Letters To My Dad: O is for Oncology #AprilA2Z #AtoZChallenge

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

On January 22, 2022, my Dad died. My theme, “Letters to my Dad” is based on random thoughts about him and the aftermath of not having him around anymore.

Hey Dad,

Never in my dreams did I think that most of 2021 would be spent in oncology waiting rooms.

When it came to timely tests, treatments and physical care, you were treated very well. I have no complaints about any of that.

I mean, we knew better than to think that there was a miracle waiting for you with your type of cancer – we were far from wearing rose-colored glasses.

But maybe, just maybe, I was expecting too much when it came to the more human side of things…

Just because someone is a doctor does not mean that they are some kind of God who should not be questioned. Patients have the right to have their concerns addressed, even if said doctor has been through the ropes a million times before with others.

Patients require patience and cancer patients require even more patience and compassion. Of course, I understand that doctors are people too with their own personalities. But being in the profession requires bedside manners even if you have to fake it.

Tone is important and insensitive flippant remarks are simply wrong.

Who the f*ck tells a dying person, “It’s almost summer – go take up some gardening or something” with a tone that reeks of “you are going to die, your time is up and I need to get to my next patient”?

I mean, reallly???

What if a patient wants to fight even if they know the end result will be the same?

And flippant jokes about not having to keep future appointments for other health issues?

Again, really?

But the crème de la crème was the doctor who got angry at you for not signing off right away on a DNR the moment he handed it to you at that very first meeting.

And you know how that turned out because I don’t play with those who mess with what’s important to me…

The biggest upside of oncology was that we met the most caring and helpful palliative care doctors on the service who genuinely cared throughout your entire illness.

You would be very happy that instead of flowers, we requested that donations in your name be made to the palliative care team.

And I know that you would be smiling that we received enough donations that your name is now on a plaque on the hospital donation wall near the hospital chapel.

Dad, I can almost hear you joking now, “My name’s on a wall? I’m a big time celebrity!” 🙂

Loving you always,

M xoxo

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