It must have come as a shock to be asked that. I am nearly 10 years now with bone mets for 8 then liver mets and I have never been asked that. In order for you to be in that position you would have exhausted all treatments and unstable and you are neither.
I got asked to see gp for review thought it was about meds. When I got there he started conversation with "so have you thought about where you want to die?". I was totally shocked after listening to him rambling on about home hospice and hospital I asked if he had been told something I hadn't (oncologist always says he won't put a time limit on things now as he doesn't consider it appropriate because I'm stable on scans etc). GP said oh no it just for our records we ask everyone who is terminal. I went home and cried for rest of the day, my hubby wanted to go and rip him a new one😊 Oncologist was fuming when I told him and said he would be writing to practice to tell them not to make statements like that to his patients in future. He said there's a difference between a terminal diagnosis ie stage 4 and a terminal prognosis as in he would put a time scale on your life. Needless to say I don't go to that GP anymore xx
i totally agree with you i always describe it as incurable but treatable. i still work and still live an ordinary life up to a point ie family holidays evenings out etc. i had a visit by a pallative care nurse the other day that spooked the life out of me, she kept talking prognosis (even after telling her nobody knows this) and giving me bed sore advice. i understand that the severity of the illness has to be understood but also think terminal takes away the hope of many years to come that we all wish and hope for x
Just adding my thoughts here.
Im also aware that Stage 4 breast cancer is/was called Terminal but then again life is terminal! I would imagine the word was assigned to this Stage as originally it was an immediate death sentence as treatments many years ago were not available, or very limited so there was not much that could be done and ladies died very quickly after diagnosis. I do mean many, many years ago by the way. Even when I had my secondary diagnosis in 2008 statistics were showing maximum of 2 years - which have still not been updated on Mr Google! When I have enquired about the wording of ‘terminal’ for travel insurance purposes the companies have said that their definition is that there is no treatment available and there is not long for the patient to live.
Unfortunately the ‘terminal’ word has stuck with this disease and, has been discussed on this forum in the past, the expressions of ‘Stage 4Breast Cancer or Secondary breast Cancer’ seem to downgrade its seriousness rather than describe it better.
The only reason why I brought it up is because I kept seeing it recently in newspapers and other media, as well as my own colleagues. It's a bit depressing
My oncologist also doesn't use the word and I regard my status as more chronic.
I have bony mets, but not with much pain, so I just keep calm and carry on....,
I was interested to read your post. I’m not really clear what terminal means. I have mets in my bones. It’s been made clear they aren’t curable. The oncologists don’t use the word terminal. I think different people mean different things by it don’t they?
Do you think that terminology about cancer has moved with the times!
The word Terminal makes us all want to go home and give up, and yet it is used widely, even in the medical profession. Also, the media doesn't help, when they high light "Terminal cases".
I know this is a life limiting disease, but so is heart disease and everything associated with it
As a former oncology nurse and now a woman with stage 4 breast cancer I now feel more empowered to carry on. I know my limitations, but luckily I am still practicing but in another role.
I know it's psychological but I bet people's outlook would change if we stopped using words as fatal as the "T" word.