Perspectives on treatment pathways – Melissa (2)


‘I am their patient but it’s my treatment’ – this approach helped Melissa to communicate her treatment preferences to the professionals.


So like I said, my mom, because of the success that my mom had had, she was almost 10 years cancer free before she was diagnosed with a recurrence. I felt like, that maybe, it was a bit excessive to do that. And so, in my discussions with my physician and kind of… my thought process… I kind of looked at some literature and speaking with some other healthcare professionals, I decided that I would rather while, I was younger and stronger, try to tackle any remaining cells in an aggressive way so that I didn’t have to deal with it when I was older. That was kind of my approach because my surgeon had told me, she said “well 15 years ago or so if you had your diagnosis you wouldn’t be recommended to do chemotherapy but the research was showing that there was higher incidences of recurrence in similar cases between women who did chemotherapy and women who didn’t.”

Well, both of my aunts went into remission, then they both had recurrences and they had had chemotherapy. I was a bit torn because here it is, these women did kind of what they were supposed to do and it wasn’t necessarily the best option for them at the time. But what I just kept reminding myself was that every single person in every case, despite many similarities, there are always still many different factors that come into play. I just had to decide what was going to be best for me. I kind of had a short-term pain for long-term gain approach. I think was probably one of the thoughts that went through my mind. If I do this now it’s preventative and as we move forward I don’t want to say that I’m never going to get a recurrence but it will lower my chances of recurrence. So I think that that’s probably that went into it for sure.

From that appointment I took away that information and did a bit more research and chatted with a few more people and I was able to come to the conclusion on my own. But I’d have to say I wasn’t afraid to, I wasn’t afraid to tell somebody, to tell a physician that that wasn’t my decision. So I think that it was really important that I just kept up the fact that it was my treatment like and I just stayed with that approach. Like yes, I’m their patient but it’s my treatment and it’s my body and so I just kind of kept that in my back pocket and they had, like they had, I went to the appointment and they already had me scheduled for my first chemo treatment. They had me scheduled for all of these different things and I was just kind of like “I need some breathing.” I need to breathe for a minute. In the course of that period of time I was able to do the research that came to, that helped me come to my conclusion.

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