I never would have anticipated having such grief and emotions over your departure from my treatment team.
I’ve cried multiple times and then when I thought I had come to terms with the change, I felt all the emotions again when I had my first consult with my new oncologist.
Funny that just like any relationship breakdown, there are triggers and reminders. The trigger for me the other day was being in the consultation room where so much has happened, with a new doctor – starting a new chapter in my desmoid tumour adventure.
I realise that incredibly good and incredibly bad news was delivered there… and ultimately… trust, report and a caring doctor/patient relationship was formed in consult room 2.
I’m not an easy person to win over. I like to challenge things and find ways to maintain that little bit of control in my life. You picked that up from the first few appointments and worked that into how you talked to me, and it didn’t go unnoticed.
In the early days, every time i saw you I was incredibly nervous about what news would be shared, what my scan results would be. Every time, you delivered news to me in a calm way that made me feel I could keep going and have complete trust in the process. Here I am, three years later and still showing up every 2-3 weeks for treatment.
Trust takes time to build, but with my rare and aggressive tumour…time wasn’t on our side, yet you managed to get me onboard with starting chemo. When chemo wasn’t slowing down the tumour at a satisfactory rate, you took ownership of my care during a multidisciplinary team meeting where the general consensus was to operate. That was the moment I really knew you were on my side and were willing to go all out to find the best treatment for me – always with quality of life in mind.
A rare disease and tumour like a desmoid isn’t easy to come up with a treatment plan for. It really touched me that you found opportunities whilst overseas for conferences to reach out to drug companies trialling treatments for desmoid tumours to find out more.
You may no longer be my oncologist, but I will always remember everything you did for me through the hardest and scariest time in my life.