloom negative spin?

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My first oncologist wasn't very encouraging at all. He thought I would only live 4 months. At the time, it seemed like he was being realistic. Five years later, I guess i could say he was being a pessimist! (Yesterday was my 5 year anniversary from my first chemo treatment.)

      14 days ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      They said stage 4. They also said aggressive in fact I had one radiation oncologist say no offensive but that’s the scariest thing I have ever seen. But even though they used those terms they also gave me hope. Told me I would have a fight on my hands but they would help me and had hope that I could beat it. My medical oncologist is very honest and will be honest when things look bad but he is always telling me he is a glass half full kinda guy. So at times when I got discouraged he was the positive one and he was right. We beat the odds and scans are great.

      14 days ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      If a doctor is talking terminal, find a doctor who knows something Dr. Doom & Gloom does not.

      A big teaching hospital is usuall appropriate. Somewhere like MD Anderson or the Mayo.

      Best wishes

      14 days ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I nick named my oncologist Dr. Doom. The first time I was diagnosed I was told 4-9, months and that the tumor was inoperable because of the size and because it had metastasized to the stomach. He also said that the survival rate for esophageal cancer at the time was My brother was with me at that appointment and he suggested that we send all the records and imagining to my nephew. My nephew called the day after he received the records and said one of his patients was eager the do the surgery. She and her partner were working on a new surgical technic and I was a good candidate for this surgery. I would have to have chemo and radiation to shrink the tumor as much as possible. So enters Dr. Doom. He was the handle the chemo. He was so negative that my daughter passed out. Treatment was very hard on me and early on I needed a feeding tube. Dr, sent many emails to my surgeon saying that the surgery would kill me; she showed them to me and we had a laugh. All that was 7 years ago. Then I got a second cancer and there were esophageal tumors in the same area.
      First thing out of Dr Doom's mouth were there is a 99% chance the one or the other cancer will be back in 18 months and "we can make you comfortable" That was on April 1 2013 I said want to make a bet that I walk into this office cancer free 5 years from now cancer free.
      Quite possibly these Doomy gloomy Dr. have made me fight harder just to spite them.

      14 days ago
    • lh25's Avatar
      lh25

      Mine was pretty positive. I was stage 3, and she used the words "remission" "possible cure" and "this is a bump in the road" in talking about my treatment and afterwords.

      14 days ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Come to think about it my Dr. even tossed about the term terminal. Of course when you hear your Dr.s tossing around these words that's a signal you should be tossing around terms like SECOND OPINION

      14 days ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar
      Jalemans

      My surgeon was was not so much doom & gloom with me, but the call made to my husband was. He wasn't with me cuz I was just trying to get something for the pain so I could get through until my upcoming appointments. & ended up with emergency surgery. Sugeon just wrote "leiomyosarcoma" on the board & told me this is what we talked about as that rare possibility. Apparently, they told my husband that things looked bad. It has been 3 years though & I am still here!

      14 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      In the beginning of my last diagnosis I was stage IIIb with a poor prognosis, my oncologist said, "this is nothing, we got this. We do this every day". That made me feel better.

      14 days ago
    • Julesmom's Avatar
      Julesmom

      Mine said with confidence that they could control this, but warned me that nobody knows for sure how this will work out. I am happy with that.

      14 days ago
    • PattyMarie's Avatar
      PattyMarie

      Well, I had both. The first doctor, a surgeon that took out my first tumor for biopsy told me to get my affairs in order, quit my job and basically prepare to die. Idiot. Then the oncologist that I was referred to looked at my chart and just nodded and said, "yes, this looks about normal, we will get this in check for you". I'd like to go back and kick that first one.

      14 days ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      I had a rude but surgically competent one!
      She did her job in the operating room, but was very vague about informing me about one of my cancers as it was a rare type & usually fatal. She then pawned me off on several new intern-type doctors who were even more closed mouth, then she went off on vacation.... I never saw her again, no post op consultation or anything. Strange, but typical of the care one gets at the U. of MI!

      13 days ago
    • Erik1059's Avatar
      Erik1059

      Yes, stage IV B, advanced condition. I have had my oncologist after years of treatment refer me to someone else because "I was beyond her expertise", then after more treatment, the new chief oncologist stated "We have not given up on you just yet". That was 25 years ago!

      13 days ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I have had Dr.s who have been very upbeat but way too graphic. My first surgeon in my pre-op appointement actually pointed to the spots on my body where she intended to cut. For my second cancer the surgeon brought me a graphic picture of what was done, It was drawn by her PA whose hobby is art. I think this was ment to reassure me but it totally freaked me out.

      13 days ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I was diagnosed w/stage IV endometrial cancer. I had a hard time at first getting a prognosis. I cornered my medical oncologist and asked if I had, like 6 months, or what. He laughed and said he thought I had a bit longer than that. And my surgeon was confident he got ALL the cancer. So here I am 5 years later...

      13 days ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      YES. I unthinkingly wrote BoiseB's fantabulous quote of "Doctor Doom" without giving her credit.

      Bad, geekling!. Apologies, BoiseB!

      I did add "and Gloom" but I should have credited you, @BoiseB, with coming up with the 'handle'
      "Dr. Doom".Lol, it has a good ring to it and I could dance away from it, if you remember American Bandstand with Dick Clark, don'cha know?

      Anyways, did I say second opinion? BoiseB was lucky to have her nephew advocate. Who advocates for you?

      If travel $$ is a problem, Angel Flights and Mercy Flights for puddle hopping & Southwest Mercy flights for cross country... If not hire a helper of impress a relative into assisting. Remind them of all the favors you did for them, lol, or bribe them with gold.

      Please, if one doctor says he or she can't help you, believe that person and, instead, find a doctor who can help. Keep looking. I stayed alive for 13+ years looking for a diagnosis!

      I even turned down the first treatment offered when I was finally diagnosed. I didn't like the odds. I had already stayed alive for at least 13 years without ant medical aide so I wasnt gonna be rushed with an offer of 60%/40% in my favor .I waited, lol, until they offered me different drugs with 95% odds at being effective. But the radiologist lied about the side effects and an oncology tech botched up the treatment.

      But your case is different. You need to finds odds at all for a chance to survive. Its Christmastime! Seek and, with luck and good wishes, you may find.

      Best wishes

      13 days ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      I was Non- Hodgkins small cell B stage 2, curable. In fact, my surgeon told me " you got this"

      12 days ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I stuck with Dr. Doom because second time around when I started throwing around terms like second opinion I also threw around terms like "clinical trials" and "grants " . Dr. Doom started getting interested in finding out what was going on. I became the favorite lab rat. And that term "grant" Yep Dr. Doom got a big grant that allowed him to do full-time research.

      12 days ago

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