The Patient Perspective

"Mary” is a 67-year-old woman who was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery. She was hospitalized and then readmitted to the hospital after falling at home. I see a lot of Marys (or Joes) in my practice, as do most oncologists and physiatrists. It would take 12 seconds to identify many of the Marys and Joes and help to prevent their readmissions.
We have all had that patient—the patient who is prescribed a new targeted therapy and cannot comply with it because it is just too expensive. When asked directly about the reasoning for the noncompliance, the patient suggests that taking the treatment is just too expensive and, in fact, it is cheaper to die.
Sandra Wade first e-mailed me on July 15, 2011. As you can see in the excerpts from her correspondence with me below, she asked me to contact her oncologist and let her know that as a breast cancer survivor, Sandra had suffered more than she should have, because she was not referred for rehabilitation services.

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