I am Scared
My primary care clinic usually ends at 5 PM. My nurse approached me about my last patient who is new. She is 45 minutes late. She also missed her last 2 appointments. It is 4:45 and we usually reschedule if a patient is more than 30 minutes late. I was about to finish my paper work and go home but for some reason I agreed to see her.
I walked into the room and saw a middle aged woman starring at me. She started to cry, "I am scared". I froze for few seconds . I brought her a cup of water. As she was wiping her tears, I starred at her. She handed me a report of a CT scan from another hospital from 3 months ago. It disclosed a large mass in the colon. She was unable to get care after leaving the hospital due to lack of insurance. She has been feeling tired and had noticed loss of blood and weight over time.
The fear of knowing the diagnosis made her feel lost but ignoring it provided temporary relief. We talked about the possibilities and options. The more she explained herself, the more she was willing to pursue her care. I admitted her to the hospital. She had colon cancer but at an early stage. Surgery was performed and treatment sessions were started. I visited her after the surgery. I walked into the room and saw a middle aged women with a smile and no fear.