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Nearing End Of Life From Breast Cancer

What To Do If Your Doctor Abandons You

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It is not all that unusual for a doctor to stop seeing a patient when therapeutic medicine can no longer help.

If this happens to you, and you would like the continuing presence of the doctor who has helped you, ask a family member to speak with the doctor. Jane Brody, in Guide To The Great Beyond, quotes Dr. Meiier as suggesting that family members try to appeal to the doctor's human side by saying something like:

  • "My wife is very attached to you and wants to see you before she dies"  OR
  • "My husband is feeling hurt because he hasn't seen you these last weeks and time is running out."

Ms. Brody quotes one woman saying the following to her doctor when she realized her advanced cancer was no longer responding to treatment:

"I know you hoped to cure me and now you feel badly that you couldn't. And I know you did your very best to contain my illness these last months. I'm very grateful to you for that and the time it gave me. But I also want you to know that, now that we've run out of treatment options, it's very important to me that you stick with me until the end."

Alternatively, consider saying something like: 

  • "I really need you now. I need your comfort and wisdom. Please don't abandon me."
  • "I'm not saying I need you to fix anything. But I do need you to be with me throughout."

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