Those of us with chronic illness know far too well about the frustrating “game” of getting appointments. We wait to get a test. We wait for the results. We wait for the follow-up appointment. We wait 2 weeks – up to one year to see if the treatment works. If it doesn’t, we start the process again. Or if the doctor is unresponsive to our needs, we start again with a new doctor. With this “game” it’s easy to see that it can take months or usually years to get a diagnosis or any good treatment.
Now that my husband has advanced prostate cancer, he’s seeing how dangerous this “game” is. He has spent 3 months with an urologist who has dragged his feet and spread out the diagnosis and follow-ups, without sending him to an oncologist. Now that his PET scan has shown that the cancer has spread to his bones, skull, and lymph node, this game can’t be tolerated. The test results were posted on Saturday morning.
This morning we called the urologist’s office to get a referral to oncology. We haven’t heard back from them, because they do not care. We called the research hospital in Kansas City this morning and asked for an appointment. They already have all his records. They will call within 24 hours with an appointment day and time. I hope and pray that it will be soon.
The point is, of course, that we shouldn’t have had to do that. We shouldn’t have to wait on a lazy doctor who could care less that a person has cancer in the advanced stages…..someone who just wants to keep scheduling appointments in his office. Some doctors just want to have a patient to bill. That’s maddening.
Now we are just praying that we will get in to see the oncologist very soon. We don’t know how aggressive this cancer is. We read that prostate cancer rarely goes to the skull. (only 2%) It’s very worrying and affecting the whole family. That’s what happens when a family member is sick. We all hurt. We all have to stick together and care for one another.
In these times, we need to get counseling, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and pray. We’re committed to each other. Chronic illness is hard. I feel like my history with doctors, appointments, diagnoses, and playing the “game” has made me stronger. I hope this strength will help my husband, because the “game” is too deadly under these circumstances.