Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Semantics of Cancer

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I am here for you. What does that mean?

We learn languaguages visually. Think young child. We point to a dog or picture of a dog and say: d-o-g.

Think learning a second language. We visualize a c-u-p in our head. We translate that mental picture into, say, taza.
The meaning to words , by in large, attach through visual reference.

So, I am here for you, while you are walking out the door; hanging up from a phone call; sent via text message or email; or while channel surfing...what meaning can we attach to these visual references? My unspoken question is: where are you, really?



But you look good! An interesting comment, said either in surprise or consolation by friends and family that have not seen me in awhile, and when they are grasping for something appropriate to say.

I know this must be hard for you, but you look good! My usual response is to laugh with the follow up...and that's all that really matters. They laugh, I laugh...and they walk away feeling like its okay.



I would feel better if you....[A. consider surgery; B. consider radiation; C. rethink your opposition to chemo; D. would give serious thought to DCA; E. slow down; F. all of the above; G. none of the above; H. other]

While I appreciate the thoughts and underlying concerns...my treatment decisions are not about making you feel better. I am the one dealing with stage IV metastatic cancer


The standard of care for your form and stage of cancer is...

Who's standard? How did the standard maker arrive at this standard? Did the standard maker actually review my individual medical history?

Why do M.D.s clutch to the phrase standard of care? Wait, is it because it makes them feel better?



We have had some success with the following treatment plan...  Your cancer is 20% treatable. No, they cannot say 'cure', because they cannot offer one. But they can offer me a prescribed treatment plan...it is, after all, the current standard of care!





1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. I agree and relate! Thanks for stating what often goes unsaid.
    -Renn

    ReplyDelete