Poignant article from the ABC on this serious, yet not discussed about topic.
This is something which affects several people, yet not much information is available about this. Most people will not talk about it, as it is not the main issue. The problem is that this adds up to the rest of the stressors of life. Several relationships break down due to problems during or after cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Worth discussing this in more detail with your cancer specialists.
Cancer, Sex and Intimacy
Several doctors write very poorly with regard to their handwriting. Some doctors who have a good handwriting seem to have missed their illegible handwriting course!!
I received this picture from a friend and am not sure about the origin of the picture (thus cannot acknowledge the author). Says it all.
ps: I create a bit of a stir in clinic with patients and their families, as they watch me write quite legibly with a real fountain ink pen!
A great indepth article in the BBC about Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, who was smashed with work load, responsibility, lack of support and then hung to dry. It worries many of us working in hospitals, because this could happen to any of us. Any time. The result could be the same.
The trainee doctor who took all the blame!!
Learn to protect yourself. Learn to protect your colleagues and friends.
Each week in clinic, patients and their family members will bring me cut-outs from newspapers or magazines or video recorded clips from a TV article – mentioning about the latest and greatest cure for cancer. They bring the article will such hope and expectation. Rightly so.
The problem is that 90% of the times, I have to break their hopes by telling them that most of these reports are experiments are done in a laboratory test-tube or an early phase clinical trial. The chances of most of these drugs reaching a clinic is low or even if they do arrive, it would be at least 4 – 5 years. Most of the patients who need that medication now, will never get to use it.
I understand that journalists have to publish interesting articles, but I really do hope that they would clearly state that this is experimental medication and might take several years to get to the clinic or something like that. Seems like a trivial issue, but it is a pretty big deal for patients and their family members who are struggling for anything new.
The hope lives on.
The spectrum of social issues explodes in some patients and their families.
As you get to know the patient better and the family trust you, more details come out. Who is truly supportive, who is the true carer, who matters in the time of trouble, etc etc. Sad. Very sad most times.
There are others, whom you would love to be a part of your family. They leave everything and are there for their parents or family or friends. Fantastic.
A social worker’s job is quite phenomenal as they must be taking in all this stuff day-in-and-day-out. Wonder how they cope with this. Really. How do they cope with all this?
Family matters. Stick close.
How many doctors or nurses pray with their patients? Not many, but there are some who do so. Most doctors either do not think it to be important, are not convinced or are worried about the system. I need to start praying with my patients and their families. There are so many reports of the peace and the calm which is brought in.
Found a great book called ” Gray Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer… One Patient at a Time” by David Levy and Joel Kilpatrick. Worth a read.
If I do not pray with the patient and their families, at least I should at least pray for them.
People who have been driving their vehicles for several years (most times decades) are really upset when we tell them that they should not be driving their cars.
In Australia the onus is on the clinicians to get affected patients to stop driving their cars. The treating clinician is meant to tell the patient to stop driving and send a letter to the Driving Authority to withhold/revoke the patient’s driver’s license.
The number of clinicians who even know about this is minimal!!
If a patient’s cancer has spread to their brain, the chances of seizures or altered consciousness are quite high. There is no specific time or place when things can get out of control. Also these patients have had radiotherapy, surgery, are on high dose steroids, narcotics, etc… and thus the mental cognition and reaction time is dramatically altered.
The conversation is a difficult one. But a very important one. It could save the patient’s life and others on the road.
Medicine in Australia is top class. It may not be as cutting edge as some hospitals in the US or Western Europe, but for all practical purposes… medicine in Australia is fantastic.
There is a talk about dearth of the latest molecules, but in terms of being pragmatic and the true value for the dollar… there is almost everything available. When I talk about being available, I am talking about being funded by the government (which means free to the patient). Everything, which is not funded by the government, is available on the market (for a price).
The quality of care even in remote towns is great. If a facility is not available or there is a emergency, the Royal Flying Doctors help out.
What is the evidence of low bacterial diet in patients with chemotherapy for solid tumours? I could not really find anything conclusive in the data available.
Can someone help me out here.
Most of the data is anecdotal about a patient getting this illness or that illness, but the majority of the patients get along fine with clean, cooked food. This concept of scaring patients and their families into only eat this or that and avoid this and that…. it a complete overkill.
Now patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant with sustained neutropenia… that is a completely different story. I am talking only about patients with solid tumours undergoing chemotherapy. The period of neutropenia is relatively short and patients bouncy back fairly soon.
Eat well. Stay strong and healthy.
I signed up with Twitter. Am trying to figure this whole social media thing out 🙂
My Twitter account is @Med_Oncology
See you on Twitter!!
Cancer, Medicine and Life: A cancer and medicine blog to help on the journey of life. Medicine and Medical Oncology are rapidly changing fields and is hard for most people to keep up. A diagnosis of any illness, in particular cancer is devastating news for anyone, and the hope is that we can share knowledge and support each other.