We need humor too…

In this job, its best to observe a new "advanced cancer" patient as he/she walks/is wheeled into an oncologist's room, before the first word even escapes one's mouth.  

Impersonal smile +  wide-eyed, frantically gesturing companion.  Its a safe bet that the patient doesn't know the diagnosis… or pretends not to.   Look only at the patient with high-tech, quick-booting tunnel vision.

Hostile patient + harassed companion.  Its early Kubler-Ross, so Dig-in-Your-Heels-Doc!   

Haughty patient and companion, with labs from several oncologists.  A shopper, but still similar to the above.   Consider the extemporaneous /numbers-crunching Brainy CEO manner, a la Clinton.  Still haughty?  Refer to a large U.S. Cancer Center.

Haughty patient and companion, with report from large U.S. center.  Patience is a virtue… Lawyers are expensive… Your mother will haunt you.  Pre-morbid condition beyond Kubler-Ross?  Turf to the Shrink.  Almost beyond human endurance?  Voila!  The Dunce mode.  (Pray that they go elsewhere.)

Anxious patient + anxious companion.  Very recently informed about the diagnosis.  Hoping for an error.  The Distant Relative mode– gentle, humorous, mildly familiar, occasionally gossipy.

Withdrawn patient + frowning relatives in single-file .  The relatives will decide and/or pay, but may be battling each other.  Pick out the dominant one, fast!   (The one everyone looks at when costs are mentioned.)

Impersonal patient + a gaggle of deferential relatives.  The patient is in control, probably much loved and/or a taipan.   The Professorial mode– with facts, evidence, and the stats…in color.  Print out nomograms!  Justify your listing of Office XP and LCD panels as capital expenses!  
A look of peace + teary-eyed companion.  The primary doctor has done a fabulous job.  The patient knows and accepts his/her fate.  Guard your heart, or you'll lose it.

Many thanks to Buck for the use of this Toon.  Check out his site: http://www.buckcash.com/

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