Fandango PQ#4

“Is it better to know or is it better to not know?”

Of course I’m no philosopher, never took a class on it, but I know my answer. It is always better to know. I’ve written about it here on my blog so it’s no surprise. Especially, I’m referring to medical diagnoses. I’ve had a few medical problems, two of them cancer. My first encounter with an oncologist in 1995, I wanted to know everything and she responded with, well let’s just wait and see how the operation goes. I told her I wanted to know everything then, the best and the worst scenarios, so I could plan.

Twenty years later I had another cancer diagnosis and that doctor was also reluctant. After a few tests determined my outcome, I was scheduled for surgery. They said we’ll see how it goes and then determine treatment. I insisted on a PET scan before surgery so I would know how much of me would be removed and how much was still okay. Luckily the test showed I could have the surgery and be “cured”. Of course once you have cancer you’re never cured, you’re never sure when it will come back somewhere else. It’s just one of those facts you have to put in the background to lead a normal life, if that’s possible.

Doctors come in lots of varieties. My advice I repeat: be your own health advocate. Doctors used to be revered, and some think they deserve to be revered still, and some do, but now you need to be wary. Get a second opinion. Ask questions, do your own research–because you should always want to know. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from checking yourself out or asking for help. You need to know.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #4

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