Just like a parent of a child with special needs has to be an advocate for them, we need to be an advocate for our health and our health-care. I'm not afraid to question a doctor or the necessity of a procedure. Maybe it's because my husband and I work in medical research and deal with MDs day in and day out, but I long ago realized that they aren't perfect and don't have all of the answers. I never assume that just because a doctor says something that it is right, and I will speak up if necessary, and we do our research.
Up until now I have been content to follow the way of doing things at Magee in treating my breast cancer. Not any more. The problem that I have is that the cancer treatment is done almost piecemeal. I have had this diagnosis for two months and have yet to see an oncologist because you don't see them until all of your surgery is done. That has never sat well with me, and I know, from talking with others, that it's not how places like Cleveland Clinic do things. At any rate, I finally have had enough, especially since I'm looking at the possibility of having a second surgery. Yesterday I made the appointment with the oncologist on my own. Granted, I confused the scheduler and it will be interesting to see what his reaction is, but I need to take charge of my treatment. There are too many outstanding questions concerning other aspects of my health that I need his input on, and I am tired of waiting.
Also, while I am scheduled to meet with the new surgeon on Thursday morning, a second surgery is by no means a definite. We will listen to what she has to say, but we may also seek a second opinion from John Hopkins.