Things change in the medical field. Some are good. Better techniques. Quicker recovery. Good diagnostic tool.s
Some not so good. Targets to meet. Lots of paperwork. Efficiency doesn’t allow time.
Yesterday I had the last office visit of my annual cancer checkup routine for this year. I already knew the mammogram was clear so there wasn’t anything to anticipate except meeting my new doctor.
My beloved cancer surgeon retired at the beginning of this year. He was very well-known for his expertise not only in our area but in a larger multi-state area. He was a true specialist. He only handled breast cancer.
Besides his skill, he was known for his manner. He was amazing. Confronted by women and some men too who received bad news, he gave hope. He did cutting edge techniques. My therapy was new. I was the 65th person to receive it.
Most of my friends with breast cancer had him. One who was diagnosed at age 33 (she had 3 kids under 10 and had just adopted an Asian baby) bawled when he walked in. He sat down, put his arm around her and said “We’ll get through this together.”
One of my husband’s work colleagues was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. When he saw her test results, he cleared his calendar and operated the next day. She is still alive although she had two recurrences after that. She’s more than 20 years out from her original diagnosis. People still die from breast cancer. I lost two friends in the past 8 years.
I knew I would miss him. I also knew he would retire. He’s a surgeon. Hands get shaky. He’s my age. It’s time. What I didn’t know was how that would affect my annual checkup.
Yesterday I met his replacement. She’s nice enough. She’s young. So young. Like him, she only does breast cancer. She’s pleasant but there isn’t any old people banter. I didn’t think it would matter. Quick, efficient and matter of fact.
There were two questions to ask. She answered although she didn’t agree with one of my assessments. However, she didn’t ask me questions to understand my point of view. No matter. It wasn’t germane to the checkup.
Just like brands, styles, music, and TV shows, change is eternal. I damn well better get used to it.
Only my primary care doctor is older (not older than me, just older). All the rest are considerably younger. Yes, there are other doctors. Everyone has a specialty!
Maybe it takes time (or an illness) to develop relationships.
Maybe the good news is that I don’t see any of them enough to develop a relationship.
Maybe I’ll chew on that.