WARNING – This post may be uncharacteristically whiny and cranky. It is boring, and lacks any pictures or “fun stuff.” Maybe its the heat. Maybe its the start of menopause, or maybe, just MAYBE it’s the WAITING!
So, last year when we were first diagnosed with the Cowden’s Syndrome, the geneticist suggested my daughter and I each be followed regularly by an oncologist who would act as a ‘case manager’ of sorts. Seemed logical. We got Meghan set up with a doctor in NYC. She actually has experience treating “patients like us.” We thought we were golden. She ordered the initial scans for Meghan (and even for me) of the brain. She ordered Meghan’s thyroid sonogram, and her biopsy last November.
Well, that biopsy was a traumatic train wreck to say the least. To make it worse, when we spoke to the oncologist about it she was defensive of the doctor she had sent us to. We moved the biopsy slides to another hospital and she was obviously annoyed. She is still Meghan’s oncologist of record, but we haven’t seen her in months.
I tried an oncologist here at home. He listened, the first visit, and the second. On the second visit he suggested I look into having the remainder of my thyroid removed prophylactically. He gave me the name of a surgeon and told me to go ASAP. So, when I called to make an appointment with the surgeon and he wouldn’t see me, I called my oncologist back. He would not get on the phone with me, and would not call the doctor on my behalf. I was livid, but found myself an endocrine surgeon who (at least for now) advised against removing the rest of my thyroid.
When I called my oncologist back in late January to schedule my breast MRI. I was told it was too early. I reminded them that February marked 6 months since my last, and in fact it was right on time. They refused to authorize the MRI until late March. Well, we know how that turned out. When they called me with the authorization number I laughed at the irony of the whole thing, and told them I didn’t need another appointment.
So, there was the mastectomy in March. Great surgeons, great catch, great job.
There was the hysterectomy in May. Again, great surgeon. Job well done.
The surgeon in May recommended an oncologist in her practice for me. I called to make an appointment. I was told to fax my paperwork. I asked if they could just look in my chart. It is all shared between the doctors. No, please fax it. Ok – 39 pages later – and a huge fight with my fax machine… I got it.
They called today to tell me the oncologist thinks I should see a geneticist instead. Gee isn’t that ingenious? That is how I got diagnosed to begin with. Dope. They will look into it and call me back.
I am starting to feel like PTEN mutation is some sort of plague. What is WRONG with these people?
Which brings me back to my girl. In February the surgeon(who people travel the world to see) for her AVM said that her next surgery would need to be at Boston Children’s Hospital. They were not sure exactly when, but July was floated as a possibility. So we went last Thursday, the 28th of June for her MRI. After a grueling 2 hours, we left with a CD in hand, and the promise that the results would be at the NY surgeon’s office Monday.
I took the copy of the disk I had, put a cover letter on it, and sent it to the Boston surgeon we met in April, promising him a report would soon follow.
Monday I called the NY surgeon for the results. I was told the disk hadn’t arrived. They would call me. I called again this morning. I reminded the receptionist that I really was anxious about the results. It’s on his desk she told me. She also told me he leaves today for vacation till Monday. I asked her to be sure someone calls me today. I carried my cell phone ALL day.
It’s 10:04. I guess I will be waiting till Monday. Really? I know it could be worse. It could always be worse, but enough with the lack of compassion, the inability, and lack of desire to follow through. Enough with being scared of treating us because you don’t quite understand what we have. Enough WAITING!