Writings by Lynn K. Scott

All posts in the Writings by Lynn K. Scott category

Cancer Care Further Delayed

Published November 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

Friday, I was supposed to have an appointment with a new oncologist.  The insurance, without my consent, chose my doctor and told my primary doctor to have me call for an appointment.

I did and told them I don’t see male doctors (which of course, that’s who they selected because they can ignore my preference; by law).  I let the office know I needed a female oncologist.

After the new patient coordinator made a condescending remark about, “I should be able to understand her”, the appointment was booked.  I updated my phone number so they could call my cell phone if they needed to reach me.

Five minutes before I was to leave work for the appointment, a 45-minute drive from my job, I received an email cancelling the appointment.  They called the home number as my cell number was never updated (sigh + eye roll + not surprised).  They told me the staff wasn’t aware of the special conditions of my appointment.

After I called them unprofessional for pulling this stunt at the last minute, the Office Coordinator was nice enough to put in writing some clarification points.  Apparently, only one doctor agreed to see me.  It’s common practice all doctors in an office will see a patient and are backup to the primary oncologist.  Not in this case.  It would seem because of my ‘history’ only one doctor would agree to see me.

My ‘history’ turns out to be one of non-compliance.  I didn’t let that one go.  I am not non-compliant; it doesn’t exist.  What exists is a patient’s right to choose his/her treatment.  I have not completed several tests ordered because the doctor left out crucial information that negated my right to informed consent.

I couldn’t complete the CT scan that had been ordered because the facility, that is able to start an IV and add a contrast dye was unable (more like unwilling) to numb the arm before the IV was inserted.  It takes anywhere from two to four attempts to start an IV in either of my arms.  I will not be a pincushion because it’s easier for them not to inject an additional needle in my arm.

I still have no care.  I requested yet another oncologist to see me.  Now, I have to wait an additional 7 to 10 days for that approval to be reviewed.  Then I have to see if the oncologist I chose  (an hour away and a bridge toll) will see me.

Patient care, especially with a life-threatening disease, should be taken seriously and doctors should only receive the patients file with diagnosis and current treatment.  All other matters are completely subjective.  This subjective documentation has cause a lapse in care.

If you  have a moment, please click HERE, sign my petition and share it.  So many people are affected by cancer and we need to stop the health care industry from villainizing patients for choosing that best suits them.

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Help Make My Voice Heard

Published October 15, 2018 by lynn k scott

I created a petition to alert the state of California to how cancer patients are being treated by Sutter Health.  If you could find it in your heart to sign and then reblog, share on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, I’d appreciate it.

It’s time we told insurance companies they can’t let doctors control who they do/don’t treat.  We are all people.  No one facing a life-threatening illness should have the stress of no treatment options because someone deemed a patient not worthy.

You can find the petition HERE.

Thank you for your support in this latest cancer development.

Kicked out of Sutter Oncology/Hematology

Published October 12, 2018 by lynn k scott

I just learned today, after following up, again, on an oncology referral, that I have been dismissed from Sutter Health Oncology/Hematology. I never received the original dismissal from my first oncologist. Apparently, after I saw my PCP for another referral, because my existing oncologist was bought out by John Muir (which they failed to advise), I was blackballed by Sutter.  I only learned of this today, over the phone that I am not allowed to see any doctor in oncology/hematolgy.

Sutter is refusing to treat a stage 3 colon cancer patient because I couldn’t understand my Russian-born oncologist. They are collecting premiums and denying care.  I went through the steps of seeing a PCP for a referral for an established disease that Sutter knew of for the previous 10-months.  Sutter told me I had to do this to see another oncologist and they knew full well I couldn’t be seen by anyone in Sutter who could treat my cancer.

My only option is to my PCP or go to urgent care; neither of which can treat my disease.  I can go to the Emergency Room but they can’t refer me to an oncologist, whom I’d have to see for follow-up care.  I am only allowed to see someone out of network and they have no one for me to see.

