I'm devising coping strategies for my various problems at radiation.
I've recently come to understand that I should not be taking the rad. onc.'s less-than-stellar bedside manner personally, and that it's more him than me. This helps. I wish he could have an assistant with him, to guide him in situations that require interacting with other humans, similar to the way in which people with visual impairments are assisted by seeing eye dogs.
So, I'm going to IMAGINE such an assistant every time I have to interact with him. Meet the rad. onc.'s guide dog, LuLu:
When I first met the rad. onc., his opening line to me was, "So...this all started with a lump?"
"Hi, I'm Dr. [name], it's nice to meet you! I've spoken with your surgeon, and I've reviewed your medical records, and I'd like to spend a few minutes talking with you to hear what the journey has been like for you so far. I understand it was your nurse practitioner who palpated a lump in your breast, leading to your breast cancer diagnosis?"
When I said that I was still trying to decide between mastectomy and radiation, and that I feel confident that I would be okay with mastectomy if it is better for my health, the rad. onc. replied, "You might feel differently in 10 years. Some women want to preserve nipple sensation."
"What a difficult decision to have to make! You have my sympathies, but of course I can't imagine what having to make such a decision feels like, since I'm male! I'm assuming you're talking extensively with K about what mastectomy would mean, and I can tell you about what radiation would be like. Do you want information about a local support group for women with breast cancer? It might help to talk with other women who have needed to make a decision about radiation vs. mastectomy."
LuLu also comes over to let me pat her, and assures me that just like on the radio when the offensive words are bleeped out, she will bark louder than the rad. onc.'s voice if he ever attempts to say the words "nipple sensation" to me ever again.