Re: [MOL] Hope and Optimism [12664] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Hope and Optimism



Very interesting and inspirational. Thanks.
Christine

At 09:46 PM 21/07/98, you wrote:
>John, reading this was a real lift. A lot of oncologists feel this way
>still...but they are slowly changing. God Bless, Jeanne
>
>At 10:42 PM 7/21/98 -0400, you wrote:
>>Thanks John, I had read that article, not the response letter from Roth; but
>>the article and it was appalling. Love, Auntie lil, yes you got me with the
>>lilly pads!  LOL !
>>
>>Joicy Becker-Richards wrote:
>>
>>> John, thank you -- this ia great!! I plan to make copies, and pass it on
>>> to as many people as possible! Should be must reading for all those
>>> dealing with people with cancer, as well as cancerers. Love, Joicy
>>>
>>> John wrote:
>>> >
>>> > Many of the members of our family are in need of hope.  I ran across
this
>>> > letter by the "R" in H&R Block...Mr. Richard Block.  I hope that it
gives
>>> > some ray of hope and optimism to us all.
>>> >
>>> > God Bless.
>>> > John
>>> >
>>> >     ---------------------------------------------------------------
>>> >
>>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> >  Letter written by Richard A. Bloch (co-founder and Honorary Chairman
>>> >   of the Board of H&R Block, Inc. He now heads the R. A. BLOCH CANCER
>>> >                              FOUNDATION)
>>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> >                             June 12, 1998
>>> >
>>> > JAMA this past week (June 3, 1998) carried an article about a study
>>> > showing cancer patients are excessively optimistic. I don't object to
>>> > the study. I think it is wonderful that cancer patients are
>>> > optimistic, as they should be. But the problem is that Associated
>>> > Press picked it up and implied that optimism for a cancer patient is
>>> > bad. The AP article put in quotes, "Far too many patients are fighting
>>> > a battle they cannot win, and not taking advantage of good end-of-life
>>> > care." The article was shocking! I wonder how many innocent cancer
>>> > patients will die needlessly because of it. It is difficult enough for
>>> > a physician to give treatments to an apparently healthy individual and
>>> > make them ill with less than a 100% chance of success. This publicity
>>> > will encourage doctors to withhold potentially lifesaving treatments
>>> > resulting in certain death. What in the world was gained?
>>> >
>>> > And that is only looking at the life and death side and ignoring the
>>> > quality of life. I know from personal experience that when I was told
>>> > I was terminal with 90 days to live and nothing could be done, my
>>> > quality of life sank to an all time low. It became nonexistent. When I
>>> > was told there were treatments that could help, I was elated. Even
>>> > when I was being made deathly ill by the chemicals, the quality of my
>>> > life was far better fighting to live than waiting to die. I am an
>>> > individual who had non-small cell lung cancer 20 years ago and
>>> > metastatic colon cancer 10 years ago, the two types of cancer this
>>> > study picked and stated should not be treated. Thank God I didn't know
>>> > about this study, or at least my doctors didn't.
>>> >
>>> > Eighteen years ago we started a second opinion center here in Kansas
>>> > City. The greatest thing that center has done in my opinion is not the
>>> > lives it has saved, even though initially we believed that one out of
>>> > four patients coming before the panel had their life saved by these
>>> > wonderful physicians offering possibly successful treatments. The
>>> > greatest benefit is that no longer are cancer patients in Kansas City
>>> > told they are terminal upon initial diagnosis. They may be told this
>>> > is an extremely bad type of cancer, but let's make some phone calls
>>> > and see if someone can't do something about it. That's a lot different
>>> > than saying, "Go home and die." We now have over 100 institutions
>>> > offering second opinions around the United States, including New York
>>> > City.
>>> >
>>> > Suppose you were able to access a machine and read the local newspaper
>>> > printed six months from today. On the front page you see your picture
>>> > and read that you were the victim of a drive-by shooting. You were
>>> > killed the previous night! How would this help you and your family?
>>> > What would this do to your quality of life this afternoon? Tomorrow?
>>> > Do you believe that if you had the power to look back the day after
>>> > that shooting you would have believed your life was better for having
>>> > known it would happen? When a doctor tells a patient they will die in
>>> > a lengthy period of time, it is like allowing them to read a paper
>>> > that date in the future.
>>> >
>>> > Dr. Herbert Benson, a specialist in behavioral medicine at Harvard
>>> > Medical School, states, "Belief is the hidden ingredient in Western
>>> > medicine . . . A new drug given by a doctor who believes in it
>>> > enthusiastically is far more potent than the same drug given by a
>>> > skeptical doctor. . . . Clinical studies have shown that a patient's
>>> > belief in a medicine can make it far more effective." Once your doctor
>>> > tells you that you are going to die in six months, how effective are
>>> > the treatments going to be when you trust and believe in your doctor?
>>> > Patients tend to fulfill their physician's prognosis. Placebos have an
>>> > undisputable proven record of success. Does this study want to condemn
>>> > all those people to death?
>>> >
>>> > A cancer patient appeared very depressed at a meeting. Upon
>>> > questioning, it was learned that he had received the state-of-the-art
>>> > treatment for his disease without success and had been told six months
>>> > before this meeting he was terminal and nothing else could be done.
>>> > That was the last time he had seen his doctor. He is slowly wasting
>>> > away. But it is not that he is just wasting away. Any conceivable
>>> > quality of life he and his family had ceased on that day six months
>>> > before. There were many other options available, none of which were as
>>> > good as what had been taken. The physician, in order to "spare" him
>>> > suffering, made the unilateral decision and taken him off all
>>> > treatment. Had the doctor talked to this man and explained the
>>> > situation instead of making the false statement that nothing else
>>> > could be done, there is no doubt that treatments would have been
>>> > tried. Whether they would have been successful or not is an unknown,
>>> > but the fact that the quality of life would have been far improved is
>>> > undisputable.
>>> >
>>> > There is no such thing as false hope for a cancer patient. Hope is as
>>> > unique with each individual as a finger print. For some it is the hope
>>> > to make a complete recovery. But it might also be the hope to die
>>> > peacefully; the hope to live until a specific event happens; the hope
>>> > to live with the disease; the hope to have their doctor with them when
>>> > needed; the hope to enjoy today. Just as each case of cancer is
>>> > unique, each person is different. Each individual has the right to be
>>> > told all their options and then decide for themselves.
>>> >
>>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> >                    Return to Cancer News on the Net
>>> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>>
>>
>>
>>--
>>MZ
>>
>>
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