The Stoic Doctor Chiu

The Stoic Doctor Chiu

When Doctor Chiu walked in, he got straight to it. Yes, it looks to be lung cancer, Stage IIIA, and it appears to be in some of the lymph nodes in the surrounding area, but my left lung looks good, likely nothing either in that lung or those lymph nodes. The way it is growing, it is probably small cell carcinoma lung cancer. We talk through what to do next. He shares with us a heartbreaking story about his own family, but does so in a way that makes it about my situation, not his. To be honest, his personal story broke my heart, but it also helped me tremendously.

He asks us if we want him to be my doctor. The immediate answer was yes. Okay, so do you want to have all your treatment here? Again, yes, this is the best place I could be right now. So, here’s the plan he lays out:

  • First, we get a biopsy to confirm cancer, to get cells to identify what type of cancer I have, and to see if it has moved into lymph nodes.
  • Next, we schedule a brain MRI and a PET scan, which will tell us what stage the cancer is.
  • Then appointments with radiation and medical oncologists. The radiation oncologist will create a treatment plan for the radiation portion, and the medical oncologist will handle the chemo, immunotherapy, and any genetic mutation treatments that might be applicable.

We agree to this, and he shakes our hands with a slight bow, then leaves the room to get things in order. Before we even get out of the exam room, I get a call to schedule the biopsy. It’s tomorrow morning, no time to waste it seems.

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