Just a number

Occasional Contributor

Just a number

Does anyone else feel like sometimes we are just a number / yet another person coming in for a check up before chemo? Sometimes it feels like the docs make the decisions about my life / treatment and assume that I am ok with it. As in - when I was 1st diagnosed, they  said stage 4 terminal but manageable with chemo & radiation. 1st scan shows tumours have shrunk with chemo however I was not shown the scans. New Onc then tells me no radiation is planned as cancer is terminal with 50% chance of  living1 year  & only 50% chance of 2 years. Are we just expected to go with the flow and make sure our will, power of attorney & Advanced Care package is up to date??

Super Contributor

Re: Just a number

Hi Cat,

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis and what you are going through right now.

It must be very difficult.

As medical professionals, they deal with this day in and day out, and I guess they have to try and protect themselves emotionally, so they can make the decisions that they have to make. I don't think that it is indifference.

Have you tried asking your current oncologist why the first one had a different opinion? If so, what was their reponse?


Super Contributor

Re: Just a number

Hi there Cat,


I understand exactly what you mean.  You do tend to feel that way with some oncologists.  When I was going to Peter Mac, they even have a machine where you scan your letter with your appointment date & time, it spits out a ticket for you which tells you where to go.  Then you sit & wait till your number lights up & you can go to the doctors  room.  No personal contact at all.  Then to have an onc that just doesn't care is like adding insult to injury.   I hated that place, it just felt like an abattoir.  

Alot of people don't know that your GP can refer you to a radiation onc as well.  My GP in Canberra did just that for me, as my onc was playing the "wait & see" game, & I wasn't happy with that.   He'd played that game with me once before & I ended up with a fast growing bone met in my jaw which left me with a nice big hole in it.   So don't be afraid to use your GP.  If the radio onc doesn't think you need any treatment from them,  then at least you have it straight from the horse's mouth.  



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