There’s nothing incidental about sharing an incidental finding. There’s no easy or casual “Oh by the way, there’s something on your kidney.”
I tried that. It didn’t quite work. My preface to “not freak out” was not taken in the stride I had hoped.
“Do you understand what I am telling you?”
He nods. Good.
“I likely have cancer.”
“No, that’s not quite it.”
“Well, um, mmmh – “
“And now I have to prepare for the worst, just in case.”
Well that last part is right, but the first part – is it wrong? Isn’t it what I wanted? Was there any way to avoid it?Isn’t that the ultimate goal? To get them thinking about it? To pre-warn them? Is that helpful?
Once you let the “C” word out of the bag, you really have no control left. But if you don’t show it, did you really do your job?
“Well, let’s try this again, shall we?”