You don’t think of all the questions you should have asked until after you’ve left the doctor’s office…
And so, you go home and google “basal cell” and “squamous cell carcinoma” and you read what Wikipedia, WebMD, and the Mayo Clinic have to say… with the hope of putting yourself at ease even if it is cancer… and what do you find? A bunch of sterile words and horrifying images that are so general as to be totally useless… leaving you feeling even more anxious than you were before.
The questions are so obvious…
If it is cancer, was it discovered early? Don’t know.
What does “early” even mean? Don’t know.
Has the cancer possibly already spread to my lymph nodes? Don’t know.
Can I die from this? Don’t know.
How curable is a case like mine? Don’t know.
Will I lose my nose? Don’t know.
Will I be scary to children after I recover? Don’t know.
If I was the doctor–knowing what I know now–I would send the message, totally unsolicited, and loud and clear. “Frank, you presented not just early, but very early… well done. Even if it is cancer, you are not going to die from it. You are not going to lose your nose. You are not going to be scary to children after you recover. It’s going to suck for a couple of weeks while we get you fixed up, but you are going to be ok.”
And so, why did the doctor not tell me these things in advance?
Why did I have to endure so many days and weeks of unnecessary anxiety, nausea and insomnia?