Friday, July 1, 2011

Letter to Health Care Staff Everywhere

Dear Staff,

Yes, I have cancer and I am here for treatment. Please do not look at my file and my diagnosis and assume that you know me or anything about my situation. Do not assume that I am obese, do not exercise or smoke cigarettes. Do not assume I drink gallons of regular or diet soda every day and eat pounds of red meat. Do not assume I am eating fast food for every meal, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Do not assume that I do not eat fruits, vegetables or take a multivitamin daily. Do not lecture me on nutrition and "healthy life style choices" until you have asked me what I eat, how much I exercise and sleep.

I was considered to be in good health before my diagnosis - low blood pressure, good cholesterol levels, exercising 3-5 times each week, non-smoker, 64-80oz of water every day, little red meat in my diet and lots of fruits and vegetables, brown rice and "nuts and bolts" wheat bread. I did have the occasional fast food or ice cream treat, but this was far from a daily intake level. Yes, I did drink 1-2 cups of coffee every day. Yes, I have ingested artificial sweeteners and not all my food was organic.

Did these things make me have cancer? Does anyone really know that answer?

Please look at me as a person, ask me questions and get to know me before you decide how to treat me.

Thank you,

Breast Cancer Patient


  1. I hate to think anyone would treat anyone like that.
    So far I have been treated well.
    I don't think we need to be put thru feeling guilty about anything.
    I lived a good clean lifestyle too. Not a big red meat eater.Very low blood pressure, Very good cholesterol levels,
    But I was a 2 pack a day smoker for years.
    My only "bad habit"
    I still smoke 4-6 cigarettes a day. I know...I know..BAD !!!!!
    I will be a non smoker as of Monday !!!

    But I sure dont need to be made to feel that its somehow MY fault that I got breast cancer.
    Thats all we need right now.
    I go for walks ...but I will admit I have never exercised. Ok...maybe one set-up. LOL...But I still would not need anyone judging me..thats the last thing we need. (((hugs))) to you

  2. thanks Debbi!
    I have to say that my experience has been really good except for 2 staffers. A friend who was treated last year at a different hospital had a very bad experience which partly inspired this blog entry.
    I hope that you are continued to be treated well!

  3. So far everyone has been beyond wonderful. BUT I am just at the beginning of this journey.
    The plastic surgeon treated my Mom horrible the other day.
    He acted like he was to bothered to answer a couple questions she had. And he ask after all. I didnt really like him at all

  4. hi Elizabeth I just found your blog and found this post to be interesting. I can't say I was ever mistreated in any way but I have seen some who have. I am the type who will not stay quiet but I will say something.
    After one of my chemo sessions my white count dropped I went to the ER a poor lady was sitting in a chair complaining of a terrible pain in her head. trying to get the nurses attention was like pulling teeth from a camel!This poor lady said something and suddenly collapsed on my lap. she was having a stroke! The nurse came fl;ying out of the back loudly asked why no one told her. well several people had including me. I told her point blank she was to busy laughing to notice what was going on under her watch. I was sick running a low grade fever I was very bald wearing a scarf. In our Emerg if you are a chemo patient you are given a place immediately, your immunity system is already a mess. I believe if we don't speak up attitudes won't change. Of course not in a rude manner but we have the right to be treated with respect not looked down for the lady she was able to come out of it due to the rapid care afterwards... I will return to read your blog... :) Alli XX