Recently, I had the privilege to launch my book at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore. The book launch was done during their 8th Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert Meeting. I must say that it was an awesome experience I had so far as a physician. I met a lot of brilliant people from the vast range of healthcare workers.
I was interested in hearing their opinions and responses on my perspectives as a caregiver. A booth for the book signing event by the organizing committee. My talk was on the second day of the conference. During the first day, I was visited by an oncologist and he asked me a couple of questions about the contents of my book. I was surprised to hear him say, “It’s common, almost all of us have relatives with cancer.” The statement didn’t shock me, as I was in the same mindset as him before. We doctors think we know all there is about cancer. I did not respond to his statement. I kept it for my speech the next day.
On the second day, I was on the stage. Initially, I explored on the concepts about creating time for myself and loved ones, at home post-chemotherapy care. Then I asked the audience a simple but precise question, “Do you know how many injections, blood taking and CT scans that you have ordered and your patients had gone through?” I went the extra mile asked them, “Do you know how many sleepless nights that your patients had after their biopsy and chemotherapy? Do you know that some of them came late because they had to circle the hospital a few times looking for a parking spot? Do you know how much it cost them to come for their treatments and clinic appointments? Do you know that some of them had to get a personal loan to cover all these unwanted expenses?”
The audience became dead silence. It was not my intention to argue or debate with them. I just wanted to show them the perspectives of a caregiver. I went on sharing my opinions on how to at least try to understand patients. I also talked about how to deal with doctors who are also patients.
After the talk, my booth started to crowd and many were interested to know more. We talked and discussed on issues related to cancer. Some of them bought the book for themselves and their loved ones. One oncology nurse came and bought 5 books and also donated to one of the societies I support.
Overall, I loved the trip to Singapore (it was my first) and met numerous lovely people there.