In response to the current blog thread, a reader emailed me with her dilemma. With her permission, I will present her problem. [I have taken the liberty of changing some identifying information.]
The reader has been living with cancer on-and-off for almost a decade. After undergoing a stem cell transplant, her cancer has recently relapsed. She is in the process of choosing between two treatment options.
"I love and respect my doctor, but my last appointment with him was just wrought with frustration...we had a heated discussion about these two options. I would like to go ahead with [treatment X]...and I presented my case of why I felt this would be the best treatment for me."
Her oncologist disagreed and apparently cut off the conversation. Although "usually very calm and patient"...she "lost it with him that day." She felt she wasn't being listened to and raised her voice.
Well-informed and up-to-date on her disease, she resented feeling like he was talking to her as if she knew nothing.
Since that visit, she has felt distressed about her relationship with her oncologist. She apologized but still worries that she has strained the relationship.
She asks, "How could I have handled the situation better? What questions can I ask to get a better understanding and to be heard? I don't want to switch drs because this is really the first time this has happened. Have i messed this up?"
In my next post, I'll share my answer.