I am allowed to choose my doctor. It is not out of the norm for a female patient to want a female doctor. Based on the medical terminology, it is not out of the norm to insist on a doctor whom I can understand, without the aid of her staff.

Have I been challenging? Yes! Have I been rude and sworn? Yes. Why? Because I, ME, am in charge of my care. I, ALONE, determine my treatment!!!!

Doctors take an oath to treat patients. Yet, they pick and choose who they will care for. The ones who blindly go along with their godlike mentality are their preferred patients. How dare the patient question them? I am the one living and battling cancer – NOT THEM!

Please share this. Let the world know how cancer patients in Northern California are being treated.

 

Thank You For Sharing Your Kids

Published October 12, 2018 by lynn k scott

I just want to thank you all for sharing your kids and their antics with me (ok, with everyone who reads your blogs).

kids

As a mom of five, I can empathize with a lot of what you are going through.  I can also be very grateful that most of your stories are now behind me.  Granted, I’m heading into my last set of teen years, but the little one stories are behind me.

Some days, I’m feeling completely out of sorts and reading how your children are driving you and/or their siblings to distraction with their every day perspective is wonderful.  It’s just the pick-me-up I need.

laughter

So again, thank you and please keep sharing.  One day, you’ll look back on all your posts and show them to your kids’ future boyfriends/girlfriends or just take a stroll down memory lane.  You’ll be glad you documented all that they said and did.

Vegan Matar Paneer

Published October 9, 2018 by lynn k scott

I love Indian food.  However, it’s not always gluten-free (cross contamination issues at a restaurant).  I also am doing my best to stick to my vegan diet, especially at home.  That being said, I have noticed a lot of vegan dishes use chickpeas because of the high protein content.

I have several Indian spice shops close to home so I enjoy shopping there for my spices and I also buy organic chickpeas there.  I simply soak them and cook them to add to a variety of dishes.

Last night, as I was labeling and refilling my spice containers, I thought of matar paneer (peas and cheese).  I had considered using tofu as the paneer substitution, but not a huge tofu fan and I didn’t have any on hand.  Then it hit me…CHICKPEAS!

I quickly assembled my ingredients….oil (just a bit), onions, garlic, spices, tomatoes, water, peas and chickpeas.  There might be an ingredient or two missing, but those are primary ingredients.

I quickly whipped of my vegan version of one of my favorite Indian dishes.  As the rest of the family was already having rice with their dinner, I borrowed a scoop to serve with my modified, now vegan dish.

While I do miss the paneer (cheese), the chickpeas work really well as a substitution.  I am looking forward to trying to make more Indian dishes with chickpeas.

matar paneer

Home Educating and Working Full-Time

Published October 9, 2018 by lynn k scott

I am employed, full-time, outside the home.  I am also a home educator for my daughter. This post is to show working parents you can work (if need be) but still provide a quality education to your child(ren).

Home education, in general, is time consuming and hard work.  In addition to reviewing curriculum, reviewing coursework, grades (if you’re required by your state) and teaching your child.  Throw a full-time job into the mix and it’s downright tiring.

learning

Yet, I wouldn’t change our educational journey for the world.  It’s time that I get to spend with my daughter.  Granted, she’d rather be watching BTS or whatever music group has caught her attention, but it’s precious to me.

So, how do we make it work?  When she was younger, I would send work with her that could be done independently, while at a sitter’s house.  Now that she’s older, we go over “homework” that she will do while I’m at work.  She also has daily chores and she has to clean whatever mess she makes in the kitchen.

In addition to the basics such as history, English, math and science, Bible, she practices her guitar.  Some nights we dance to YouTube videos, she practices skateboarding or uses the Xbox for physical education.  We read books aloud and discuss them.  Once I, or her father arrives home, she is allowed to get the laptop out and log in to do her Spanish lessons.

