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How Should I Handle this?

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community How Should I Handle this?

  • Post
    Ann from Iowa
    Participant

      So this will not become to lengthy…go to my "Ann from Iowa" to read of my husband's melanoma history.  In short he has been NED now for 2 1/2 years, Stage IIIB, Leukine treatment for 1 year and radiation to auxillary, left arm.  He has been a smoker and chews tobacco since he was 14 years old and is now a very healthy 69. 

      So this will not become to lengthy…go to my "Ann from Iowa" to read of my husband's melanoma history.  In short he has been NED now for 2 1/2 years, Stage IIIB, Leukine treatment for 1 year and radiation to auxillary, left arm.  He has been a smoker and chews tobacco since he was 14 years old and is now a very healthy 69. 

      We went for his 6 month check-up last Friday and his chest x-ray showed lungs clear, no other problems.  Skin exam done by a lady other than the doctor and she discussed his smoking history.  He was told when they found the melanoma in his lymph node, 5 cm with extranodal extension that he must quit his tobacco use.   Well, that has not happened, the old adage that "I am invincible."

      The Dr. a melanoma specialist came in the room, did not say one word as to his good report but began to lecture him on his continued use of tobacco, and I feel he has the right to do this.  But what stunned me was that he told my husband that if he continued his smoking and chewing tobacco he will not treat him in the future for ANY cancer that according to him will come at some time or another surely within the next 10 years.  The Doctor said he had previously been a smoker and quit and if he could do it so could anyone.  He turned to me and said I was to make him stop.  He then left.  End of  appointment.  To make this story complete, within a half an hour my husband was smoking a cigarette and has not looked back yet.

      I am the one needing the help as I just don't know what to do as to future follow up appts. with this Dr.  Since it has been 2 1/2 years since he ended treatment all he gets now is a chest x-ray and visit with the Dr.  It  seems to me that if my husband does not stop these habits that we should not go back for further appts. as I am taking him at his word, he would not treat him anyway if he were to find more cancer or a smoking related cancer.  Should we just go to his local dermatologist now or should I at least go by myself and talk to him for advice.  Frankly, I am so upset by this I cannot see straight and certainly do not know what to do. 

       

      Because my husband was told that the Leukine treatments that he took have been proven to not be of any benef,  but his melanoma has not returned after they just about gave him a death sentence when it came back in his lymph node I think he has taken this lightly and he truly is addicted to tobacco as he has watched his 5 brothers and sisters die young from COPD and heart disease but still has not stopped .  How can you not take that seriously.  In any case, any advice would be appreciated.  From my perspective if all doctors were to quit treating patients because they refused to either lose weight, quit using so much salt, go on a special diabetic diet for all the other bad health issues, many people would no longer have a doctor to treat them.  Just thoughts that are running through my mind as I try and deal with this.    I read daily to try and learn about melanoma just in case his would return.  Education seems to be the best route and this site has so much good information along with the support.  Thanks for the ear.

       

       

       

    Viewing 29 reply threads
    • Replies
        Fen
        Participant

          Find a new physician.  Those statements indicate an incredible ignorance and a lack of concern for patients.  Do it today.  Oh wait, it's Sunday. Tomorrow will do.  Assuming that you can do something to *make* your husband quit smoking is naive at best.  Telling you he won't treat your husband is probably unethical.  In either case you need a physician who is in touch with reality.

          There are lots of reasons why people don't do what they know is best for them.  You can't change your husband's behavior – only he can.  

          Fen

           

          Fen
          Participant

            Find a new physician.  Those statements indicate an incredible ignorance and a lack of concern for patients.  Do it today.  Oh wait, it's Sunday. Tomorrow will do.  Assuming that you can do something to *make* your husband quit smoking is naive at best.  Telling you he won't treat your husband is probably unethical.  In either case you need a physician who is in touch with reality.

            There are lots of reasons why people don't do what they know is best for them.  You can't change your husband's behavior – only he can.  

            Fen

             

              Ann from Iowa
              Participant

                Thank you for telling me exactly what I know but am afraid to do.  My husband feels we have no choice since he is pretty much the only melanoma Dr. in our state.  We would have to travel quite a ways to go to someone different.  But if he does not intend to treat him anyway unless he quits his tobacco use we have to do something different anyway.  Do you think an option would be to just see his dermatologist and maybe he could order a chest x-ray once every six months and deal with bigger problems if they present themselves down the road?  I have got myself worried sick that now no one will take him because of the smoking.  And No, I cannot make him quit.  It doesn't work that way.  I appreciate your taking the time to give me some much needed support. 

                Ann from Iowa
                Participant

                  Thank you for telling me exactly what I know but am afraid to do.  My husband feels we have no choice since he is pretty much the only melanoma Dr. in our state.  We would have to travel quite a ways to go to someone different.  But if he does not intend to treat him anyway unless he quits his tobacco use we have to do something different anyway.  Do you think an option would be to just see his dermatologist and maybe he could order a chest x-ray once every six months and deal with bigger problems if they present themselves down the road?  I have got myself worried sick that now no one will take him because of the smoking.  And No, I cannot make him quit.  It doesn't work that way.  I appreciate your taking the time to give me some much needed support. 

                  Ann from Iowa
                  Participant

                    Thank you for telling me exactly what I know but am afraid to do.  My husband feels we have no choice since he is pretty much the only melanoma Dr. in our state.  We would have to travel quite a ways to go to someone different.  But if he does not intend to treat him anyway unless he quits his tobacco use we have to do something different anyway.  Do you think an option would be to just see his dermatologist and maybe he could order a chest x-ray once every six months and deal with bigger problems if they present themselves down the road?  I have got myself worried sick that now no one will take him because of the smoking.  And No, I cannot make him quit.  It doesn't work that way.  I appreciate your taking the time to give me some much needed support. 

