About Me

My Photo
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 -

Search This Blog

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The big debate

I have an infusion and doctors appointment tomorrow.  My big debate tonight is whether to say anything about the frustrations I have been having with the nurse.  Do I speak up and risk losing my local oncologist who I like, this late in the game, or do I continue to dread every interaction I have with this woman?  I'm seriously tired of fighting her to get anything done.  But the idea of moving all my records to another oncologist is daunting as well. 

The last time I broached the subject was after the nurse refused to give me my scan results.  I had to drive all the way out to Baylor Grapevine to get them.  When I brought it up, the doctor defended the nurse saying that this was office policy and that the doctor had to review the results before the nurse can give them to the patient.  I strongly disagree with this policy and am tired of having to jump through hoops to see my test results.
I feel I need to say something.  It is seriously stressing me out.  I would have to be in extreme pain to call her, and then I'd have to think twice..considering the last time I was in extreme pain, she told me I'd just have to deal until they could get me in to see a radiation oncologist.  When I ended up in the ER after Jesse called the nurse at MD Anderson and she thought I might have spinal compression, the doctor there finally called my doctor and she recommended steroids.  The steroids fixed it instantly and allowed me to be pain free until the radiation kicked in.
If I speak up and she refuses to do anything, where do I go?  That's the big question.  I don't know anyone here who has metastatic breast cancer and don't want to just pick one off a web page.  I guess I'd have to go look and see who is conveniently located and research their background.  I may have to check to see where they studied and did their internship, look for patient reviews, perhaps interview them myself to see if they have the same ridiculous policies in place regarding test results.  Interview their nurse and their staff to see if they know how to handle common and uncommon issues and if they know when to call the doctor for advice.
Sounds like a lot of work.  I guess I should get busy now that all the gifts are wrapped.


  1. It sounds like you have done what you need to by bringing up with the Dr. I might address the personality conflicts with the office manager as opposed to the nurse herself. She may have other complaints in the past. If you can not work it out, check out Dr. Patel at Texas Oncology. My wife had anemia and have to have a series of infusions. She loved him and his office. He is also over by you at HEB. My wife liked him so much that when she had some unrelated issues she called his office asking for some advice. He personally called her back with a recommendation. He then called the other doctors office to make sure we were able to get in immediately.

  2. Whichever course causes you the least amount of overall stress. If you can find a good replacement Dr, then the efforts will be worth it. Just start out with why you're looking for a new onco and see if they share your view that your records are yours. It would suck to change Drs and end up in the same predicament.

  3. Well, you can definitely talk to the doctor, and the suggestion to ask for an office manager is a good one also, but it sounds like you have two different issues: getting in/seen/advice when you had a pressing medical issue, and test results before being reviewed. I don't know if you will find any doctor's office that will release the results before the doc reviews -- but, what should have happened is when you called in, she say the doctor has to look them over, and I will call you back in x number of minutes. That's what has happened with my family doctor -- if they have them but he hasn't looked at them, but I have called -- she gets them reviewed and calls me back.

    The doctor's reaction and the fact that isn't normal procedure sounds like the problem may actually stem further up the pipeline. The nurse is going to behave how the doctor directs, and his response to your complaint isn't encouraging. I agree that it's office policy and doubt you'd ever get it subverted -- but when you have a patient who wants test results, knows you have them, and nothing is done to expedite for that patient -- that's not good patient service.

  4. So I went in today fully armed and ready to do battle. I brought up the issues I was having regarding the nurse and today the doctor was very cooperative. She is having someone check into making an exception for me with the lab to give me my results directly and not make me go through the nurse. It's not a complete solution, but definitely a step in the right direction!


Disqus for Aymz Blog