The Battle Against Cancer-11(The attitude of the other medical department)


The painful dizziness and faint had often occurred and as I had passed away once in a while, in the evening when I tried to go to the rest room, I got detailed examination of my brain and heart.

Even if had been told that there wasn’t any problem from the doctors concerned, the actual dizziness and faint that I had not experienced in my life didn’t stop.

I had never experienced in my life feeling such terrible dizziness and faint when I stood up from the chair and not able to get out the bed. Thus, I had stressed to the doctors what was happening to me every time.

But the answer of the doctors of the Neurosurgery department and the Cardiovascular internal medicine department was that it was beyond their control. The answer was just a business-like answer.

I was not able to feel the slightest concern from those doctors for the patient suffering from the terrible physical and mental pain.

“What shall I do, doctor?”

“Well. Please consult with your main doctor.”

“What? I am sent here since it was not my main doctor’s profession, right!?”

The doctors of the Neurosurgery department and the Cardiovascular internal medicine department respectively said

“I can’t give you the reply as I don’t see any direct reason in your brain.”

“There is no problem in your heart itself. The low blood pressure rate is also not due to some problem in your heart.”

The attitude of those doctors was like saying; There aren’t any ill organs nor parts in my body. Not looking the patient in front of them as a person who are having heart and feelings.

The attitude of those doctors was also like telling me that the problems causing me all the physical and mental pain had nothing to do with them. And there wasn’t even a bit of feeling that I was able to feel that they wanted to help me to ease my pain.

I have thought

“What would these doctors feel if they become in a position as a patient and was if they were told same things.”

As a result of taking various examination in various medical departments, the diagnosis was concluded on assumption that the reason must have been due to the bad blood flow going up to the head getting blocked by the ruin of the surgery that became hard.

I had to spend very mentally depressed days until I had been told about the diagnosis. Although, it was such a vague diagnosis saying nothing clearly, it was better than nothing for me.

However, the real struggle was starting from this point.

I was telling the main doctor about the change of my body feelings every time at the observation examination. Based on my report, the respective departments within the hospital were introduced.

In my case, the primary tumor was at the Oropharynx. Thus, my main doctor was a doctor of the department of Otorhinolaryngology. He and his staffs were very sincere type of doctors who really cared about the patients and conducted timely treatments as well as the surgery.

However, for the matters that were beyond his profession, all he could do was to make the internal introduction to the respective departments concerned.

Then, who is taking care and is responsible for my whole body?

“NO ONE” is the answer.

It is very efficient that the medical departments are divided into subdivisions, but in case that certain illness would involve multiple departments, the patient will feel very uneasy unless certain department would have toltal responsibility of your total body.

One of my very intimate friends, the wife of the former Swedish Ambassador to Japan, had repeatedly called me and asked me to come to Sweden to take the treatment at Karolinska Institutes, where the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine is selected.

I was told that in Sweden, a group of medical team consists of doctors who are specialized in the cancer of whole body, the main doctor of the primary cancer and Psychiatrist and/or Psychosomatic Medicine would take care of the cancer patient.

Her kind advice was that it would be very difficult for me to go through the series of treatments if the things were proceeded in such way and I would be mentally fatigued sooner or later.

I knew how good Karolinska Institutes was as my late mother had taken the surgery of the stomach cancer at Karolinska Institutes when my late father was the Ambassador to Sweden.

However, as my physical and mental conditions did not allow me to take a long overseas trip, I thanked her for the kindness she had extended to me but declined her offer.

The explanation I received from the wife of the formal Ambassador seemed nothing special but quite natural for the treatment of the illness such as cancer that would involve various medical departmets. But such treatment conducted by the medical team of the doctors of the respective departments concerned is not common in Japan.

I am quite convinced that Japanese hospitals should also follow such a step for the cancer treatment etc., taking off the hazard or the wall that exists strongly in between the respective medical departments of the hospital.

In any case, I am quite convinced that the decision I made was the right decision for the treatment. Namely, I had consulted with my main doctor thoroughly about the possible treatments that I could take and made my own decision what kind of treatments I was going to take.


都倉 亮 について

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