All I felt like I had--and it wasn't always--was the opportunity to share my concerns, ask my questions, and pick a new doctor if I did not feel comfortable with the one I had. I was the patient, and while we like to believe that every doctor is on our side, if we don't feel comfortable, how can we have complete faith in the one making life saving decisions?
I'm sharing this because today I received a message on my Facebook page from a woman who had a mole removed 10 years ago. The mole was benign; however, over the past few years she noticed the pigmentation returning. She double checked the area with multiple dermatologists to see if she should be concerned with it. Cathy wrote to me, "...they all told me no - since it had been removed it could not come back and was only pigmentation." Today Cathy went in for her yearly check-up with a new dermatologist. Sure enough, this dermatologist zoomed right in on this suspicious area & removed it. The new dermatologist told Cathy that moles can come back and can become cancerous. Now Cathy is waiting for the pathology report on an area that has been bothering her for years.
I'm like Cathy. I tend to be very trusting. I figure these doctors have had years and years of education and experience, why shouldn't I believe what they say?
While I'm not saying you should doubt every doctor, I do encourage you to find one you trust and feel comfortable with. This is your life we are talking about!
I want to thank Cathy for sharing her experience & encouraging me to share it with you all. She wrote, "It angers me that we trust our doctors so much (with our life!) and we can be told incorrect information that can cause devastating results. I'm so glad I found this new Dermatologist!"
Lesson that I'm still learning: I have no control over melanoma, but I am still in charge of what I do to deal with it. Be your own advocate.
*A huge thank you to Cathy for wanting my readers to hear her story & learn from her experience. We are all impatiently waiting to hear your good news!