DrWendy's Blog (6)

The First Recurrence

Everyone assumes that receiving a cancer diagnosis is the most shocking, frightening, upsetting and life-changing news you can get. But I can think of a worse diagnosis: recurrence.

In a recent Oncology Times column titled The First Recurrence, I…


Added by DrWendy on October 7, 2013 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Mammogram of the Thyroid?

One day I was lying prone on a specialized table with surrounding xray machines in preparation for my stereotactic breast biopsy. I asked, "May I please have a thyroid guard?"

"Sure," the tech answered and promptly got me one. She wrapped…


Added by DrWendy on February 12, 2013 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

Scan Anxiety and Healing Hope

Let's look at the challenge of coping with the evaluation of a worrisome symptom. What hope helps you?

From "Real Good News" (Oncology Times, September 25, 2011):

I, for one, don't spend time and energy hoping for good news.... [because years ago, when dealing with cancer, the] tension between hoping for good news and knowing I might get bad news was exhausting. Since I couldn't change how much cancer I had, sometimes…


Added by DrWendy on February 5, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

What is a Healthy Survivor?

After my cancer diagnosis, I was a survivor regardless of what I thought, felt, said, or did. Consequently “survivor” did nothing to inspire me to meet the challenges of my illness.

Usually when I don a hat—“student,” “doctor,” “wife,” “mother”—I modify it with a qualifier that motivates me to excellence. From my first day of medical school, I've strived to be a compassionate doctor. From the moment my husband slipped a gold ring on my finger, I've done my best to be…


Added by DrWendy on January 14, 2013 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Managing Expectations

Patients' efforts to manage their expectations can help calm anxiety. Asking your surgeon how long you can expect to experience pain following a procedure helps prevent you from wondering and worrying about why you are sore or how long your pain will last.

But what if nobody can predict what's going to happen or how you are going to feel? Pushing your physician to predict the unpredictable is an exercise in futility. Instead of calming your anxiety, your efforts may exacerbate your…


Added by DrWendy on June 20, 2012 at 8:42pm — No Comments

What is a Modern Patient?


For years, my elevator speech when asked about my work has been, "I explore, write and speak about how modern patients get good care and live as fully as possible."

Last week someone responded with a question, "Wendy, what do you mean by a 'modern patient'"?

My knee-jerk response was, "A patient in the 21st century." But I felt uncomfortable with my answer, knowing I meant more.  

When I think, write and talk about modern patients, I'm picturing people in…


Added by DrWendy on June 17, 2012 at 8:53pm — No Comments

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