When a patient chooses a different path

“When a patient chooses a different path.” By Lori Marx-Rubiner, Reimagine Magazine.

I wish my support group had been able to honor Betty’s choice to not seek treatment.

One day, about 15 minutes before a support group session I was facilitating was scheduled to begin, Betty arrived. She was new to our group, and she was shy, the kind of woman you wouldn’t notice if you passed her on the sidewalk. She was of medium height with a long, thin face to match her thin body, and a short, blond haircut. On her face was something short of a smile. I guessed she was in her early 60s.

“I’ve never been to a support group before,” Betty began. “I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was in her late 50s, and then my sister passed away six years later. I remember my mother’s surgery was terrible, and she was so sick from the chemo.” As she spoke her voice grew softer, sorrow edging out the anger. I could almost see the images floating through her mind as she invoked the memory of her loved ones. “So two years ago I found a lump,” she went on without emotion. “I assume it’s breast cancer, but,” she stammered, “I’m going to leave it alone.” As if a silent bomb had detonated right there in the room, compassion gave way to shock, and even hostility.

More »

Be Sociable, Share!

Articles & Posts