                  Fen
                  Participant

                    Find a new physician.  Those statements indicate an incredible ignorance and a lack of concern for patients.  Do it today.  Oh wait, it's Sunday. Tomorrow will do.  Assuming that you can do something to *make* your husband quit smoking is naive at best.  Telling you he won't treat your husband is probably unethical.  In either case you need a physician who is in touch with reality.

                    There are lots of reasons why people don't do what they know is best for them.  You can't change your husband's behavior – only he can.  

                    Fen

                     

                    Janner
                    Participant

                      I, too, would find a new doctor.  I had a surgeon treat me like crap one day (in front of his PA).  I left and had to stop at the front desk to pay my copay and "make a followup appointment".  When the assistant asked me if I needed to make another appointment, I said I had no plans to ever come back.  As I was turning away, the PA came up to me and handed me a note of another doctor she recommended.  She knew the surgeon had overstepped his bounds and wanted to make sure I was taken care of.  This surgeon has an amazing reputation working on many elite athletes that most everyone has heard of.  But it doesn't change that he was a jerk to me.  I went back to a doctor who works WITH me instead of putting me down.  I think that is what you should do, too.  Despite your husbands continued nicotene habits, he deserves a doctor he can work with and talk to.  We all have our own demons and the doctor should be a partner, not a dictator. 

                      Janner

                      Janner
                      Participant

                        I, too, would find a new doctor.  I had a surgeon treat me like crap one day (in front of his PA).  I left and had to stop at the front desk to pay my copay and "make a followup appointment".  When the assistant asked me if I needed to make another appointment, I said I had no plans to ever come back.  As I was turning away, the PA came up to me and handed me a note of another doctor she recommended.  She knew the surgeon had overstepped his bounds and wanted to make sure I was taken care of.  This surgeon has an amazing reputation working on many elite athletes that most everyone has heard of.  But it doesn't change that he was a jerk to me.  I went back to a doctor who works WITH me instead of putting me down.  I think that is what you should do, too.  Despite your husbands continued nicotene habits, he deserves a doctor he can work with and talk to.  We all have our own demons and the doctor should be a partner, not a dictator. 

                        Janner

                          Ann from Iowa
                          Participant

                            I feel we have been walking on eggshells with this man for a long time because he is all we have.  And he keeps telling us this cancer will come back which maybe it will, I guess probably but at this time has not which I do think is why my husband doesn't take it as seriously as he should be.  I guess he thinks he is invincible.   One appt. my husband was having eye issues and I asked his doctor if he needed to see an eye Dr. at the University.  He turned to my very hard of hearing husband and asked him if he wanted to see an eye Dr.  When he didn't answer because he did not hear him, the Dr. repeated the question to him again.  Sadly to say my husband did not hear him again (it has been noted to them that he is a farmer and has hering loss) and so I nodded yes.  This Dr. turned to my husband, shook his head and stated that he could not believe that he would let his wife make his decisions for him.  When again he did not reply, he turned and repeated the statement to him.   We did get to see an eye Dr. and he had a detached retina.  I will ask you the same question I asked the previous supporter and that is, could we just continue to see his dermatologist and forget the melanoma Drs. for now?  Just so much to think about.  Thanks for the support.  I sure need it right now on what to do.  I think you both are right though but now it will be just making Dennis see that it is time to make a change.  I still wish he would stop the tobacco use, I have wanted that for years but nothing works in that department for me.  His choice.

                            Ann from Iowa
                            Participant

                              I feel we have been walking on eggshells with this man for a long time because he is all we have.  And he keeps telling us this cancer will come back which maybe it will, I guess probably but at this time has not which I do think is why my husband doesn't take it as seriously as he should be.  I guess he thinks he is invincible.   One appt. my husband was having eye issues and I asked his doctor if he needed to see an eye Dr. at the University.  He turned to my very hard of hearing husband and asked him if he wanted to see an eye Dr.  When he didn't answer because he did not hear him, the Dr. repeated the question to him again.  Sadly to say my husband did not hear him again (it has been noted to them that he is a farmer and has hering loss) and so I nodded yes.  This Dr. turned to my husband, shook his head and stated that he could not believe that he would let his wife make his decisions for him.  When again he did not reply, he turned and repeated the statement to him.   We did get to see an eye Dr. and he had a detached retina.  I will ask you the same question I asked the previous supporter and that is, could we just continue to see his dermatologist and forget the melanoma Drs. for now?  Just so much to think about.  Thanks for the support.  I sure need it right now on what to do.  I think you both are right though but now it will be just making Dennis see that it is time to make a change.  I still wish he would stop the tobacco use, I have wanted that for years but nothing works in that department for me.  His choice.

                              Fen
                              Participant

                                Could you find a general oncologist to go to?  He or she could monitor your husband and then if – and I emphasize if – your husband's melanoma returns you could travel to a good melanoma specialist.   I see you are from Mediapolis.  My husband is from Fairfield and we now live in the Quad-Cities.  My geography isn't great, but looks like you could go to Burlington or Muscatine for a generic oncologist – even the QCs aren't that far.

                                I cannot get over how badly that physician has treated you both.  You might use the "he won't treat you anyway" argument to your husband to get him to find a new physician.

                                good luck!

                                Fen
                                Participant

                                  Could you find a general oncologist to go to?  He or she could monitor your husband and then if – and I emphasize if – your husband's melanoma returns you could travel to a good melanoma specialist.   I see you are from Mediapolis.  My husband is from Fairfield and we now live in the Quad-Cities.  My geography isn't great, but looks like you could go to Burlington or Muscatine for a generic oncologist – even the QCs aren't that far.

