The Power of Knowledge
He sat me down on the corner of the bed and held my hands. ’Biopsy results are out.. it shows a malignant tumor,’ he said.
I sat still with trembling hands and feet and tears falling on my ice-cold face..
Among the crowd of feelings, I was mostly worried because I was not able to hear the news from the doctor myself and ask him the tens of questions that came to mind at that moment.. I didn’t get all the information and didn’t know the details of the prognosis!!!!
His words, ‘we will meet with the doctor tomorrow to explain the treatment plan,’ provided instant comfort and relief.
On the next day, we visited the doctor, who took his time to explain the prognosis and to discuss the treatment plan. I showered him with so many questions, which he gracefully answered in great detail. Still, I felt that I need to know more. He gave me two books from his library to satisfy my curiosity. Truly, those two books were the only treatment regiment he could prescribe then.
The next step was to schedule an unavoidable mastectomy due to the large size of the tumor. The surgery was set to take place in a week time.
As soon as I left the clinic, I started reading those books as my life has depended on it, and it did. Up until my surgery, reading was the only thing that put me at ease and cleared some of the darkness surrounding my mysterious future.
All this knowledge had really empowered me to face the gloomy unknown and to walk the mysterious and tiresome journey ahead. It gave me the power to endure this hardship..
Empowered by knowledge, I started my journey.
My advice to anyone who is forced to be the bearer of such bad news, is to be empowered with knowledge and never hide the truth of prognosis from the patient. Not knowing your illness and what it entails will keep you vulnerable like a city left in the dark without walls under attack from a gruesome enemy. I beleive it is best for the patient to hear the news from the doctor himself with someone to support him/her. For me, this made me own the problem and gain control back; I truly felt like an army general putting forth a master defense plan leading his troops to victory..
This is one thing I learned during my fight against breast cancer..
And the story goes on..
Amina H. Gamlo
A breast Cancer Survivor