Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Taking Control

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.


  1. So glad you are taking control of your health and the situation. I've always been annoyed that when it comes to our own health, we seem to have our hands tied by people who don't even know us or even begin to care about our personal stories. Prayers for a successful and productive meeting.

  2. You are fortunate we can't advocate on our own in Canada

  3. I am so pleased that you are moving things forward. It has worried me. The treatments used to battle cancer affect your whole body and I think they then need to treat you holisticly.

    I also know they are not acting in a timely manner.

    I am praying for you every single day. God bless.

  4. I agree with the above comment - it doesn't sound like this hospital is acting in a timely manner. My husband has multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) and we saw the oncologist FIRST, the day after diagnosis! Treatment began 4 days later. We didn't have any choice of oncologists, but fortunately we were given one that specializes in blood cancers.

    I think you would be wise to seek another opinion at a hospital specializing in cancers. That's what I would do. We go to the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo and I cannot say enough good things about them! They are excellent! And they don't waste any time either.

    I'll continue to pray for you and that doctors would have wisdom to know what's best to do.