The last post was dark, wasn’t it? We all left feeling a little shattered and less than optimistic. I must say, however, that I am enjoying how sweary you are all becoming as we go along. Some of your messages and comments have really made me laugh. Your anger on my behalf, especially in relation to Dr Dickhead, was more than validating.

Now let’s all take a deep breath…because we have had a good week.

Magro, Murray the Dog and I are making ourselves at home in Sydney. We feel completely wrapped up by family and friends and are so grateful to be able to fully concentrate now on the job of kicking A in the D. Special mention to our Melbourne friends who packed up our entire house over the weekend – there is just no way we can ever thank you properly for what you have done for us over the last two months.

Remember when I said I needed a villain and Dr Dickhead was it? Well, I think we may have found our heroine (besides me of course).

On Wednesday we were invited into the office of my oncologist here in Sydney. The conversation that followed, combined with the empathy and care demonstrated by this woman, have turned me around completely.

Ok, so she was hot. Magro and I both agree on that. She sort of had an Asher Keddie vibe happening only with slightly more nude stiletto action and zero flowing scarves. She had that air of calm and self-assuredness that somehow didn’t add up to arrogance, rather a sense that she was knowledgeable yet still actively curious about my understanding of the situation.

Over the last month and a bit, having been on the patient end of care, I am often left worried about how many people are going through this shit without the confidence to ask a question or to question the need for yet another invasive procedure. What about those who don’t have an ally sitting beside them or even a basic understanding of their diagnosis? Challenging, or even asking questions of the medical profession is intimidating and there is often an unspoken expectation around compliance. We know what works, so please let us get on and do it.

For the purposes of the blog, I think I am going to name my new oncologist Dr Duenna. Apparently, the name Duenna in English literature is synonymous with female guardians. Yes, I just googled ‘synonyms for powerful women’.

Dr Duenna is the kind of doctor who seems to really believe that you have a part to play in your treatment and that your opinions about how this might play out are actually critical to its trajectory. The very first thing she asked about was the Dr Dickhead shituation and what my new understanding of the Alan/Karen hookup was. Having dealt with Dr Dickhead’s kind throughout her entire career, Dr Duenna was unsurprised by his floggery and kindly, but unnecessarily, apologised that I had had this experience.

It seems that Dr Dickhead didn’t quite explain things accurately. I know, right? You’re not shocked.

Karen is treatable. We are either going to do a lumpectomy and evict the bitch or we are going to suck the living oestrogen out of her with a drug called Tamoxifin (please hold comments – I am well aware of the side effects). Following today’s PET and CT scans, the breast medical/surgical team will meet to discuss the results and recommend which pathway we follow. But ultimately I get to choose. I understand this is not a choice as enjoyable as cheese or dessert after the main course, but it’s a fucking plan.

Dr Duenna went through everything with us right from the start. I know it sounds like I am glorifying an already overly inflated profession, but I can’t stress enough how much information we have had to absorb and synthesise and how much fear and terror can shut down one’s ability to absorb and synthesise. It is not a small thing to explain things thoroughly so that the patient understands. It is not a small thing to prioritise the creation of a safe space for things to be said, heard and felt. I don’t know if these ways of being a doctor are just personality based, taught at doctor university or learned on the job, but they make a massive difference. They make a big difference to me, to my sense of hope, to my sense of autonomy and ultimately my trust.

Sign up to receive instant updates when a new post is written

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

0 thoughts on “Girl Crush

  1. Not much else to say except this makes me fucking happy! Plans rock. 👏🏻👏🏻 With my experience of cancer – from a carers point of view at least – is that you can deal with what is thrown at you when you have a plan. It’s the unknowing, all the questions of should we, could we that do your head in. I always found that the time between Mum’s / Michele’s scans and the Dr’s appt to discuss the findings, the hardest for them and me, as you didn’t know if things had changed for the better or worse and then your mind goes off in a million directions. The day you see the Dr and get the ‘plan’, calmness ensues and away we go. So pleased you have a plan and one you feel happy with. Praise the fucking Lord! About time you got a break. It’s mightn’t be the type we would like, but it’s a break! Thinking of you, as always, and always sending positivity and strength! ♥️

  2. Wow – what a positive outcome so early into your treatment in Sydney. Ken only said at the weekend you had made the best possible decision to Sydney for your treatment. xx Robyn

  3. Kristie and Chris
    I’m so glad you found Dr Duenna, reads like you found the one you can trust and guide you on the path ahead. With my little excursion with prostate cancer I was lucky to have had three engaging, empathic doctors who laid out the options, giving clarity, enabling informed decisions.
    Keep asking, fighting, kicking !

  4. Reading the dark makes this light all the more brighter. Thanks for giving us both. Your tenacity is admirable KG. I’m with Tim – keep asking, fighting, and kicking.

  5. So glad you found the Dr Duenna she sounds awesome – get those kick boxing shoes on – Alan won’t know what’s coming !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>