Friday, November 12, 2010

Appointment with Medical Oncologist

So, after finding out my score yesterday, I now had a meeting with my medical oncologist to go over the findings. I know what you all are thinking, "How in the world did she get in so fast?!"

Ha ha the power of cancellations and the right time. Someone had cancelled and I said yes, sign me up.

I was late for my appointment - imagine that - and they get us into a room pretty quickly. Jeremy assumes is usual role, slumped in a chair, legs way out, arms crossed, blank stare - he really loves to be there, don't pay attention to the body language at all. I have asked him to please be more engaging, enthused, showed him how his body language is, and he said he got it, but here we are same posture, same face, same nothingness. Not sure why he comes.

So, Sarah comes in first with the H.E.R. Project to talk to me. Forgive me now for I cannot remember what this stands for and quite frankly, I am being too lazy to Google it. She was great, absolutely. Asks me about everything from first surgery to infection to where I am now. She wants to know if I want a chemo partner, somone who has been through chemo themselves, and could be there for me. I said, yes, of course, I don't want to go it alone.

She then pulls out a book, How to Help Your Wife (and yourself) Through Diagnosis, and says to Jeremy, "This would be a very beneficial book for you to read. It is informative with humor and written in a way that really understands the husband of a breast cancer wife."

Mind you, this entire time she is focused on Jeremy in his 'position' and he acknowledges her somewhat. She then extends the book out to him and he does nothing, like he doesn't notice the gesture. He has completely zoned out of the conversation and it shows. She goes to give it to him again and he snaps out of it or something and starts to lean forward and slowly takes it from her.

She says, "You don't have to read it, but it could be very helpful to you."

He says, "Yeah, I will take a look at it." Then hands it straight to me. Heaven forbid he hold on to anything and be responsible for something. We both know he won't read the book, so why he took it from her, who knows. Jeremy tends to lie just to get out of uncomfortable situations, so by saying "Yes, I will look at it," he is in the clear. "Phew, got out of that one," he thinks, and "Here you go wife, take care of this for me like everything else you take care of for me.
Knock, knock, knock...... Dr. Lee comes in and Sarah leaves, says she will call me later and look into my chemo partner.

Here we are, the score I have been waiting for, the plan I want to start..... ready, set, WAIT! There is no plan, there is no start, there is wait and see more doctors. Since my score is 18, on the cusp of OK and intermediate risk, stage I (practically terrific!), grade 3 (completely devastating), negative nodes and clear margins (hooray!), tumor size 1.5cm (middle of the road), and Her2 Negative/ER &PR Positive (another plus) and age (younger) she isn't sure what to do, how much, low dose, high dose, 4 sessions, full 8 sessions..... There aren't alot of people in my spot that she has seen to prove how much chemo time would be best and she wants me to see a specialist.

OK, great for the specialist, but seriously, why did I come in to hear that? Why didn't we get on the phone yesterday when I originally called and set up my appointment then with the specialist. Quite frankly I was glad to be on to a specialist and out of this doctor's care. It just seems like dragging feet is all I am getting and if I wouldn't have called on my own to check up on my score, I still wouldn't know.... UGH!

She leaves us in the room while she calls up to Providence in Portland to talk to their cancer specialists and make sure they can get me in. It takes awhile, we sit in silence pretty much waiting. I told Dr. Lee as she left that if they had a cancellation today, I would go now, I want this started. She said she would see.
Endless amounts of time went by, she comes back in. Says she spoke with the doctor and they aren't even sure what to do with my treatments and to give them some time. Dr. Lee lets me know they will call me to set up the appointment for next week and if I don't hear from them by Monday, then to give her a call.

"OK, sounds good," I say.

"Just give us a call when you get done with that and we will set up a follow up."

I get a flu shot while I am there and on my way out, I schedule the follow up. Unfortunately it isn't until December 3rd, and my 6 week mark is November 16th, and chemo should really be started by then. I told her nurse and her scheduler this wasn't acceptable to me and I had to get this started sooner, they said to call if I get in sooner with Portland and they would see about changing it to sooner if I got up there sooner. Apparently they don't know me very well either. I am pretty pushy, ask the right questions, I will get in Monday or Tuesday next week, duh.....

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