Friday, October 05, 2007

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag... I mean doctor

Those of you who talk to me regularly, or who read this blog, know that I loved my treatment at Northwestern in Chicago. Loved it. If you have to get cancer, get it at the Ritz, I thought.

Then I moved. Down to the South. And I finished my treatment at a big fancy academic university setting down here. Same thing, right? Same Ritz, different flavor.

Not so much.

I was never really happy at said treatment facility. I didn't click with my doctor, the infusion center was a bloody nightmare, and I had some questions about the care others were getting. But I was lazy. Tired. Didn't feel like doing the research. Figured they didn't kill me so I'd be fine.
This was until I was getting monthly shots for my clinical trial. Confused? See here. Anyway, I'd go for my monthly shot in the ass... one that takes all of .5 seconds - and I'd be waiting for 2-3 hours. The orders weren't in, they didn't know I was coming, they were just slow. It was the biggest crock of bullshit I've ever seen. This was the same place where friends of mine went months between seeing their oncologist - friends who were stage 4 and seeing the nurse instead. The same place that had you go to 3 different places in one appointment.

Yada, yada.

Anyway, recently, I decided I'd had enough. So I switched oncologists. And hospitals. I went with an overwhelming recommendation by the ya-yas. We all know how I trust the ya-yas. Funny enough. Those ya-yas... representative of money, power and families of Atlanta - only one of them was treated where I was. 80% were at the hospital where I was considering. I'm not into math right now, but at sounds good to me. So off I went. Not before I wrote a scathing letter to previous facility - (one I'm told did some good as changes have been made.)

Okay, back to the new hospital. Let me tell you. It's not the Ritz, but hot damn, it's a really great Sheraton.

I went in for my first appointment.
1. I waited for less than 10 minutes.
2. They did my blood work in the same place where my appointment with the doctor was.
3. The oncologist spent 45 minutes with me. Probably more than my other oncologist down here had spent with me total. He asked questions. Told me I sounded like I was a doctor. (I have an internet MD)

When I asked him about a PET scan, he said... "now, I could tell you why they're not necessary, or I could shut up and order the scan." I said, "What do you think?"
His reply? "I'll just order it, then."

I loved him. It was like having a cancer dad right here in Atlanta. I couldn't be happier.

Moral of the story? Sometimes, the "best" place isn't where you'll get the best care. If you're not happy with your doctors, then get new ones. Trust me, it was one of the best decisions I've made since I got cancer.

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