...When she was in her sixties, Elizabeth developed rectal cancer. When she learned that the surgery for her rectal cancer would require her to be under anesthesia, almost upside down in the operating room, and touched exactly
where her father had touched her many years before, Elizabeth’s vulnerability and fear were unleashed. Elizabeth summoned up all of her courage and asked to meet with her surgeon.
She told him about her past with her father and asked if it would be possible for a nurse to accompany her into the operating room and hold her hand until the anesthesia took effect.
The surgeon looked at her quietly and said, “I will hold your hand myself,” and on the day of the operation, he did.
Through an honest discussion, understanding on the part of the clinician, and physician-patient collaboration, Elizabeth no longer faced surgery with terror, but instead with an ally.