Take the time to find a surgeon that resonates with you and your cancer healing journey. Interview surgeons to make sure s/he is a good fit for you.
I wanted to find a surgeon who was calm, easy-going, yet, very skilled at what s/he does.
When trying to find the right surgeon, I interviewed three surgeons. Two of the three were not a good fit for me.
The first surgeon would not listen to me or my needs. She told me how she was going to treat me without taking my needs into consideration. I felt bullied. She was not a good fit.
The other surgeon seemed rushed, harried, and too busy. He sat with me for a few minutes and then left abruptly for another patient. He was not a good fit because if he was too busy for me during my visit…he may do a rushed job in surgery.
The third surgeon was down-to-earth, laid-back, shook my hand, expressed compassion, and took the time to really listen to me and answer my questions.
My friend and I looked at each other and nodded “yes.” We instantly knew he was the one!
“When meeting with your surgeon take the time before your appointment to write down key questions and requests. It is easy to forget ‘really important’ items during your appointment.”
It is important to bring a family member or friend with you to these appointments. You are under a great deal of stress. The other person can take notes, ask questions that you may not think to ask, and give feedback after the appointment.
In this case, my friend was with me during the surgeons’ appointments (as my husband was working and taking care of our children). We both knew the third surgeon was the one! It was great to have my friend confirm this with me.
When meeting with your surgeon take the time before your appointment to write down key questions and requests. It is easy to forget ‘really important’ items during your appointment. Having your notepad with prepared questions will come in handy.
My notepad had these three topics written in it…
Three key items during surgery:
- Titanium marker removed. A titanium marker was inserted in my tumor during my biopsy. Titanium is a toxic metal. Many women have reacted with inflammation and pain from this implant. My marker was creating pain and I wanted it out ASAP! Tell your surgeon you will want the marker removed with your tumor. Don’t assume this will be done. You have a choice to have the marker inserted or not. My first procedure I chose not to have the marker. They were able to find my tumor just fine. My second diagnosis, the radiologist had trouble finding the tumor due to scar tissue. I agreed to the marker to make it easier for the surgeon to locate the tumor.
- Relaxing music played during the procedure. Your body will respond to the music. Also, it will set a calming environment for the surgical team and the surgery room. My surgeon gave me options for music: bring my own, use their Sirius XM. I came with George Winston and then ended up having their Sirius XM station, SPA, played.
- My tumor shipped to Perseus (Personalized Cancer Immunotherapeutics). I am having my tumor made into a personal vaccine with Perseus. It was critical for me to find a surgeon that would be willing to remove the tumor by following the instructions provided by Perseus. My surgeon had not had this request before. He went the “extra mile” and called Perseus to make sure all was set up for the day of surgery.
The Right Surgeon
Identify a surgeon that resonates with your healing journey. The surgeon that is right for me may not be the surgeon for you. It is important that you find a surgeon you are comfortable with so you do not need to worry about the surgery; the right surgeon will take care of that part. Then, you are truly able to focus on your healing.
Affirm: The hands that touch me are healing hands. ~ Louise Hay