Last updated: October 2021
I understand first-hand how awkward and stressful it can be to ask your doctor for your records to be sent to another doctor. When I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in September 2019, I was in the hands of one of the top teams in the world, however, something just didn’t feel right to me. Each time I met with my breast surgeon I felt very anxious.
How to release the guilt around getting a second opinion
Of course, everyone feels anxious when they are told they have breast cancer, but this was different. I simply didn’t connect with her. My people-pleasing and guilt kicked in and I felt almost obligated to stay because I didn’t want to upset my Primary Care Doctor who had pulled strings to get me in with this surgeon. I struggled with this for weeks, even convincing myself that this was all in my head. I kept telling myself how grateful I should be feeling that I was even able to be in the presence of this incredible surgeon. Yet each time I left an appointment with her or her team I felt unsettled.
Follow your gut
I have always followed my gut in business and it has served me well, so why now when it came to my body and health could I not do the same? I think a lot of people going through a diagnosis feel the same. It’s so overwhelming and you are just trying to get through each hour of the day the best you can. You trust the experts and put your life in their hands. Well, I am here to remind you that it is YOUR life and YOUR body. This is where I think a second opinion is key. I was so worried about how everyone else was feeling, that I overlooked how I was feeling.
Breaking up with your doctor
It’s time to empower yourself and take control of your medical path. Please remember that doctors work for you, not the other way around. If you have any hesitation or concern, please go get a second opinion. Even if you love your team, it’s good to have a second opinion to confirm you are with the right team. I ended up following my gut and reached out to multiple people who worked at a different hospital, who had offered to help me if I needed it. I asked them to recommend a breast surgeon. They ended up recommending the same person, who I immediately connected with.
Get the second opinion
All of my fears and anxiety around the surgery went away once I knew I was with the right team. I felt so good after meeting my new surgeon and called my former surgeon’s office without any hesitation to have my records transferred. I realized that I need to do what is best for me and not what other people want me to do. This was one of the most important and impactful decisions I have made in my healing journey. I encourage you to do the same.
Are you happy with the relationship you have with your doctor?
Advanced breast cancer is an isolating and lonely disease.