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Convincing Those in Denial

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Old 02-17-2007, 02:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Posts: 2
Cygnus HB User
Convincing Those in Denial

My 45-year-old brother, Vic, has been told that me may have lung cancer. It began with a persistent cough in June '06 (three months after we buried our father) and, by October, he began vomiting a "watery substance." He went to his PCP and was given a CT scan. Seems he never went for a follow-up and was sent a certified letter, by the doctor, stating that he may have lung cancer, based on an abnormality in the scan. He threw the letter away, without letting Maryanne, his wife, read it. I asked her to go to his (and her) doctor to retrieve a copy of it along with any path reports. She did, yesterday. Apparently, our HIPAA laws do not permit even the spouse from being privy to such information without patient consent.

I just found all this out last Monday, from our mother. Of course, I called him that evening, and was given the same BS he gave Mom, that "the doctors are trying to bleed him dry because he has insurance." That is obviously irrational and he's scared, but it's imperative that we get him to the pulmonologist for the next scan.

Vic is an extremely stubborn authoritarian (meaning he seeks a perceived authority figure then will do the bidding, but everyone else is out to get him and they don't know what they're talking about) who fancies himself John Wayne. He's a "Conservative Christian" who's expecting The End soon. Any coaxing is met with vehement denial and arguing. Anything rational just doesn't work. I've been developing a strategy, with tactics, to get him on board, to at least take the next test, ASAP.

Today, I called his good friend Gary, who is somewhat similar to Vic in his political and religious beliefs, but far more cognizant of reality, practicality, and who is quite rational. We talked for over an hour (Vic, of course, hadn't told Gary about any of this, lest he be torn a new one) and Gary will talk to Vic, tomorrow morning, on their way to Church. He's going to take the religious tact, which I am unable to do, and will approach him in a way Vic needs it, based on his personality. This is what I've been seeking to happen.

I have been through the cancer diagnosis and treatment thing twice: with my friend John, for whom I became healthcare proxy, and my father, who fought pancreatic cancer for five years. Vic and I took care of him, his final month living. We did everything. I know he's scared, but I hope he fully realizes--but quick!--that it'll be his *** I'll be wiping this time, his skin and bones I'll have to carry, and his hand we'll be holding as he lay dying.

I'm not angry, exactly. I don't have time, nor room, for that. There is an immediate objective which must be reached, then further aims. Anything to stand in that way is unacceptable.

Given what I've just written, I'd appreciate anyone's story of success, in this regard. I know about prayers and being positive. With all due respect, I need some new, tangible approaches.

He's got three sons who ought to have their father for at least as many years as I had mine.

Thank you.


Last edited by Cygnus; 02-17-2007 at 03:01 PM.

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Old 02-17-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: columbia,maryland
Posts: 8
2weimies HB User
Re: Convincing Those in Denial

It sounds as though you have a plan and my only other suggestion would be to reserach a good top pulmonologist/oncologist thoracic surgeon. You have many great cancer hospitals up your way I know because I am a native NY'er and both my parents died of cancer in NYC. Get the names of top doctors, clinical trials and teaching hospitals. Help him, help himself. Good Luck

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