A doctor with a glowing heart

Community Shares: What You Would Say to Your Oncologist

There is a lot that often goes unsaid between a patient and their oncologist. Some of you are grateful for specific things your oncologist does, and others of you have suggestions on how your doctor could improve their treatment.

To hear more, we reached out on Advancedbreastcancer.net and asked you: “Tell us what you would say if you could write a letter to your oncologist.”

More than 20 of you commented, and here’s what you had to say.

“Thank you for your constant care.”

Many of you shared that you were impressed with how much you knew that your doctor cared and was not simply going through the motions of treating you like a diagnosis. Knowing that your doctor is invested in you and your health on a personal level can provide so much hope and support in a way that is indescribable. For anyone reading this who has not yet committed to an oncologist, it might be worth the extra time to find someone who you feel is cheering for you and is dedicated to you reaching the best-possible-case scenario for you—after all, there are plenty such doctors practicing.

“Thank you for your constant care.”

“She cares.”

“Tell me the truth.”

Others of you are finding that your doctors are trying to protect you from all the information that is available about your diagnosis. It can be frustrating for sure to have to ask your doctor to be upfront with you. It may help to remind your doctor that you personally want as much information, good or bad, as possible. After all, you cannot make decisions about what to do next if you do not know all the details of your own medical file.

“Tell me the truth and try to be at my place.”

“Please be honest.”

“Thank you for your kindness.”

When you are dealing with cancer, there really is no such thing as too much kindness. Thankfully, it sounds like many of you are being treated by doctors who believe that statement. You have sensed how much your doctor is concerned about you. That compassion goes a long way. After all, we feel so much more kindness and understanding when we connect person-to-person as opposed to a doctor communicating in a detached way. Kindness matters!

“Thank you for caring so much that when you gave us the bad news about my going metastatic, I could see tears in your eyes.”

“You are a godsend to your patients! Thank you for your knowledge, kindness and genuine concern!”

“Thank you for listening.”

Many of you shared that you are grateful that your doctor takes the time to listen. To hear your fears, concerns, and worries—over the big things and the little things. It is a good doctor who listens, understanding that this practice can help reduce a patient’s stress and obviously feel heard, but your doctor might also gain a key piece of information in treating you if they hear everything you want to share.

“She treats all of me, not just the cancer.”

“Thank you for listening when I come to see you. You are a beacon in my life and I am blessed to have you in my corner.”

“I know that you work way too many hours.”

Likewise, a few of you shared that you recognize that being an oncologist is a big job that demands a lot of time. You feel compassion back—and want your doctor to know that you see and appreciate all the stress that they endure.

“I know that you work way too many hours. I know that you are very passionate about your job and I appreciate the 7 pm phone calls after a bad scan to go over options. I am also concerned for your wellbeing. Please take time for yourself and your health. My family and friends are truly grateful for you.”

We want to say thank you to everyone who shared. We appreciate every member of this community. After all, there is no community without you.

If you haven't shared what you would say to your oncologist please comment below, we would love to hear from you!

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