Oct 12, 2013 - 12:33 pm
Patient-to-patient volunteer arrangements are commonplace after treatments conclude. Maybe patient-to-patient pairings ought to be offered when helping people make informed decisions regarding their treatments before they begin, pairing people who have had the treatments with those about to embark upon it. Contrary to how I may seem, I have no vested interest in what anyone decides because it's everyone's right to decide his or her course, and what's right for one may not be right for another (but that said, if I make a decision that's not in my best interests, it's still my right to make it. That's what's called life. That's what it means to be an adult who makes decisions as best he can, and sometimes they're good and sometimes they're bad, but they're every person's to make for him or herself).
So I'm neither an advocate for treating this cancer nor am I an advocate for not treating this cancer, but what I advocate is full disclosure of all possibilities to each patient who wants it, before a choice is made. I'd like to see ready access to information from those who've experienced the benefits and the drawbacks in order to provide the newly diagnosed with the realities of what they may...may experience. I'm not pissed that I have the problems that I have, not exactly. I'm pissed because I was never told that I might get them, nor given the opportunity to make a truly informed decision. I think that people deserve that opportunity and it sometimes, but often doesn't, come from the treating physicians.