Thursday, August 16, 2007

In Which Our Heroine Is Once Again Strangled With Red Tape

Well surprise surprise: no scans happened today after all. It turns out the oncology nurse I spoke to on the phone Tuesday doesn't have the authority to reschedule new scans; the authorization has to come directly from an MD. So they sent me running all over the entire hospital for an hour this morning, where every department on earth met me with bewildered confusion. Nobody knew what the hell to do with me. But I persevered.

Somebody in radiology finally had the prescience to send me up to 5 North, the chemo ward, which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with my situation at this point, but for some reason the chemo nurses seem to be the only people in the whole damn hospital who can ever figure out how to make the system work. Plus they're so wonderful! It's always a pleasure to go visit the ol' gang up there--I'm so inexplicably happy to see them, the beloved sadists who tortured me for six months. I believe this is called Stockholm Syndrome?

Anyway, sure enough the ever-knowledgeable chemo nurses figured out a way to reroute me over to the internal medicine clinic where, after a zippy three hour wait, I saw a resident who ordered CT scans for NEXT week. I'm just thankful they discovered the mistake BEFORE I had to drink the nasty ass drink.

Oh, and the IM resident examined my thumb and shrugged it off. She said it looks like a lipoma, but I'm here to tell you the nodule is very hard, not soft to the touch. So I'll ask an oncology resident to look at it when I go in for the results from my scans in two weeks.

Meanwhile, the mediport removal is still (theoretically) scheduled for tomorrow morning. I was afraid they would try to talk me into postponing it to make sure the scans came back clean, which would certainly be the sensible logical proper thing to do. I was ready to fight them tooth and nail though, knowing it would probably take anywhere from two to four months to get a new surgery appointment. But the resident just shrugged and said, "You should have had that thing taken out six months ago." Indeed.

So I'll be heading back down to Our Lady of the Damned bright and early tomorrow morning, fingers crossed, to beg them to yank it out once and for all. Place your bets now, while the pool's still open!


Blogger amanda said...

I've been quietly lurking here for a while. My dad, after having a kidney removed last November, was diagnosed with stage 3 urothelial cancer (he also had a renal cell tumor in his kidney) in December, and, after chemo and radiation had clean scans in May. However, it was discovered this week that the cancer is "back" (was it ever really gone?): a mass is growing on the surgical clamp in place of his removed ureter and kidney. Reading your blog continues to give me hope. Thank you.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Lark said...

Fingers crossed for you tomorrow!!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Trasi said...

I have never even heard of a system so f-ed up in my entire life. How was it that an appointment GOT scheduled for the scan, w/o the authority to do so? According to whom? Obviously the scheduling people know nothing of that rule. Unbefuckinglievable.
I hope you get the port out tomorrow. Don't hate me for being skeptical!

11:17 PM  
Blogger debinca said...

Well heres hoping the people don't talk tomorrow, to you nor each other, than maybe the port will actually finally be removed!

Your story reminds me of what I went through today with my dd at kaiser here in CA!!! Yikes a nightmare. debinca

2:40 AM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

debinca, ha, I had Kaiser (Oakland) for 15 years, and that Very Challenging Experience--things like being put on hold for 10 minutes when calling the ER while my son was having a massive seizure--did a lot to prepare me for the Kafkaesque nightmare of dealing with the public hospital system here. And yet, looking back, Kaiser was Club Fucking Med compared to OLD. Hope your dd is ok!

6:06 AM  
Blogger citygrrrl said...

when i went to get my shoulder with the bone spur looked at by my ortho guy i had him look at the hard lump that had appeared on the middle finger of my left hand. he felt it and said, it's a bit of arthritis, i've had one on my thumb for 30 years.

public hospitals remind me of footage from india that's taken at the ganges river.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Corvi said...

Jesus wept.

I have my fingers crossed for you, dear. What a nightmare.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Fingers, toes, legs, shit, I even have my eyes crossed for you today... hope you get home portless & happier

1:12 PM  
Blogger momo said...

May Frida bless the oncology nurses. I'm rooting for a hassle-free port removal. My sister has Kaiser now, so I know it second-hand.

1:20 PM  

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