Melanoma and Sarcoma

Confidential.


It is a very interesting place to be in the room with one of my patients. The medium of trust allows them to share their intimate secrets with me. It is tranquil and exceptionally vast. Where am I tonight you might wonder as you read this? I guess I’m with myself; in a place where I do not wish to share secrets that are given to me in confidence. They are mine to treasure, each time I think of one they are very personal. I try to write about them and find my hands guided away from sharing. What a difficult thing to truly share with you all. While driving home tonight, my friend said “where do you draw the line with a patient?”  It made me think of barriers perhaps we as physicians put up to protect ourselves from our patients’ feelings and emotions. Is there a line one draws when you are evoking their confidence to talk about things that they hold sacred?

I have often thought about my voice on a radio. After recording it, I always tend to say “that does not sound like me”. Our voices are unique to us; we all hear a different version in our heads of what people around us hear. It’s my confidential voice.  It is fascinating to me that I am the only one who hears it my way. It strengthens the thought of my own journey in life.  Personal.  I feel when I am with my patient that I am hearing that voice that is so unique to them that I cannot find the words to talk about it with anyone. I feel I connect with them inside as they navigate their decisions. I share my thoughts of the same situation they are in, it’s like I dared to go down their journey too. When they take chemotherapy or when they throw in the towel and say enough, I am with them. It is that voice that I try to find the frequency.  And I try to align it with how I would feel.

The question is, how do I find my way back to myself?

I guess in this dark night, that is exactly what I am doing. Finding my home again, finding me. It is cathartic that I could share in all the decisions I made with my patients today. It is a pleasure at the end of my visits with them that they stand up to shake my hand. I hope they see that I too am shaking theirs, in complete confidence that what we shared is sacred.

Mo

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6 thoughts on “Confidential.

  1. LaVone says:

    You remind me of the oncologist that treated our son in Hawaii 25 years ago. He and his nurse made that ‘special’ connection with our son. They led support groups, practiced holistic medicine, treating the Mind, Body and Spirit. They came to our apartment and did hand and foot massages every day after office hours. When they left on vacation, we were given instructions that if we needed him all we had to do was call and they would be there.. They were our rock…as we were 5000 miles from home. Love them always

    • It is amazing that you have such fond memories of your oncologist from a long time ago; You warmed me up with you comment and I am happy to be part of that memory.

      Mo

  2. Claire barnhouse says:

    Mo,

    All I can say is LISTEN to them. That is all that really matters anyway.. I know as a patient being able to actually sit down and ask you questions about my cancer and having your undivided attention means more to me than you know.. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from my clients and I have experienced it myself is “I just don’t think doctors really listen or care”. I cannot say that about you..
    I think it’s great that you can get on here and blog about your true feelings about your day to day dilemmas as a doctor… It has to be so stressful. I applaud you for having the courage to cross the line just a little, it shows you really care about your patients. I am so greatful that god led me to you “my amazing doctor of science”.
    Claire

    • Claire:
      I will listen to them – I appreciate your words of encouragement. I feel many of us Docs have never been given the chance to speak up so I decided to.
      Mo

      • tinkeebell says:

        Mo,
        That is so awesome that you feel that way… I applaud you for your courage to do this…
        I repost your blog on my facebook everyweek and I have been told from friends that “your doctor seems so normal” I say he is… I feel that way even though I just met you in march I just know that feeling about people and you are the real deal… thank you for listening Dr. Mo.
        Claire

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