I've been going to the same doctor for about seven years and I really like him as a person. I had an appointment with him yesterday for the first time in about a year and he has cancer. He didn't say anything, but when he walked in the room I knew. He was so thin and had the look of someone in the middle of chemotherapy. It shocked me and broke my heart. Once he left the room, the nurse confirmed my suspicions and said that he is very sick and doesn't work very much anymore. He's not old and was a very active man.
I want to acknowledge his illness and let him know I'm thinking about him. Is it inappropriate for me (a patient) to send him a card? Is it an inappropriate thing to do in general?
I think it’s rarely inappropriate to show care and compassion. I would send the card.
There is a chance your doctor would prefer his illness were a private matter, but his obvious poor health coupled with acknowledgment of such from the nurse lead me to believe he’s probably accepted the idea that people know.
You’ve liked him for seven years. You are saddened that he’s sick. Go ahead and send the card.