                                  I cannot get over how badly that physician has treated you both.  You might use the "he won't treat you anyway" argument to your husband to get him to find a new physician.

                                  good luck!

                                  Fen
                                  Participant

                                    Could you find a general oncologist to go to?  He or she could monitor your husband and then if – and I emphasize if – your husband's melanoma returns you could travel to a good melanoma specialist.   I see you are from Mediapolis.  My husband is from Fairfield and we now live in the Quad-Cities.  My geography isn't great, but looks like you could go to Burlington or Muscatine for a generic oncologist – even the QCs aren't that far.

                                    I cannot get over how badly that physician has treated you both.  You might use the "he won't treat you anyway" argument to your husband to get him to find a new physician.

                                    good luck!

                                    Janner
                                    Participant

                                      If it were me, I'd go to the dermatologist and explain the situation.  Ask him if he is comfortable following him at this point.  If he is, great.  If not, ask who he can recommend that might be a better fit – even if he isn't a melanoma specialist.  Heck, even a PCP can order x-rays.  IF things come back, you can figure out what is best to do at that time.  But for now, there is no reason to put up with crap.  Find someone who you can work with and if that is the derm, I say go for it.  The derm just needs to buy into the program, though, so make sure he knows the score.

                                      I understand the hard of hearing issue.  I accompany my stage IV father to most of his appointments.  He rarely hears what any of the doctors are saying, and I think he almost doesn't want to.  (He is 88).  He wants me to make the decisions for him – the details are just too much for him.  For the most part, I think the doctor's think he hears and understands.  But unless I repeat what is said (he hears my voice better than most) and then he paraphrases it back to me, I always assume he hasn't heard.

                                      Your husband has to want to change, until then – you just have to work with it.  Hang in there!

                                      Janner

                                      Janner
                                      Participant

                                        If it were me, I'd go to the dermatologist and explain the situation.  Ask him if he is comfortable following him at this point.  If he is, great.  If not, ask who he can recommend that might be a better fit – even if he isn't a melanoma specialist.  Heck, even a PCP can order x-rays.  IF things come back, you can figure out what is best to do at that time.  But for now, there is no reason to put up with crap.  Find someone who you can work with and if that is the derm, I say go for it.  The derm just needs to buy into the program, though, so make sure he knows the score.

                                        I understand the hard of hearing issue.  I accompany my stage IV father to most of his appointments.  He rarely hears what any of the doctors are saying, and I think he almost doesn't want to.  (He is 88).  He wants me to make the decisions for him – the details are just too much for him.  For the most part, I think the doctor's think he hears and understands.  But unless I repeat what is said (he hears my voice better than most) and then he paraphrases it back to me, I always assume he hasn't heard.

                                        Your husband has to want to change, until then – you just have to work with it.  Hang in there!

                                        Janner

                                        Janner
                                        Participant

                                          If it were me, I'd go to the dermatologist and explain the situation.  Ask him if he is comfortable following him at this point.  If he is, great.  If not, ask who he can recommend that might be a better fit – even if he isn't a melanoma specialist.  Heck, even a PCP can order x-rays.  IF things come back, you can figure out what is best to do at that time.  But for now, there is no reason to put up with crap.  Find someone who you can work with and if that is the derm, I say go for it.  The derm just needs to buy into the program, though, so make sure he knows the score.

                                          I understand the hard of hearing issue.  I accompany my stage IV father to most of his appointments.  He rarely hears what any of the doctors are saying, and I think he almost doesn't want to.  (He is 88).  He wants me to make the decisions for him – the details are just too much for him.  For the most part, I think the doctor's think he hears and understands.  But unless I repeat what is said (he hears my voice better than most) and then he paraphrases it back to me, I always assume he hasn't heard.

                                          Your husband has to want to change, until then – you just have to work with it.  Hang in there!

                                          Janner

                                          democat
                                          Participant

                                            This doctor just sounds cruel.  I agree with the others that you may want to switch to a regular oncologist unless and until the cancer recurs.  You don't need a melanoma expert to order and interpret xrays and scans.  But, I think it's important to consult an expert whenever you need to make a decision about treatment. I would not put up with this jerk of a doctor!

                                            democat
                                            Participant

                                              This doctor just sounds cruel.  I agree with the others that you may want to switch to a regular oncologist unless and until the cancer recurs.  You don't need a melanoma expert to order and interpret xrays and scans.  But, I think it's important to consult an expert whenever you need to make a decision about treatment. I would not put up with this jerk of a doctor!

                                              democat
                                              Participant

                                                This doctor just sounds cruel.  I agree with the others that you may want to switch to a regular oncologist unless and until the cancer recurs.  You don't need a melanoma expert to order and interpret xrays and scans.  But, I think it's important to consult an expert whenever you need to make a decision about treatment. I would not put up with this jerk of a doctor!

                                                democat
                                                Participant

                                                  This doctor just sounds cruel.  I agree with the others that you may want to switch to a regular oncologist unless and until the cancer recurs.  You don't need a melanoma expert to order and interpret xrays and scans.  But, I think it's important to consult an expert whenever you need to make a decision about treatment. I would not put up with this jerk of a doctor!

                                                  democat
                                                  Participant

                                                    This doctor just sounds cruel.  I agree with the others that you may want to switch to a regular oncologist unless and until the cancer recurs.  You don't need a melanoma expert to order and interpret xrays and scans.  But, I think it's important to consult an expert whenever you need to make a decision about treatment. I would not put up with this jerk of a doctor!

