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Cancer Journey: Part 12

Published April 20, 2018 by lynn k scott

My oncologist was nice enough to respond to a message I sent her office yesterday with, “what happened to the oncologist we referred you to”?   While I am not a fan of this doctor, there are literally no other doctors in the area that won’t cause me to lose at least half a day, if not a whole day from work, for each appointment.  She might as well have asked, “why are still part of my practice”?

Seems cancer wasn’t done messing with my life.  The other day, I received a message from my youngest sister’s best friend.  She found me through Facebook and sent me a private message.  I haven’t spoken to my sister in over four years.  Seems my sister was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.  It’s the same strain that took my other sister’s life.  The same sister this page honors (or tries to).

I’m not sure where our relationship is headed.  I was beyond hurt by her actions several years ago and firmly believe she was in the wrong.  I may not have been right, but I wasn’t allowed to see if I was or not.

That being said, we exchanged some messages.  She learned of my cancer.  I never told anyone who wasn’t in my life.  I didn’t want pity and I didn’t want them to care out of obligation.  I’m lucky I didn’t wear make up when I found out, because I did shed some tears.

I then thought I still have a chance of still getting breast cancer.  Having done battle with my current diagnosis, I’m not sure I could handle another one.  Then, my thoughts moved to that of my 12-year old daughter and granddaughter.  They would need to be tested in their 20s because of the family history.  I pray a cure is found before that needs to happen.  Am I holding my breath for that to happen?  Absolutely not.  I know cancer is a money maker for Big Pharma and the doctors who treat it.  They don’t want a cure because then they will lose billions of dollars with their poisonous drugs; all in the name of “treatment”.

While I keep saying I’m going to drink, I probably won’t.  Don’t need a hangover and try to get up for work.  I’m emotionally numb to this latest cancer revelation.   On the flip side, I have no tolerance for the medical world now.  I am done being nice.  I will not be placated.  I advised my oncologist’s office of my sister’s diagnosis.  Silly me thought they would know ‘kid gloves’ were now needed in dealing with me.  They are truly clueless.

As my youngest daughter has dubbed me, “NY Mommy” when I deal with anyone in the medical profession, I have chosen to embrace that term.  I no longer feel obligated to put up with medical nonsense.  I am in charge.  They either will understand this the easy way, or they will kick me out of the practice because they chose the hard way.  At this point in my life, I really don’t care either way.

I realize this isn’t Christ-like behavior.  However, I’m so overwhelmed lately, this is all I can manage.  I pray for grace and the ability to handle this situation better.  If it comes to pass, then it’s His will.  Til then, NY Mommy is in the house!

This is the reality of a cancer patient.  Pretty ribbons are nice, they have meaning, but it’s not the true showing of what cancer patients go through.  That’s what these blog posts are about.

I’m still adding my fundraiser link because I have still have expensive testing/scans that need to take place.  Any monies above that, I will donate to my sister because she’s feeling the crushing expenses of having a cancer diagnosis.

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Cancer Journey: Part 5

Published December 8, 2017 by lynn k scott

I met with a new oncologist yesterday.  Truth be told, I had several mini-meltdowns, at work no-less, trying to get an emergency referral to this new doctor.  I’m on my “off” week for my chemo-cycle and needed the referral, be seen and have the medication ordered and delivered, by today, in order to stay on track.

Prayers were definitely answered.  If you have followed up to now, you know I have received less-than-stellar care for my cancer.  To the point, the doctors should be sued.  Yea, it was that bad.

I walk into this new office; very apprehensive.  Very nice office staff.  They pointed out coffee and tea were available, if I wanted some.  Coffee?  That HAS to be a sign!  The computer system wasn’t cooperating, and the staff was apologizing to me for the wait and having to switch rooms.  Respect?  I’m not used that.  Such a simple thing, yet so many people no longer offer common courtesies.

Then I met the doctor.  She genuinely seemed concerned.  Part of the reason is because I’m technically too young to have colon cancer; without a family history of it.  I told her, what I have told a handful of doctors, there has been a lot of different cancer in my immediate family.  She took note of it.  Then mentioned something no one else has:  Lynch Syndrome.   She thinks I may have this.  From what I have read on the syndrome, it would explain the cancer in my paternal grandmother, my father and my 37-year old sister, and of course, now me.

I have previously declined genetic testing because two previous doctors were focusing on my risk of breast cancer.  They failed to elaborate when I didn’t see a need for it.  Based on other family member’s testing, I am almost certain I have an increased risk of breast cancer.  I didn’t need a test to confirm that.

