I am a "compliant" patient. I see my medical professionals regularly and have done so for pretty much all of my life. Many years ago, my GP noticed an unusual trend in my blood work. He was uncertain why the abnormalities were present and decided to refer me to a hematologist for review. I obliged.
A few days later (with more blood work and a startling bone marrow biopsy), I was summarily informed that I had cancer. Specifically, I had a form of leukemia. The doctor was very matter-of-fact. He tried to describe what was going on and even made a few sketches on paper to illustrate the situation. Without much empathy, he declared I should start a comprehensive chemo and target therapy immediately. And that I should expect a lifespan of around six years. He wanted to schedule my first treatment ASAP.
I told him we needed to go home and talk through this (my wife was with me). That talking through led me to a second opinion. That second opinion inspired a lot of confidence, as opposed to fear.
I fired my first doctor and never looked back. That was about 13 years ago. And I feel better now than I ever have in my adult life. If you are not 100% on track with what you are being told, get a second (or 3rd, 4th, or 5th!) opinion!
A forum community dedicated to helping patients and caregivers take an active role in their own health care to achieve better outcomes. Learn from other patients and caregivers, get opinions, find tips and tricks, discuss side effects, and more!