Monday, April 11, 2011

Why does Stable feel Anticlimactic?

I did indeed finally speak to someone at the oncologist office Friday afternoon, and she gave me lame excuses as to why my scan had not yet been reviewed by my doctor, and then put the responsibility back on me to always call if I haven't heard on a scan in 2 days.

My dear, hardworking doctor called me the next morning, on a Saturday. Overall, the report said the scan looked good, and pronounced the bone mets stable. He said he would really like to sit down with one of the radiologists and have a personal look at the actual scan and be shown what is what. I really REALLY hope he does that.

This time, they noticed that spot I mentioned. I told the doctor that it was on the last scan as well, but they apparently had not noticed it then. They could not, from the PET/CT, say whether it was vascular or foci. My doctor asked if I would like to leave it and watch it, or do an MRI to find out. I agreed to an MRI, if we do it before the end of the month (when my COBRA expires).

Why does waiting for that result put us through so much stress and strain? Like someone said, it is what it is, and I can accept whatever the outcome, I really can. It's the waiting that makes us crazy. This week's ordeal makes me say "no more" to the scans, no more to the vague ambiguous reports from radiologists I never meet face to face. Until walking becomes nearly impossible, or pain becomes unbearable, or a tumor marker skyrockets, I say no more routine scans.

I do feel that this fiasco of a communications breakdown is the fault of the office staff and their system. I don't blame my doctor. My scan result floating around, waiting for his review, however, is unacceptable. I fell through the cracks, as was my fear. I felt forgotten, and I hate that feeling.


Anna Rachnel said...

First of all, I'm so glad to hear your scans were stable. I totally hear you on the whole "scanxiety" thing. I made a bargain with my doctor years ago that she was to call me, no matter the time or the result, and just let me know immediately. So now when I go, I always pick a Monday appointment time (never a Friday), then I send her an email with a heads-up that I'm going, and then when I'm finished with the scan I immediately send her another email to say that I've finished. She will then make a call to the radiologist and get the preliminary results and then calls me - it's usually the same day, but never later than the next day. She hasn't let me down yet and really gets how stressful the waiting is. I'm very "lucky" she takes that attitude, and it has helped immensely in dealing with the overall trauma of scans, because it really doesn't get any easier.

nancyspoint said...

Glad to hear your scans were stable. The crazy communication mixup seems inexcusable. It's understandable how you want to be done with scans and the waiting and all of it.