My new oncologist pointed out, if I had Lynch syndrome, it’s more than just treating me; it could affect my children.  They would have a 50% chance of having the gene that causes the syndrome, thereby increasing their risk of certain cancers.

I am extremely grateful and blessed that I have been assigned to an empathetic, compassionate and caring physician.  This is how healthcare should be.  It shouldn’t be getting patients in and out in record time with minimal information.  Communication is so crucial, yet, often downplayed because too many doctors have their routine and expect patients to conform to it.

Toward the end of the appointment, she said, “you have five children and you need to live.”  That almost brought me to tears.  My chemo has been pushed out (more cycles added).  Extra testing has been ordered.  Vitamin D has been added to my daily dose of pill consumption.  There will be a PET scan and other testing once all the chemo has been concluded.

Overall, my prayers and those praying for me have been answered.  Prayers are still needed (and welcomed) as this battle is far from over.  At least now I feel like I have a fighting chance.

Need an Ativan just to go to the Doctor

Published March 4, 2015 by lynn k scott

I make no bones about it…I DESPISE AND HATE the medical profession with a passion.  I am not tolerant of red tape.  I speak and expect to be heard.  If I am seeking medical attention, than it’s absolutely necessary you sit up, push up your glasses, be prepared to take accurate notes and offer a solution.  Me seeing a doctor is the equivalent of a making an emergency room visit. It can’t wait and before you suggest me visiting the emergency room, I need to feel as if death is imminent to think about the amount it will cost me at the 7-11 of the medical world.  As if charging $6,000+ for a saline solution IV is acceptable ANYWHERE! (Note:  I was actually charged that two years ago).

With all the “lovely” healthcare changes, my company, which is a good one, had to make some changes to be “in compliantce” with these new mandates.  If you haven’t already been able to tell by the tone of this post, “healthcare reform” is not a topic I think has been resolved or remotely addressed, esp. by the idiot who’s name it bears.  Sorry; I digress.

Back to the issue.  My company goes with this new insurance carrier who has their own plan.  Needless to say, we’re starting month three of with this carrier and contracts have yet to be signed for certain counties.  Services are virtually non-existent.  I use the list of providers that was given to us, only to find out, it’s actually insufficient, as the majority of the providers, not even in my county, aren’t available and needs to be “updated”.

I have to hand it to the carrier’s customer service skills. They were nice enough to tell me where I could find an Internal Medicine doctor:  Fresno.  From where I live, that’s a FOUR-HOUR DRIVE!  Needless to say, the customer service representative didn’t quite care for me raising my voice and asked what was wrong with her for even making that suggestion.

Since I’m on my medical-bashing roll, let’s talk about the new trend of Nurse Practitioners.  I am not a fan of dealing with ONE, not a clinic of, but ONE doctor who is practicing medicine.  You actually think, that there is some cosmic influence that would make me actively seek out a Nurse Practitioner who is playing doctor.  Somewhere, someone thought….”Hey I know!  We are going to have a huge influx of people seeking medical treatment.  I don’t want to give up my golf-game and actually work more than two days a week, so let’s give a nurse the power to write prescriptions.”

Seriously?  Doctors miss stuff all the time and they’ve gone to school to become “educated”.  I’m not a fan of taking medicines, unless there is no other alternative.  To expect people to see a script-writing nurse is absurd.  Sure a doctor is in the office if she needs assistance.  Great…I’ll speak to the doctor directly then.

I guess I miss the days when you saw the same doctor, they knew your name, they didn’t quickly skim your chart and cover all your issues in 3 minutes so they could move on to the next patient, because they purposely book more than one person for the same time slot.

I don’t do clinics.  I’m not a number.  I speak to real people and I won’t answer a series of questions just to book an appointment.  Oh it’s policy that I answer them because my doctor has deemed them necessary?  Oh did you really just ask me if I was pregnant?  Hmm, if my doctor deems that question necessary and he/she doesn’t know the answer already, there’s a problem.  I’ve had plans that worked that way.  I answer “no” to every single question.  Later when making the appointment, I’ll contradict myself and say I have “so and so issue”.  They nurse then says, “but you said no to that question”.  To which, I simply would say, “I told you I would.  I don’t do surveys to make an appointment”.

So now, here I wait, hoping my broker can fix the non-provider issue while the carrier removes its collective head from it’s collective ass and does what we’re paying a small fortune for them to do. After all it’s only been 4 months since we elected this plan and it’s been a full 60 days active.  I’m done playing nice.  And in case you’re wondering, where the medical profession is concerned, this is me being extremely nice; cuz you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

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