communication

All posts tagged communication

Cancer Journey: Part 15

Published June 28, 2018 by lynn k scott

Tomorrow I meet a new oncologist.  I had to call to confirm my appointment, as I hadn’t received a reminder call.  The woman laughed it off that she hadn’t sent out any reminders.  That’s all well and good, however, I’m traveling 30 minutes out of my way and losing a half a day’s work, so I don’t have the luxury to hope everything is still on schedule.

I have been re-reading my previous oncologist’s visit comments.  They still have not fixed the part where my sister died of breast cancer at 37; not 47.  They have only been told three times now.  They make me seem like a bitch for refusing IV chemo because it’s the treatment they would have preferred.  My original oncologist said outright they could not confirm I did or didn’t still have cancer.  They were going to treat me as if I did; just in case.  Silly me for wanting a definitive answer and to have a somewhat normal life with such vague information from a “professional”.

They villianized me for refusing tests that exposed me to additional radiation without a legitimate cause.  I also had stated that tests need to be coordinated that required IVs.  My veins rolls and collapse, but they don’t consider that when they schedule tests.

I am not holding out much hope for tomorrow’s visit.  We will have to go through all the questions that have been already answered and are in my file.  It’s too much to ask for doctor’s to read before meeting a new patient.  Wasting time is the preferred interaction method.

I know she will order more blood work.  Let’s hope my veins cooperate.  Who knows if she will order the CT scan that I believe should have been done already.  A point my previous oncologist and I did not see eye to eye on.

My anxiety is messing with my sleep again.  I just need this appointment to be over.  Then I get to wait to see if my levels are elevated (which would indicate the cancer is still there).  Waiting games suck; moreso when your very existence is on the line.

No matter what happens, cancer still sucks!

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Cancer Journey: Part 1

Published October 20, 2017 by lynn k scott

I am the first to admit that I am not the ideal patient.  Heck, I’m a barely tolerable patient.  Regardless of my good/bad patient status, effective communication between the doctors/staff and the patient is top priority.  It’s the foundation of a trustful, working relationship between the two.

I admit, I’m extremely direct.  I become irritated very quickly when I have stated expectations and they are either ignored or downplayed.  Add in ill-mannered office staff and a stressful situation turns downright ugly.

Now, we are talking about a cancer center.  A place where emotions run high; especially after patients go and they have been newly diagnosed.  You would think a medical assistant, walking into the waiting room, would have the faintest inkling you don’t try to get the patient’s attention by saying, “hey”.

Sorry, I don’t answer to that.

I was playing a game on my phone when the first “hey” was said.  My husband happened to look up, but didn’t say anything.  As I was non-responsive, this person thought saying, “HEY!” was the next course of action.  This time I did look up.  She stated the doctor’s name and that I needed to come with her.

STRIKE 1

We walk into the room, where she informs me she will take my vitals.  Hmmm….last I knew, I had the right to consent to any and all treatment; even vitals.  Based on this poor medical assistant’s communication skills in the lobby and now telling me what she will be doing; I think not.

My New York personality emerged to take center stage.  I told her she would not be taking vitals.  She thought putting her hand on her hip, telling me she needed those vitals and whatever blah blah blah she uttered after (I stopped listening) only reinforced my stubborn nature and I promptly dismissed her.

STRIKE 2

She didn’t take kindly to that.  Arguing with me wasn’t going to work.  If nothing, I’m a stubborn, Irish New Yorker and I’m pictured in the dictionary next to “Stubborn” (ok not really, but I should be).  I still have the right to say no and apparently, she wasn’t taught that patients give consent.  I have a personal issue with being told what I will and won’t do by people who are not in charge.  I didn’t deem vitals necessary for a consultation appointment.  Not to mention, tell me you are taking vitals instead of asking if it’s ok to vitals will get them declined EVERY TIME!

The medical assistant walks through another office door where she proceeds to loudly complain about me.  Well, my first oncology visit is off to a great start.  I’m TICKED off and an unsuspecting doctor is going to walk through the door and he and I will be having words about his medical assistant.

Needless to say, the appointment did not go well.  He kept pushing IV chemotherapy when the benefits are barely above oral chemotherapy and have a lot more side effects.  I don’t know how many times I told him no to IV chemo, but it was obvious that was his preferred method of treatment.  I actually had to tell him not to mention it again.

My husband and I left the appointment and went to a bar.  Wishful thinking the alcohol would kill the cancer.  Oh well, the drink was needed and went down smooth.

Now, after more poor communication with the oncology office, we can’t find a location where I can get a blood draw to take a bunch of poison that will or won’t cure this cancer.  Apparently, the medical profession thinks everyone sits home all day and no one works.  They must think that because no blood draws after 4:00 p.m.

Now I could go to the cancer center.  However, their poor treatment of me and lack of communication skills raises my anxiety 10-fold.  I don’t even want to go there for the necessary appointments.

The situation is so bad, I’m looking at driving 20 minutes out of my way, and maybe incurring bridge toll, in order to go to a better facility because I’m not receiving proper care where I am.

My positive mood about getting through this has changed into being angry about having cancer.  I don’t want to see doctors, nurses and anyone associated with the medical profession.  I hate the cancer center.  It just reminds me of the family I lost.  It reminds me how this disease has made strong people weak before it took their lives.

Needless to say, my mood is less an amicable at the moment.  I deactivated my Facebook account because I am having trouble just interacting with online friends.  I will probably reactivate it again, but saying that I’m overwhelmed is an understatement.

 

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