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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fighting Like Your Life Depends on it.

For the past several days, I have been trying to get my chemo port surgery scheduled and have been getting the run around from my local oncologist's nurse.  This is the same nurse who told me to deal when I was in pain and the same nurse who refused to give me my bone scan/ct results.   How can she not realize that someone who is dealing with this crap has enough to deal with already?  Anyhow, here's the story:

Last week, I emailed the nurse at my local oncologist's office and gave her the contact information for Fort Worth Interventional Radiology to have my chemo surgery referral.  She called over there and the person she spoke to in scheduling said that my oncologist could not be the admitting physician because she does not have admitting rights at that location.  When I contacted the nurse to follow up, she told me what had been said, so I checked into it and found out that I didn't need an admitting physician, just a referring physician.  The doctor who installed my port last time at Fort Worth Interventional Radiology would act as my admitting physician.  There was also a certain person who needed to be contacted instead of the main scheduling line, because she a was aware of the proper process required.

Yesterday, I emailed her this information and left a voicemail.  I received a reply in email saying:

I can’t tell them who to admit under when they told me it wouldn’t work.  If you want someone from IR to call me and discuss I can.  But otherwise, we can’t admit you there."

At this point I was rather frustrated.  I knew if I called up to the office again they would just send me back to this annoying nurse.  So, I cheated and called my radiation oncologist's office, who is affiliated with the oncologist's office I go to, and asked the receptionist there who would be the next person to go to.  She gave me the name of the nurse manager.   I called and left her a voicemail.

I waited several hours and received no response.  I went to radiation and on the way back I was thinking about it and seriously considering switching oncologists just to avoid having to deal with this woman.  I like my local oncologist though, and really didn't want to have to find another one.  I decided to call back up there and left a voicemail with the medical assistant.  Still frustrated, I called back again and was going to have someone paged.  The person who answered put me in touch with an assistant to the nurse manager and I told her about the runaround I was receiving.  She told me she would get in touch with the nurse manager and call me back.

Five minutes later, I'm on the phone with the nurse manager, and she says the oncologist's nurse was mistaken and that I was right, they can act as the referring physician and not be the admitting physician.  She said the oncologist's nurse would be contacting me to assist me with the referral.  

A few minutes later, the oncologist's nurse is on the phone being all cooperative and apologetic. Really?!?  

Anyhow, to make a long story short, after escalating to a higher level, I am now scheduled for 11/21.  It is amazing how hard you have to fight to just get a chemo port installed at the facility you choose.  I don't think I've ever fought so hard for something I really don't even want, but have to have.  I believe they want everyone to follow the same route, use the same facility, and use the same doctor that they have chosen.  It's a medical assembly line of sorts...

Apparently, I'm not a good sheep!  I refuse to let them make my choices for me.  It is my body, my life, and my chemo port surgery and I should be the only one making these decisions for me.  I am the one who has to ultimately live or die based on the decisions I make;therefore, I will fight to protect my right to decide and make the choices I believe are in my best interest.  I would rather live or die based on the consequences of my own actions than by being lead like a sheep to a slaughter house.  At least I can say I did everything I could to make well informed decisions and get the best care possible.  

No nurse, doctor, or other medical staff, should ever try to tell you what's best for you.  If you ever find yourself in this situation, do everything you can to fight for your rights and don't give in.  You are your best advocate when it comes to dealing with your medical care.  Always get copies of your medical records and do your own research so you know you have explored all your options.  Giving in and allowing them to "lead" you like a sheep can be fatal when dealing with a serious medical condition.  People are dying and doctors have no legal accountability in Texas.  So, fight life your life depends on it, because it does!


  1. You are absolutely right, and so glad you are such a fierce advocate for yourself! You go girl!


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