                                                    democat
                                                    Participant

                                                      This doctor just sounds cruel.  I agree with the others that you may want to switch to a regular oncologist unless and until the cancer recurs.  You don't need a melanoma expert to order and interpret xrays and scans.  But, I think it's important to consult an expert whenever you need to make a decision about treatment. I would not put up with this jerk of a doctor!

                                                      Ann from Iowa
                                                      Participant

                                                        I feel we have been walking on eggshells with this man for a long time because he is all we have.  And he keeps telling us this cancer will come back which maybe it will, I guess probably but at this time has not which I do think is why my husband doesn't take it as seriously as he should be.  I guess he thinks he is invincible.   One appt. my husband was having eye issues and I asked his doctor if he needed to see an eye Dr. at the University.  He turned to my very hard of hearing husband and asked him if he wanted to see an eye Dr.  When he didn't answer because he did not hear him, the Dr. repeated the question to him again.  Sadly to say my husband did not hear him again (it has been noted to them that he is a farmer and has hering loss) and so I nodded yes.  This Dr. turned to my husband, shook his head and stated that he could not believe that he would let his wife make his decisions for him.  When again he did not reply, he turned and repeated the statement to him.   We did get to see an eye Dr. and he had a detached retina.  I will ask you the same question I asked the previous supporter and that is, could we just continue to see his dermatologist and forget the melanoma Drs. for now?  Just so much to think about.  Thanks for the support.  I sure need it right now on what to do.  I think you both are right though but now it will be just making Dennis see that it is time to make a change.  I still wish he would stop the tobacco use, I have wanted that for years but nothing works in that department for me.  His choice.

                                                      Janner
                                                      Participant

                                                        I, too, would find a new doctor.  I had a surgeon treat me like crap one day (in front of his PA).  I left and had to stop at the front desk to pay my copay and "make a followup appointment".  When the assistant asked me if I needed to make another appointment, I said I had no plans to ever come back.  As I was turning away, the PA came up to me and handed me a note of another doctor she recommended.  She knew the surgeon had overstepped his bounds and wanted to make sure I was taken care of.  This surgeon has an amazing reputation working on many elite athletes that most everyone has heard of.  But it doesn't change that he was a jerk to me.  I went back to a doctor who works WITH me instead of putting me down.  I think that is what you should do, too.  Despite your husbands continued nicotene habits, he deserves a doctor he can work with and talk to.  We all have our own demons and the doctor should be a partner, not a dictator. 

                                                        Janner

                                                        bj63
                                                        Participant

                                                          Like the others, I strongly would consider finding another doctor.  If he really is a former smoker then he should know how hard it is to quit.  Regardless, he doesn't have the right to act like a jerk and threaten to withhold treatment from patients no matter how he feels about smoking.

                                                          Maybe there are studies I don't know about but I've never heard of any direct link between melanoma and smoking.  I've heard about links to many other cancers, COPD, heart disease, etc. – but not melanoma.  I'm not here to judge.  As a former smoker (7 years smoke free), I certainly know what it's like. I tried several times before I finally was successfull in quitting.  If he isn't interested, then so be it.

                                                          If he is interested in quitting, I recommend trying the Chantix.  But he should do the full program, including either the web support or the phone support and the behavior modification techniques.  I had the vivid dreams side effects that many have reported, but they weren't "nightmares".  Many of them actually were rather entertaining and funny.  I also had no thoughts of suicide or any of the other side effects that generated so much negative press and media noise when it first came out.

                                                          bj63
                                                          Participant

                                                            Like the others, I strongly would consider finding another doctor.  If he really is a former smoker then he should know how hard it is to quit.  Regardless, he doesn't have the right to act like a jerk and threaten to withhold treatment from patients no matter how he feels about smoking.

                                                            Maybe there are studies I don't know about but I've never heard of any direct link between melanoma and smoking.  I've heard about links to many other cancers, COPD, heart disease, etc. – but not melanoma.  I'm not here to judge.  As a former smoker (7 years smoke free), I certainly know what it's like. I tried several times before I finally was successfull in quitting.  If he isn't interested, then so be it.

                                                            If he is interested in quitting, I recommend trying the Chantix.  But he should do the full program, including either the web support or the phone support and the behavior modification techniques.  I had the vivid dreams side effects that many have reported, but they weren't "nightmares".  Many of them actually were rather entertaining and funny.  I also had no thoughts of suicide or any of the other side effects that generated so much negative press and media noise when it first came out.

                                                            bj63
                                                            Participant

                                                              Like the others, I strongly would consider finding another doctor.  If he really is a former smoker then he should know how hard it is to quit.  Regardless, he doesn't have the right to act like a jerk and threaten to withhold treatment from patients no matter how he feels about smoking.

                                                              Maybe there are studies I don't know about but I've never heard of any direct link between melanoma and smoking.  I've heard about links to many other cancers, COPD, heart disease, etc. – but not melanoma.  I'm not here to judge.  As a former smoker (7 years smoke free), I certainly know what it's like. I tried several times before I finally was successfull in quitting.  If he isn't interested, then so be it.

                                                              If he is interested in quitting, I recommend trying the Chantix.  But he should do the full program, including either the web support or the phone support and the behavior modification techniques.  I had the vivid dreams side effects that many have reported, but they weren't "nightmares".  Many of them actually were rather entertaining and funny.  I also had no thoughts of suicide or any of the other side effects that generated so much negative press and media noise when it first came out.

                                                              washoegal
                                                              Participant

                                                                Your husband can only quit smoking if HE wants to quit.  You nor anyone one else can make him do it.  Encouragement  helps, but nagging only hurts.  As for the doctor, I agree with everyone else, do whatever it takes to find another doc. 

