The Patient from Hell
EPUB EBook by Stephen H. Schneider
EBook DescriptionPatient from Hell describes the cancer journey of Stephen Schneider, a climatologist diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in 2001, and how he used his scientific framework to engage and challenge his medical team and ensure the best possible treatment. The Patient from Hell EPUB EBook While in many ways, his is an example of how his cancer 'metasticized' his brain (and that of his wife), it also provides some general pointers on how and when to engage with your medical team (and arguably, a counter example of when not too!).
Part of what makes it interesting is his focus on uncertainty, drawn from climate science, and how to make better decisions given this uncertainty, where to err on the side of caution (Type I error or precautionary principle) or not (Type II error, or of omission). Some of the more practical suggestions are:
- EPUB have an advocate
- understand and make clear that it is the patient who should decide on treatment choices and different risks (doctor recommends)
- persevere in asking questions
- you're still alive, so do something
- use common sense
- just say yes to pain medication
One of my favourite quotes is actually by his psychiatrist, following his auto stem cell transplant when Schneider was feeling depressed:
"Look, Steve, the average person with cancer throws himself at the mercy of his doctors, his God, or at least just feels overwhelmingly sorry for himself. Most people don't let their left brains take over and manage their treatment or spend their time researching their disease on the Web, following every detail of their treatment process, suggesting changes to protocols, and doing mental models of their reingraft. They also don't have a biologist wife who spends hours a day on the Web - catching all the latest reports on their disease so that they can review them together and discuss what to present to their doctors and how. You haven't let yourself fell your disease yet. Finally, you're at a point where your body knows there's nothing more your mind can do. Just let it happen. Let the emotion flow. Let the anger and the hurt and the 'How could this happen to me?' come out now. It should've six months ago, but you didn't let it because you were working overtime to make sure you were properly taken care of. There's nothing you have to do now, so just let them come over you ..."
Not for everybody but very readable, and particularly still relevant for those with mantle cell lymphoma - even if much of the protocols have changed since them (incorporating some of the lessons of Schneider's treatment). A better more general choice is Groopman's How Doctor's Think. Like this book? Read online this: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment, 2006 (Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment), Not Just a Patient.
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