There is no right or wrong way to go about dealing with a cancer diagnosis, but I fully understand the approach Tracey Emin has taken. She has had bladder and kidney problems for several years, but developed pain and developed bladder cancer in June.
A team of 12 surgeons operated for more than six hours.
She has removed her bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, lymph nodes, urethra, and parts of her colon and vagina. That's a mind-boggling amount of surgeries and shows how serious things are for them.
While some people seek comfort and consolation from friends and family, Emin did the opposite.
Dr. Max Pemberton believes people should respect Tracey Emin's (pictured) decision to distance themselves from their friends after surgery
She sent an email to about 70 friends before the operation with the open instructions: “Don't contact me. Don't call me Don't text me. Don't send me an email. If you want to know how I am doing, call the studio. If you contact me, you will no longer be on this mailing list. "
Someone replied and suggested a surgeon. Your answer? "… I thought," Damn it, I have a really good surgeon. "What, so Tracey went out and got a bad surgeon? You're off the list."
It sounds harsh and I suppose the tone could be considered typical Emin. She is famous, after all, for not crushing her words. But I fully understand the feelings.
The idea of everyone huddling around and smiling compassionately and baking cakes would frighten me. Anyone who gives advice and makes suggestions – that would drive me crazy.
Britain's oldest person has died at the age of 112
Joan Hocquard has died at the age of 112. Your secret? There was none.
According to her son, "she enjoyed butter and cream and mocked the idea of dieting".
Their long life was due to happiness, as was so much of our health. So just enjoy your life and live it well.
Like Tracey, I'd rather be left alone to deal with it in my own way. Go downstairs, clear it up, and deal with things in my own time and at my own pace.
Sartre wrote that hell are other people, and too many times I've seen how hellish they can be to people living with cancer. The ones about cooing and fuss, but some people hate being spoiled like that. I can't think of anything worse.
People mean well; They want to help, support, and care for you. But too often it is about them – about feeling better or dealing with their grief or fears so that the person with cancer gets lost in almost everything.
I have seen this many times in the clinic and on the wards where you find that the patient – the one who actually deals with the cancer diagnosis – needs to consider the feelings of friends or family, not their own.
One of the weird things about cancer that I've seen over and over again is the way the patient often feels responsible for making people around them feel better. They look courageous, do not want to burden anyone and are concerned about the effects of their illness on others.
When I was working as a junior doctor in breast surgery, I remember a young woman who was diagnosed with a tear-dropping tumor. But she was just worried about how her mother and husband would handle it.
I was overwhelmed that this was the first thing she thought of. If there is a time when you should be the center of your worries, you have just been told that you have cancer.
But there is also the fact that in something like Cancer, everything is experienced through this prism.
The disease is always there, coloring your experience with other people and making fun of any fun you have. It's like a little constant wobbling in the back of everyone's mind. You are no longer who you were, you are a tumor, a cancer patient, instead of a silly, funny old you who happens to have cancer too.
Dr. Max Pemberton (pictured) said that everyone's approach to being diagnosed with cancer is different and that some people like himself and Tracey Emin want to be left alone but others need assistance from others
When Emin told her twin brother, she made an appointment to spend a day at the seaside and waited until the end before relaying the message to him. If she had said at the beginning, it would have cast a shadow over the whole day I didn't tell him they had a wonderful day together.
"I said to him," Look, you know, we've been together all day. If I had told you at the beginning of the day, you would have been upset all day. But I didn't tell you, that shows it won't make any difference for now. And that's how you have to think about it, because that's how I think about it. So don't cry "’
Fair enough I think.
The fact is, everyone deals with a cancer diagnosis differently. While there are people like Emin and me who want to get on with it, there are of course a lot of people who want the distraction of others and are actively seeking their support.
Do whatever works for you. And if a loved one has cancer, it is imperative that you be guided by them how to deal with it. Just don't do it to yourself.
Unfortunately, Fay is far from being alone …
At the age of 89, author Fay Weldon filed for divorce from her nearly 30-year-old husband, citing “compulsive behavior”. It takes courage to leave someone in their eighties. In addition, these relationships are notoriously difficult for people to leave.
I've seen many during my career and most of the victims don't even realize they're inside one.
A few weeks ago a woman in her sixties walked in with depression. She was convinced that her unfaithful husband, who was in complete control of her finances, had another business.
89-year-old writer Fay Weldon (pictured) has filed for divorce from her husband, who is nearly 30 years old
She wanted to see a private psychotherapist but, despite her wealth, did not have enough money of her own and had to ask her husband to pay, for which she was too afraid.
I am amazed at how common this type of relationship is, and sorry to say that most women are women, although I have come across some men in forced relationships.
Dementia patients are given "archaic and dangerous" antipsychotics to calm them down. This is according to a study that shows an increase in prescriptions in the pandemic.
About 43,352 dementia patients were instructed to take the medication in September alone. It is used not to treat dementia; rather, to treat the more bothersome symptoms. This can be useful at times – those who are paranoid or very desperate can get great relief from small doses.
But too often, antipsychotics, which can double the chances of death, are only used to make patient care easier.
Dr. Max prescribes … fancy cookies
It is not often that a doctor prescribes cookies, but these sumptuously decorated creations are something else.
They can be sent through the mailbox and are ideal for people who offer protection as an alternative to flowers. Now we are entering a second lock. It is more important than ever to remind loved ones, we still think of them (biscuiteers.com).
Dr. Max has prescribed these elaborately decorated cookies that fit in a mailbox and are ideal for people who need protection from the coronavirus
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