                                                                I too had an experience with a very well respected Oncologist whom I was transferred to after my original Onc moved to a different coast.  He walked in the room after I had my scans and still looking at my chart, never having introducing himself, spouted "Well, if you survive melanoma your chances of reoccurance are ….."  Needless to say that was my first and last visit with him.

                                                                It is a trama to find a new specialist, I really felt like I was lost for a while.  But you could probably follow up with a general oncologist.  I preferred to stay with a Melanoma specialist just in case something did pop up I would be that much further ahead.

                                                                 

                                                                Good luck,

                                                                Mary

                                                                Stage 3a

                                                                washoegal
                                                                Participant

                                                                  Your husband can only quit smoking if HE wants to quit.  You nor anyone one else can make him do it.  Encouragement  helps, but nagging only hurts.  As for the doctor, I agree with everyone else, do whatever it takes to find another doc. 

                                                                  I too had an experience with a very well respected Oncologist whom I was transferred to after my original Onc moved to a different coast.  He walked in the room after I had my scans and still looking at my chart, never having introducing himself, spouted "Well, if you survive melanoma your chances of reoccurance are ….."  Needless to say that was my first and last visit with him.

                                                                  It is a trama to find a new specialist, I really felt like I was lost for a while.  But you could probably follow up with a general oncologist.  I preferred to stay with a Melanoma specialist just in case something did pop up I would be that much further ahead.

                                                                   

                                                                  Good luck,

                                                                  Mary

                                                                  Stage 3a

                                                                  washoegal
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    Your husband can only quit smoking if HE wants to quit.  You nor anyone one else can make him do it.  Encouragement  helps, but nagging only hurts.  As for the doctor, I agree with everyone else, do whatever it takes to find another doc. 

                                                                    I too had an experience with a very well respected Oncologist whom I was transferred to after my original Onc moved to a different coast.  He walked in the room after I had my scans and still looking at my chart, never having introducing himself, spouted "Well, if you survive melanoma your chances of reoccurance are ….."  Needless to say that was my first and last visit with him.

                                                                    It is a trama to find a new specialist, I really felt like I was lost for a while.  But you could probably follow up with a general oncologist.  I preferred to stay with a Melanoma specialist just in case something did pop up I would be that much further ahead.

                                                                     

                                                                    Good luck,

                                                                    Mary

                                                                    Stage 3a

                                                                    DebbieH
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      Definitely – find another doctor! 

                                                                      I never smoked cigarettes but the FIRST thing my melanoma specialist said to me after I went to stage IIIC was this – "If you're a smoker don't even think of quitting now".  I was flabbergasted but he said quitting after years of smoking would have severe effects on lowering the immune system at exactly the time when you want it to be at it's best. While it goes against what we normally say in here – any oncologist can do follow-up visits with your husband, it's just if it were to come back then I'd want another expert – but NOT this guy!

                                                                      This makes me furious – if he's saying it WILL come back then what difference does it make if he smokes if it makes him happy?  You know, most of the people I know who have been fine for years are NOT people who are careful with their diets, drinking, smoking.  Does he refuse to treat the overweight, people who tan, etc.? Arghh….find someone else.

                                                                      DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 11+ years after interferon, no scans and no doctors in years and years….  

                                                                      DebbieH
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Definitely – find another doctor! 

                                                                        I never smoked cigarettes but the FIRST thing my melanoma specialist said to me after I went to stage IIIC was this – "If you're a smoker don't even think of quitting now".  I was flabbergasted but he said quitting after years of smoking would have severe effects on lowering the immune system at exactly the time when you want it to be at it's best. While it goes against what we normally say in here – any oncologist can do follow-up visits with your husband, it's just if it were to come back then I'd want another expert – but NOT this guy!

                                                                        This makes me furious – if he's saying it WILL come back then what difference does it make if he smokes if it makes him happy?  You know, most of the people I know who have been fine for years are NOT people who are careful with their diets, drinking, smoking.  Does he refuse to treat the overweight, people who tan, etc.? Arghh….find someone else.

                                                                        DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 11+ years after interferon, no scans and no doctors in years and years….  

                                                                        DebbieH
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          Definitely – find another doctor! 

                                                                          I never smoked cigarettes but the FIRST thing my melanoma specialist said to me after I went to stage IIIC was this – "If you're a smoker don't even think of quitting now".  I was flabbergasted but he said quitting after years of smoking would have severe effects on lowering the immune system at exactly the time when you want it to be at it's best. While it goes against what we normally say in here – any oncologist can do follow-up visits with your husband, it's just if it were to come back then I'd want another expert – but NOT this guy!

                                                                          This makes me furious – if he's saying it WILL come back then what difference does it make if he smokes if it makes him happy?  You know, most of the people I know who have been fine for years are NOT people who are careful with their diets, drinking, smoking.  Does he refuse to treat the overweight, people who tan, etc.? Arghh….find someone else.

                                                                          DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 11+ years after interferon, no scans and no doctors in years and years….  

                                                                            Ann from Iowa
                                                                            Participant

                                                                              How interesting.  Just jokingly, I have wanted to ask when I read all the statistics about melanoma or any cancer for that matter,  if anyone had ever done a survey on whose melanoma or cancer returns, those who do everything on the straight and narrow path and those such as my husband has,continues to smoke, chew tobacco and eat a poor diet or makes other poor choices.  Seriously though, each persons bodies are different and each responds to the treatments in other ways.  Don't get me wrong, I would give anything for him to quit and enjoy life without these habits but it is not for me to say.  I learned that a long time ago and as others have said,  nagging only would make the situation worse.  And my thoughts were as yours, when his struggles both physically and mentally with his melanoma diagnosis were at its worst, that his stress level as well as mine were off the charts.  For now he has been blessed with NED and we hope that will continue.  With the responses we have gotten I am going to stop by the dermatologists office before work in the morning and make an appointment to talk to him.  We can only go from there.  This situation cannot continue as I can not handle it.  Thanks for the kind support. 

