Topic: Drs bedside manner

My dad has been seen by many doctors and is currently being treated by an oncologist from Baylor College of Medicine and one at Sacred Heart in Florida.  His oncologist in Florida scheduled an appointment with a GI to assess whether there are problems with his stents.

When mom and dad went to the GI visit for stent evaluation he GI dr looked at my dad's last CT scan (April 08) and looked at my dad's stomach and decided to tell them that my dad was dying and did not have much to live.  He said that the tumor was growing fast, that it was in his lungs, that he probably has till Nov 08 to live and that he should get close to his family and get his personal finances in order.  This GI was very blunt and had no other information.  He hadn't seen all the previous scans to which compare the April scan and he did not perform any tests.

The treating onocologist in Florida was upset over this GI visit as the only reason he was suppoed to see the GI was to get evaluated whether there are problems with the stent. 

Neither of the dad's oncologists have confirmed that the cancer had masticized to lungs nor have they said that the cancer was growing fast.  Dad is currently undergoing treatment wit Gemzar and has 1 or 2 treatments left of the 6 or 7 he's supposed to have.

The GI really upset my parents.  And they are very sad.  The have an appointment to see their oncologist tomorrow morning to discuss further and how to proceed with the stent eval. 

I'm upset that with one data point the GI decided to tell my dad that he was basically a dead man. 

Have any of you experienced this before?

Re: Drs bedside manner

Hi --
I just wanted to say (as I am sure many others are thiknking) that this sort of input from the doc is deplorable. In the brief time since I have been diagnosed, I have much appreciated the frank discussions with providers and the candor. I am sure it's a difficult balance for them, trying to offer hope while not creating unrealistic hope.

But in this case, the doc had no ongoing info on which to reach such a conclusion, and more to the point, has absolutely no business sharing this opinion with your family.

Hope and spirit is what keeps many of us going, whether its CC or other unfathomable challenges. To treat that spirit in such a manner is unconscionable.

Irene

Re: Drs bedside manner

That is just HORRIBLE and unconscionable! That doctor should be spoken to about his bedside manner.  Doctors aren't supposed to lie to you but they're not supposed to make wild suppositions, either. I would see if his superior could be contacted about it, though it may do little good - my mother's oncologist was horrible, too, but since he was the primo expert in GI cancer at NYU, nobody would hear any complaints about him.

My mother's oncologist actually started out our visit by saying, "You have thousands of tumors - uncountable. I give you at most a year." Very casual and detached. Then he said to us, 'You want to see?" and showed us the computer imagery of the MRI or biopsy, whatever it was -- and he seemed all excited to show us each little tumor. It was sickening.

It sounds like your dad's oncologist is someone you can trust, and I'm grateful that you have someone like that. Doctors aren't all bad, but some of them lose sight of the fact that they're dealing with human beings and need to be reminded.

Best of luck to you - I hope the oncologist gives you a clearer and more positive picture.
-Joyce M

Re: Drs bedside manner

I'm sure that many of us have horror stories about how the news was delivered. When we left the Mayo Clinic, We were despondent - they aborted the resection and told my husband that he had weeks to months to live, no treatment possible except chemo, and that chemo would probably not work - would give him only 2 extra months to live. Fortunately, Butch and I have a wonderful support system, consisting of  friends and family, along with a very strong faith that God is in charge.  All of this encouraged us to continue to search for treatment and be hopeful through the depression that set in upon hearing this terrible news. Well - the few chemo treatments that he had did help the numbers, and - he is to be resected next Tuesday at UPMC, so - they were wrong at Mayo. No-one should take away our hope - these Doctors should offer encouragement. At least they should mention that if the chemo DOES work, the tumors may shrink enough to reconsider surgery, etc. After all - new treatments are coming out all the time, and - each person IS different, so - hope is in the air for all of us, I believe.


Joyce

Re: Drs bedside manner

When I was first diagnosed, I was so toxic the doc said I had three weeks to live.  That was nearly a year ago, and I'm doing just fine.  I just got back from an overseas trip to Lourdes, France.

Doctors aren't God - they don't know when a person's going to die, or how a patient is going to react to future treatment.  Hang in there and get a new GI.

Re: Drs bedside manner

We had a bad experience with the oncologist that was in charge of our daughter's case.  She was cold, clinical and not very informative.  It just an example of the fact that students with high grades don't necessarily make good doctors but the only way to get into Med school is to have staight A's.  Why don't they look at a student's personality, ability to get along with others and ability to communicate as criterion for Med school?

Re: Drs bedside manner

I think that some doctors don't think of the patient as a person, they think of them as a "case".

Maybe doctors have to depersonalize people so they won't care so much and be hurt if there is a bad outcome.

Re: Drs bedside manner

I have to tell you, my doctor has been fantastic.  She is warm, funny, up-lifting, always makes time for my ramblings about "statistics" and "what ifs".  She meets me at a different hospital the day of my scan and checks it over before I leave the building (and charges me for an office call). She is honest and straight-forward without being heartless.

There are wonderful doctors out there.  I live in Indiana, and if you are within reach of Indianapolis, know that she IS a specialist in this cancer (she practices at Indiana University Medical Center) and, where other doctors just looked at me and shook their heads, she took up the fight and took out the tumor.  She makes no guarantees, but gives me the best odds available in medicine today.

I have said before...if you do not like your doctor, no matter how good their "grades" were, if you are not comfortable with them, find another one. You may have to travel, but aren't you worth it???

Best wishes to EVERYONE on this site!
Sue

Today is a new day. Congratulations, you are already a survivor!

Re: Drs bedside manner

My husband had an aborted surgery 1 year ago,, and we were told he was terminal. Then we went to Johns Hopkins and had Gemzar for 10 months. Today I brought him home from Johns Hopkins after successful ressection of his liver. We have no guarantee that there will not be a recurrence even though there is no sign of cancer today. His surgeon said that he is "off the radar" in terms of being able to give a prognosis. What do we do? Pray and thank God for every day we have. After all, we are all terminal.  God bless.

Re: Drs bedside manner

wabals.
so thrilled to hear about the successful resection.  Hoping for a speedy recovery and sending all my best wishes.
Marions

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Drs bedside manner

Marion,
Thankyou so much.
                Anne