…We need to gather information and ask questions in this day and age, but she thinks people have different levels of wanting to know—or wanting to know all at once.
…She quotes Suzanne Miller, a psychologist at the Chase Cancer Center in Philly, who says that people tend to be “blunters” (those who have little interest in seeking info and learning risks) and “monitors” (those who go after every scrap of info).
…Collecting information is important, Jessie says. You need to be able to say yes or no to the doctor’s recommendations. You also need a mental model of what is going on with you. If you know exactly with the treatment is doing to help, you are more likely to put up with it.
..You also need to know that state-of-the-art treatment varies from geographical area to geographical area in the country. You may have more choices than you think.
…You also need to know details so you can provide a medical record. Most of this record-keeping is decentralized these days.
…Even cancer does not move so fast that you can’t take a week to get another opinion or read up.
…People from every educational level, and this often is a family member not the patient, can quickly get into this medical world and glean education, according to one authority.
…Blunters, though, tend to downplay the research. One professor said he would be insulted if someone told him his job—that this was the doctor’s job.
…But there is a fine line between monitoring and researching everything and getting ”over educated” to the point of being too scared.
…In one of her diagnoses, colon cancer, Jessie says she let her husband do the research and didn’t get into it too much. Then when she voiced fears, he was able to say, “From what I have read, I don’t think that is going to happen.”
…Her recommendation: No matter what your preference for detail, learn enough to make the right decisions for you.
…HA is battling a funky retina that might or might not be detaching again. The doc says she is at a “crossroads.”
…When she has to face the next step, she prefers to learn about it then. Time enough.