Compassion Corner: Compassion is Not Just About Caring, It’s About Taking That Extra Step. This Patient’s Stage 3 Cancer Could Have Been Avoided

Compassion [kuhmpash-uhn] noun
A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Compassion Corner is a new weekly series from Patient Worthy that will focus on the subject of compassion in the healthcare and rare disease space. In this series, we explore the role of compassion in this field and what it means for caregivers, patients, and others.


Amanda Lee is a 27-year-old actress, photographer, and singer who lives in Los Angeles. Amanda interviewed with Today and shared a video. She had taped her emotional reaction to the harsh treatment she received during her appointment with a specialist. Amanda had endured severe pain during the past several months.

The appointment with this gastroenterologist was important as not only was it difficult to get scheduled but Amanda had been dismissed by other doctors even though she described the severe and continuous pains in her stomach. The doctors did not appear to be concerned that Amanda had lost 35 pounds because she was unable to eat.

At her new appointment with the gastroenterologist, Amanda was shocked that he would dismiss her without an examination. But in this case, he added insult to the dismissal by telling Amanda it was probably a good thing that she lost all that weight.

Amanda sat there stunned and in pain wondering how he could be so dismissive of her problems.

The doctor did not stop there. Although he did not conduct any tests, he did emphasize that being forced to live on a diet of baby food is a blessing for Amanda and in his opinion, she is not undernourished. Amanda left the doctor’s office in tears.

Amanda posted her video on social media. She was urged by many viewers to see another doctor immediately. This time the doctor ran the appropriate tests. A colonoscopy revealed a large tumor. Surgery followed and she was diagnosed with Stage 3A colon cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes.

Looking Forward

It is evident that if a woman has severe pain but has been dismissed by her doctor, she must then advocate for herself. Amanda had a close call and wants to warn others to be proactive and politely assertive when their life may be on the line.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email