                                                                              Ann from Iowa
                                                                              Participant

                                                                                How interesting.  Just jokingly, I have wanted to ask when I read all the statistics about melanoma or any cancer for that matter,  if anyone had ever done a survey on whose melanoma or cancer returns, those who do everything on the straight and narrow path and those such as my husband has,continues to smoke, chew tobacco and eat a poor diet or makes other poor choices.  Seriously though, each persons bodies are different and each responds to the treatments in other ways.  Don't get me wrong, I would give anything for him to quit and enjoy life without these habits but it is not for me to say.  I learned that a long time ago and as others have said,  nagging only would make the situation worse.  And my thoughts were as yours, when his struggles both physically and mentally with his melanoma diagnosis were at its worst, that his stress level as well as mine were off the charts.  For now he has been blessed with NED and we hope that will continue.  With the responses we have gotten I am going to stop by the dermatologists office before work in the morning and make an appointment to talk to him.  We can only go from there.  This situation cannot continue as I can not handle it.  Thanks for the kind support. 

                                                                                Ann from Iowa
                                                                                Participant

                                                                                  How interesting.  Just jokingly, I have wanted to ask when I read all the statistics about melanoma or any cancer for that matter,  if anyone had ever done a survey on whose melanoma or cancer returns, those who do everything on the straight and narrow path and those such as my husband has,continues to smoke, chew tobacco and eat a poor diet or makes other poor choices.  Seriously though, each persons bodies are different and each responds to the treatments in other ways.  Don't get me wrong, I would give anything for him to quit and enjoy life without these habits but it is not for me to say.  I learned that a long time ago and as others have said,  nagging only would make the situation worse.  And my thoughts were as yours, when his struggles both physically and mentally with his melanoma diagnosis were at its worst, that his stress level as well as mine were off the charts.  For now he has been blessed with NED and we hope that will continue.  With the responses we have gotten I am going to stop by the dermatologists office before work in the morning and make an appointment to talk to him.  We can only go from there.  This situation cannot continue as I can not handle it.  Thanks for the kind support. 

                                                                                sjl
                                                                                Participant

                                                                                  I think what  your doctor said is horrible!  My husband is a smoker with Stage 3c mucosal melanoma and a secondary primary lung cancer.  It bothers me to no end that he will not quit smoking but I know that only he can make that choice.  A veterinarian I once worked for told me that nicotine addiction is a strong as heroine addiction. 

                                                                                  Most of us have habits that can contribute to our health problems.  I think our doctors should most definitely make us aware of them so we can make choices, but to refuse to treat us is all wrong!

                                                                                  I have an 83 year old uncle who is in the end stages of prostrate cancer.  I was shocked when I found out (he didn't tell us until a few weeks ago that anything was wrong).  This man rode a bicycle to work for years when he worked at a post office, walked to drop letters off at the post office when he retired, chopped wood by hand for two hours a day, never drank, never smoked or chewed, and ate a diet of his own home made stew everyday using fresh vegatables and lean meats.  That stew was nearly all he ever ate.  He refuses to eat bread, pasta, fatty foods, sugar, anything at all that he feels is unhealthy. He even distills his own water.  He could run circles around all of us younger folks.  He made sure he was protected from the sun.  He did eveything right and still got cancer.  Sometimes I think that if we're meant to get cancer, we'll get it no matter what even though there are certainly things that we can do that may lessen our odds or delay it's occurance.  In my uncle's case, I have no doubt that his healthy living habits gave him a much higher quality of life and for a much longer time than he would have had otherwise.

                                                                                  sjl
                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                    I think what  your doctor said is horrible!  My husband is a smoker with Stage 3c mucosal melanoma and a secondary primary lung cancer.  It bothers me to no end that he will not quit smoking but I know that only he can make that choice.  A veterinarian I once worked for told me that nicotine addiction is a strong as heroine addiction. 

                                                                                    Most of us have habits that can contribute to our health problems.  I think our doctors should most definitely make us aware of them so we can make choices, but to refuse to treat us is all wrong!

                                                                                    I have an 83 year old uncle who is in the end stages of prostrate cancer.  I was shocked when I found out (he didn't tell us until a few weeks ago that anything was wrong).  This man rode a bicycle to work for years when he worked at a post office, walked to drop letters off at the post office when he retired, chopped wood by hand for two hours a day, never drank, never smoked or chewed, and ate a diet of his own home made stew everyday using fresh vegatables and lean meats.  That stew was nearly all he ever ate.  He refuses to eat bread, pasta, fatty foods, sugar, anything at all that he feels is unhealthy. He even distills his own water.  He could run circles around all of us younger folks.  He made sure he was protected from the sun.  He did eveything right and still got cancer.  Sometimes I think that if we're meant to get cancer, we'll get it no matter what even though there are certainly things that we can do that may lessen our odds or delay it's occurance.  In my uncle's case, I have no doubt that his healthy living habits gave him a much higher quality of life and for a much longer time than he would have had otherwise.

                                                                                    sjl
                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                      I think what  your doctor said is horrible!  My husband is a smoker with Stage 3c mucosal melanoma and a secondary primary lung cancer.  It bothers me to no end that he will not quit smoking but I know that only he can make that choice.  A veterinarian I once worked for told me that nicotine addiction is a strong as heroine addiction. 

