Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Great Expectations

It has been more than a month since I went to see my liver surgeon and he recommended surgery.

I followed his protocol, making an appointment for an ultrasound, which took two weeks to procure, followed by 5 days before he called with the results, followed by 5 days before I could get in touch with the one scheduler who schedules his surgeries. She was out of the office for 5 days (he had to know that when he told me to contact her) It was almost a week's time and still counting I may add that I am now waiting for the date for surgery. I left numerous messages, to the scheduler, to the office, to the surgeon, none of which was returned until today almost one month later. I did get one return call telling me it was a holiday and another saying the doctor has yet to return her phone calls. I felt like a crazed women and they must surely think I am.

If Cancer feeds on stress, there is plenty of it here in my body.

Today finally, after I placed two emotional phone calls last night and two this morning I heard back from the doctors' assistant. When I explained my situation she told me she would be upset too. Small consolation for this situation I am going through.

I am always very nice on the phone, no screaming, although God knows I want to, almost no crying hysterically, I have to breath before I call. I NEVER ever get a live person, just a recording promising a call back, which never happen.
I am talking about a big hospital here, it is JEFFERSON, supposedly one of the best this area has to offer. My doctors are the tops in their field. Being on top doesn't necessarily give you the right tools. I am learning that.
There is a major disconnect between the actual practice of medicine and the humanness of the patients.

My idea of health care is just that, the Doctor would help me and care about me and be there for me in some small way. He doesn't have to hold my hand, although that would be nice and show me he is human. He took me on as a patient, but I am finding I am just a number, another set of paperwork, another procedure. What happened to the kindness, the caring, the healing, the understanding?

He deals with this all the time and I would think that he would know a patient is anxious after getting testing, any kind of testing not just for Cancer. Five days or more is too many minutes, hours, days to wait to see if the Cancer spread. I would think he would realize that my days are anxious, stressful, that I want to get this out of my body, that I am relying on him for my life. I am not just another number, another file, another liver. I am a person with feelings and hopes and family, I have a job, I have a life I want to continue living.

Are my expectations too great? am I unrealistic? foolish?

I really don't think so.

This blog has been about keeping in touch with my friends, my clients, my support system, but it also is a way for me to get out of my head what is going round and round. I don't sugar coat anything in this blog, it is what is happening and how I see it and how I feel. Those of you who have followed from the beginning know that.

I needed to sit and write today. I needed to put to paper what is dancing around in my head. To lighten my load, to get it off my chest, to have your love and support because believe me, I get more from the ones who read my blog than I do from my doctors.
And that's a damn shame.

By the way, the scheduler just called, my operation is scheduled for November 3rd, 2012
(just kidding about the 2012 part)


  1. Hi Susan: so glad you FINALLY got a response. I am praying for you every day. I know what you mean about the big city hospitals. When I was very ill @ 6 yrs ago, I went for a second opinion at Jeff. The dr there was the "top". After conferring him, I was just not comfortable. I went back to my orig dr and had him consult with the Jeff dr and had my surgery at a surburban hospital. I was always treated with dignity. Had every questioned answered (usually within 24 hours) and thank God and the support of wonderful family and friends - recovered fully. i respect Jeff and know that the city hospitals have the best drs and I will return to them again, but you can't beat the care and kindness you receive outside the city. Also the cleanliness. Good luck to you Susan and God be with you and your surgeon. Diane, Garnet Valley, PA

  2. I feel your pain, I understand your frustration. Just keep writting-vent-release and keep your postive attitude. Good luck with your surgery. You and your family will be in our prays.
    Joanne Wyatt