Makomed's Weblog

You Have Five Years to Live (part 2)

Posted on: August 10, 2007

Looks like even my estimation was an overshoot. One week later, the patient’s disease ended up taking a turn for the worse. I received a message from his son, saying that his father’s cancer progressed quickly after a few days and has begun to take over his spinal cord–so much so that it has rendered his father barely cognitive. The patient can’t even talk now, let alone come to the research visits. So he’s admitting his father to a hospice care to help him live his last remaining days with dignity and compassion.

The son apologized for this, he knew we were working hard to get medication approved through Medi-Care.

I told him that it was no problem at all, and that I know that he has to do what he thinks is right. I silently cringed. If only I had tried harder, worked faster. That little sliver of hope we had for the patient evaporated so quickly.

You may have five years to live. My ass. I’m so stupid.

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2 Responses to "You Have Five Years to Live (part 2)"

Hm, I don’t think you gave them false hope, mate. You explained until you were blue in the face that you weren’t the doctor and that it wasn’t your place to start handing out life expectancies.
I do feel sorry for the patient’s family, however.

Thanks, dude. I really appreciate that. Sometimes I forget to realize how hard it is to watch what one says–regardless of good intentions.

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