                                                                                      Most of us have habits that can contribute to our health problems.  I think our doctors should most definitely make us aware of them so we can make choices, but to refuse to treat us is all wrong!

                                                                                      I have an 83 year old uncle who is in the end stages of prostrate cancer.  I was shocked when I found out (he didn't tell us until a few weeks ago that anything was wrong).  This man rode a bicycle to work for years when he worked at a post office, walked to drop letters off at the post office when he retired, chopped wood by hand for two hours a day, never drank, never smoked or chewed, and ate a diet of his own home made stew everyday using fresh vegatables and lean meats.  That stew was nearly all he ever ate.  He refuses to eat bread, pasta, fatty foods, sugar, anything at all that he feels is unhealthy. He even distills his own water.  He could run circles around all of us younger folks.  He made sure he was protected from the sun.  He did eveything right and still got cancer.  Sometimes I think that if we're meant to get cancer, we'll get it no matter what even though there are certainly things that we can do that may lessen our odds or delay it's occurance.  In my uncle's case, I have no doubt that his healthy living habits gave him a much higher quality of life and for a much longer time than he would have had otherwise.

                                                                                      audgator
                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                        It has been mentioned a number of times in this thread about seeing someone else for chest xrays. When I was stage 3  I was getting CT scans and brain MRIs every 6 months. I went to stage 4 when it was found in my lungs & liver. I am not sure a chest xray would have found it in my lungs and certainly not my liver. Right?    Dan

                                                                                          democat
                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                            Dr. Guilana (up until recently, Kaiser Permanente's melanoma expert) told me that chest Xrays catch most matasteses, and expose you to far less radiation than a CT scan.  I am stage 3a/3b and am thinking about having CT scans every 6 months and a chest Xray mid-way between each CT scan. (Initially, I wanted a CT scan every 3 months.) I was told I don't need any more brain MRIs (I had one) unless I develop symptoms.  

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Roxanne

                                                                                            democat
                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                              Dr. Guilana (up until recently, Kaiser Permanente's melanoma expert) told me that chest Xrays catch most matasteses, and expose you to far less radiation than a CT scan.  I am stage 3a/3b and am thinking about having CT scans every 6 months and a chest Xray mid-way between each CT scan. (Initially, I wanted a CT scan every 3 months.) I was told I don't need any more brain MRIs (I had one) unless I develop symptoms.  

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Roxanne

                                                                                              democat
                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                Dr. Guilana (up until recently, Kaiser Permanente's melanoma expert) told me that chest Xrays catch most matasteses, and expose you to far less radiation than a CT scan.  I am stage 3a/3b and am thinking about having CT scans every 6 months and a chest Xray mid-way between each CT scan. (Initially, I wanted a CT scan every 3 months.) I was told I don't need any more brain MRIs (I had one) unless I develop symptoms.  

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Roxanne

                                                                                              audgator
                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                It has been mentioned a number of times in this thread about seeing someone else for chest xrays. When I was stage 3  I was getting CT scans and brain MRIs every 6 months. I went to stage 4 when it was found in my lungs & liver. I am not sure a chest xray would have found it in my lungs and certainly not my liver. Right?    Dan

                                                                                                audgator
                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                  It has been mentioned a number of times in this thread about seeing someone else for chest xrays. When I was stage 3  I was getting CT scans and brain MRIs every 6 months. I went to stage 4 when it was found in my lungs & liver. I am not sure a chest xray would have found it in my lungs and certainly not my liver. Right?    Dan

                                                                                                  Liz C
                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                    My worst nightmare is that my husband would want to control my health care decisions. 

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                    –Liz.

                                                                                                    Liz C
                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                      My worst nightmare is that my husband would want to control my health care decisions. 

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      –Liz.

                                                                                                      Liz C
                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                        My worst nightmare is that my husband would want to control my health care decisions. 

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        –Liz.

                                                                                                        kthekhal
                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                          How dare my doctor tell me to : 

                                                                                                             stop smoking

                                                                                                             stop abusing alcohol

                                                                                                             stop eating foods that cause cancer

                                                                                                             stop tanning etc. etc etc.

                                                                                                             I will do all the above  – it is the govt's responsibility to find a cure for cancer  – I HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE

                                                                                                          kthekhal
                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                            How dare my doctor tell me to : 

                                                                                                               stop smoking

                                                                                                               stop abusing alcohol

                                                                                                               stop eating foods that cause cancer

                                                                                                               stop tanning etc. etc etc.

                                                                                                               I will do all the above  – it is the govt's responsibility to find a cure for cancer  – I HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE

                                                                                                              Janner
                                                                                                              Participant

                                                                                                                If a doctor is offering the advice, shouldn't they work WITH a patient and create a treatment plan?  Saying "QUIT" isn't very constructive.  It's hardly new news that quitting smoking isn't easy or that smoking isn't healthy.  There are plenty of doctors who treat people whose lifestyle choices are different from their own but do they say "I'm VEGAN and I'll only treat you if you're VEGAN too?"   It's even more difficult when it's the only specialist in town.  Wouldn't it make more sense to talk to a doctor that suggests some type of action plan?  If someone tells me rudely "DO THIS OR ELSE", I can tell my my gut reaction is not to jump on the bandwagon and say "HOW SOON?".  I suppose your solution would work if all doctors stopped treating anyone who smoked, drank, tanned or ate any food.  That narrows down their client list considerably.   All advice was essentially "FIND A DOCTOR YOU CAN WORK WITH" and bag the guy who is rude to you.  That's hardly bad advice.

