Holy Sit: Meet Dr. Quick Blade

Meet Dr. Quick Blade

Diagnosis Part II 

After meeting with Dr. Emily (my gynecologist), the 2nd half of my uterine cancer diagnostic appointments occurred the next day when I met with the surgeon who my friend Clancy affectionately renamed Dr. Quick Blade. UCSF had sent me pages of material to complete before my appointment. It seemed like a lot of work when I had not yet made any treatment decisions. But already I was seeing the assembly line pattern. Anyone associated with Western medicine and my diagnosis assumed that I would follow their protocol on their timeline, without question. 

After I completed the paperwork a young girl escorted me to the examination room. She did not seem old enough to serve drinks let alone to have completed medical school yet she was asking me all kinds of personal questions related to my impending surgery. My annoyance level rose as Dr. Quick Blade made his entrance. You know how you can tell immediately if you're going to really like someone or if s/he will never make your annual Christmas card list? Perhaps it's unfair but my opinion of Dr. Quick Blade was formed before the door closed. 

His first words did little to earn him a seat on my Facebook friend list. “We don’t typically get women like you in here. Usually uterine cancer happens to obese women over 60 years old and I can see you are neither of those things.” Thanks for the quick assessment and slow sensitivity, Einstein. His opinion about the surgery only differed from Dr. Emily’s in that he wanted to take everything without question, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. I said, “Wouldn’t it behoove me to keep my ovaries if possible?” (He should have been warned when I pulled out the word “behoove.”) I’m thinking, as women, we are already about as screwed hormonally as a gender can get. Intentionally disarming our functioning hormones is like begging for a major deviation in the plan for world peace. 

Dr. Quick Blade (QB for short) granted me the courtesy of drawing my uterus on a piece of paper so that I could see all that he intended to chop out. Did he seriously think his ability to line-draw my reproductive organs was going to increase my confidence in his surgical ability? At least Dr. Emily had a full-color flipbook. 

Next Dr. QB instructed his adolescent assistant to perform an exam to check the thickness of my uterine wall. It would inform him before my imminent surgery. But progress halted when he saw the look on my face, conveying, “She does not look old enough to have a menstrual cycle. She is not going anywhere near my girly parts and neither are you, Moron.” So much for my nonviolent, nonverbal communication skills! 

As we quickly wrapped up the appointment, Dr. Quick Blade confidently asserted, “Okay, we are all set. We’ll schedule a follow-up appointment with you for Monday and we will do surgery next Thursday. We just need you to sign these five documents and we’ll be good to go, okay?” I said, “Actually no. Not okay. We are slowing down this train. I'm not signing your five documents and you are not cutting into me. But thank you so much for your time and consultation.” 

What I didn’t say, but what would be in the movie version of this story, was this; “I just received my cancer diagnosis YESTERDAY. Contrary to your cookie cutter production practices that feed your kid’s college fund, surgery is NOT a forgone conclusion! Cutting and poisoning my body does not feel like healing it to me. Your fear tactics and false sense of urgency will not work. I will not be bullied into quiet compliance by the likes of you. There have to be more choices than this. But since everyone I’ve met so far with valid credentials has only offered a one-size-fits-all approach, I guess it’s up to me to find out what my other options are. Good day to you, sir!” 

At that, Dr. Quick Blade and his teenage sidekick left the room thinking me a mad woman. I sat alone in the exam room feeling so small looking up against the massive limitations of conventional medicine just as I had faced the constraints of the Catholic Church at a younger age and walked away. But in this case, here and now when my physical well being depended on my decisions, I wondered what the hell I had just done.

To learn about the important things I learned that stopped feeding the cancer, continue reading the story here.

In peace,
Emily Hine

Disclaimers: For every Dr. Quick Blade in the system, there are an equal number of qualified, compassionate surgeons. There are many cases when surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy are the right choices for a cancer patient, especially if that is what you believe will heal you. I am not a medical doctor. This blog, my belief system and my twisted humor are not intended to influence any person one way or another in medical choices. I am merely stating my experience, my interpretation of those experiences and my decision-making process which included following my intuition about what was right for me. Please see a licensed, health care provider if you have a health challenge.