A typical Wednesday goes like this:

  • I work
  • She calls me to check in (and clarifies any homework problems)
  • She practices guitar (daily)
  • I leave work early to pick her up for guitar lessons
  • Thirty minutes later we head home to prepare dinner
  • Depending on what dinner is, we may have time to read a chapter or two from our current literature selection
  • She helps prepare dinner and/or sets the table
  • We eat as a family and then we clean up the kitchen
  • Education resumes – time to review the day
  • I look at each assignment.  If there were problems (say with math) they are addressed
  • We cover new assignments
  • Discuss her day

While this may seem like a lot, it’s not too bad.  No two days are the same.  We adjust as the schedule as life plays out.  When I had to have surgery, she brought her books to the hospital and yup, her education continued.  Flexibility is something you have when home educating.

While cooking dinner we discuss the food we are preparing.  Since my daughter has a huge cancer risk (my side of the family is riddled with various forms), knowing what foods offer and how a our bodies process varies nutrients is always forefront in our home.  I am on a special diet, so she learns what different herbs, spices and vegetables have to offer.

Above all, education is more than books.   I will not say it’s easy.  I will not say there are days I want to give up.  There are days my daughter is less than cooperative.  When all is said and done it boils down to learning how to have life skills, learning to communicate effectively and knowing the quality time is irreplaceable.

 

 

Sitting in Judgement

Published October 4, 2018 by lynn k scott

I reactivated my old Facebook account.  I knew better…but, I did it anyway.

I have a very hard time with Pinktober.  It has nothing to do with raising awareness for breast cancer.  It has to do with a large number of organizations and companies cashing in on cancer.  Losing my middle sister to breast cancer and knowing my younger sister is fighting the same strain has made me more vocal.  To some, I’m jaded.

People need to understand there is not equal medical treatment, insurance or affordability nationwide.  That being said, I DO NOT agree to universal health care.  I am merely pointing out what I know as fact in California.

I will not tolerate “breast cancer awareness cookies”.  Making cookies in the shapes of obnoxious looking boobs or making them looked squished (like a mammogram would do) is not ok in my book.

Now, I worked full-time through my chemo treatments.  I was out of work a total of two weeks and that was to have the tumor removed.  I still worked, every day; from the hospital and at home.  I could not afford to live on disability.  Reluctantly, I had to start a gofundme account to pay for chemo.  I couldn’t afford it on my own.  I deleted the account after my last chemo payment was made.  Oh wait…most people don’t know my husband was out of work for two months last winter; and was taken by ambulance and hospitalized.  Nothing like more financial strain….

As you know, I recently had to purchase another vehicle.  I chose a sports car.  I was upside down on my trade, I had horrible credit.  The fact I was financed was nothing more than a miracle.  My car looks nice, but in reality, it’s the same price as a Honda.  I figure, I’ve lost so much to such a horrible disease, have been through hell this last year, it’s time to live.  At this point, I do not know if I live to finish making the car payments.  That’s MY reality.

Yet, someone still felt the need to sit in judgement of me.  Saying my car is too nice.  Those mods I’ve done are expensive.  Well, my husband has a challenger five years older than mine.  He did a lot of the work and had spare parts.  He’s also been doing show cars for over 25 years and has a lot of industry friends.  We don’t pay full price for anything.  I also work two jobs.  That’s right.  I have had cancer for a year, been off chemo for six months and picked up my second job three months after finishing chemo.

I was basically called a scam artist for having two separate parts of my life judged as the same; chemo payments and car payments.  What gives anyone the right?!

Am I jaded about the medical industry – DAMN RIGHT I AM!  I also have good reason.  I have not been shy about what I have gone through.  I do not have great care.  I am not a good patient and have been punished for that.  I have been punished for demanding that doctors and their staff allow me to be in control of my body and treatment.

I can’t stop anyone from judging me, but I’ll be damned if I am to keep quiet on the medical world’s shortcomings or the scams of Pinktober.  Just because it’s pink or coming from a charity, does not mean their intentions are good or the true patients are receiving anywhere near what is being collected.

If you are God, you may judge me.  If not…a little empathy and allowing me to vent won’t kill you.  But by hell or high water, you are not entitled to judge me (or anyone else; for that matter)!

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