                                                                                                                Janner
                                                                                                                Participant

                                                                                                                  If a doctor is offering the advice, shouldn't they work WITH a patient and create a treatment plan?  Saying "QUIT" isn't very constructive.  It's hardly new news that quitting smoking isn't easy or that smoking isn't healthy.  There are plenty of doctors who treat people whose lifestyle choices are different from their own but do they say "I'm VEGAN and I'll only treat you if you're VEGAN too?"   It's even more difficult when it's the only specialist in town.  Wouldn't it make more sense to talk to a doctor that suggests some type of action plan?  If someone tells me rudely "DO THIS OR ELSE", I can tell my my gut reaction is not to jump on the bandwagon and say "HOW SOON?".  I suppose your solution would work if all doctors stopped treating anyone who smoked, drank, tanned or ate any food.  That narrows down their client list considerably.   All advice was essentially "FIND A DOCTOR YOU CAN WORK WITH" and bag the guy who is rude to you.  That's hardly bad advice.

                                                                                                                  Janner
                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                    If a doctor is offering the advice, shouldn't they work WITH a patient and create a treatment plan?  Saying "QUIT" isn't very constructive.  It's hardly new news that quitting smoking isn't easy or that smoking isn't healthy.  There are plenty of doctors who treat people whose lifestyle choices are different from their own but do they say "I'm VEGAN and I'll only treat you if you're VEGAN too?"   It's even more difficult when it's the only specialist in town.  Wouldn't it make more sense to talk to a doctor that suggests some type of action plan?  If someone tells me rudely "DO THIS OR ELSE", I can tell my my gut reaction is not to jump on the bandwagon and say "HOW SOON?".  I suppose your solution would work if all doctors stopped treating anyone who smoked, drank, tanned or ate any food.  That narrows down their client list considerably.   All advice was essentially "FIND A DOCTOR YOU CAN WORK WITH" and bag the guy who is rude to you.  That's hardly bad advice.

                                                                                                                  kthekhal
                                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                                    How dare my doctor tell me to : 

                                                                                                                       stop smoking

                                                                                                                       stop abusing alcohol

                                                                                                                       stop eating foods that cause cancer

                                                                                                                       stop tanning etc. etc etc.

                                                                                                                       I will do all the above  – it is the govt's responsibility to find a cure for cancer  – I HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE

                                                                                                                    Ann from Iowa
                                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                                      I just wanted to update you on my appointment this morning with my husband's local dermatologist.  I related to him how his appointment went on Friday and as a very professional man, he only said " This Dr. must have been having a very bad day".  But he did say that no, you don't ditch a patient because of a bad habit.  You try to help them through it.

                                                                                                                      Anyway, he is going to have him come in in three months for a skin check and we will go from there.  He said tht IF his melanoma should ever return he will make sure he sees the local oncologist and then he can refer us somewhere else if need be which would more than likely at this point be the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  This dermatologist is the one who initially diagnosed his nodular melanoma in 2008  and 18 months later found it in his lymph node under his arm.

                                                                                                                      I just wanted to thank everyone who replied to my post and supported me in making the decision to change doctors.  I do think the way he went about all of this to get him to quit using tobacco was a bit harsh.  It was refreshing today to be spoken to so kindly and given the word that they would try and help him quit his tobacco habit.  And now it will be up to my husband to take that help.  I hope he does.      Again, a sincere thank you to all of you and best of luck to you also in this fight against melanoma. 

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                      Ann from Iowa
                                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                                        I just wanted to update you on my appointment this morning with my husband's local dermatologist.  I related to him how his appointment went on Friday and as a very professional man, he only said " This Dr. must have been having a very bad day".  But he did say that no, you don't ditch a patient because of a bad habit.  You try to help them through it.

                                                                                                                        Anyway, he is going to have him come in in three months for a skin check and we will go from there.  He said tht IF his melanoma should ever return he will make sure he sees the local oncologist and then he can refer us somewhere else if need be which would more than likely at this point be the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  This dermatologist is the one who initially diagnosed his nodular melanoma in 2008  and 18 months later found it in his lymph node under his arm.

                                                                                                                        I just wanted to thank everyone who replied to my post and supported me in making the decision to change doctors.  I do think the way he went about all of this to get him to quit using tobacco was a bit harsh.  It was refreshing today to be spoken to so kindly and given the word that they would try and help him quit his tobacco habit.  And now it will be up to my husband to take that help.  I hope he does.      Again, a sincere thank you to all of you and best of luck to you also in this fight against melanoma. 

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Ann from Iowa
                                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                                          I just wanted to update you on my appointment this morning with my husband's local dermatologist.  I related to him how his appointment went on Friday and as a very professional man, he only said " This Dr. must have been having a very bad day".  But he did say that no, you don't ditch a patient because of a bad habit.  You try to help them through it.

                                                                                                                          Anyway, he is going to have him come in in three months for a skin check and we will go from there.  He said tht IF his melanoma should ever return he will make sure he sees the local oncologist and then he can refer us somewhere else if need be which would more than likely at this point be the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  This dermatologist is the one who initially diagnosed his nodular melanoma in 2008  and 18 months later found it in his lymph node under his arm.

                                                                                                                          I just wanted to thank everyone who replied to my post and supported me in making the decision to change doctors.  I do think the way he went about all of this to get him to quit using tobacco was a bit harsh.  It was refreshing today to be spoken to so kindly and given the word that they would try and help him quit his tobacco habit.  And now it will be up to my husband to take that help.  I hope he does.      Again, a sincere thank you to all of you and best of luck to you also in this fight against melanoma. 

                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                           

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