Thursday, September 23, 2010

el doctor está loco

My day before has been about relief, shopping and realizing all doctors are not created equal (some are indeed more equal than others).

At my arm poking session this morning at LifeLabs, I was more than a little disheartened to see my vein girl was again young and sweet. But boy, was she a master. A tiny poke and immediate gold. I complained that my heart scan poker was a beast and she laughed and said, "Come on in here for all your IVs from now on." Oh that I could, fine wench.

Shopping was really the only activity that could have followed a lab visit, so off to Sephora to buy some Korres all-natural face wash and moisturizer and the Gap to take advantage of a ridiculous sale - nabbing two sweaters for $50. Ah... that feels better.

Pete met me at the BCCA for my 1:30 with a stand-in doc - Dr. S - who turned out to be quite the prize. As soon as we waltzed in, late and hurried looking and quite surprised himself to be there, I decided I wasn't into a boob reveal today. He was a bit of a doppelganger for Tom Green. Unshaven, thin, and a bit wild in the eyes. And not in a sexy way. The good news was that my Neutrophils were 3.4. Rockin' good times. And now I've convinced myself that my green/carrot juice combo, green tea and giant mug of water before blood tests do the trick for boosting my results. 3.2 is in the normal, everyday walkin' around range for white blood cells, so suck it, cancer.

Things went downhill with Dr. S. when I launched into my list of questions:

1) Do I have to take any of my anti-nausea drugs before round five, or just the dexamethasone that I started taking this morning?

"This morning... you mean yesterday? Oh wait - right - your chemo is tomorrow! Uh. What were you taking before? Uh. No. Dexamethasone should be all."

2) What are the immediate side effects of Docetaxel and Herceptin. I've heard your fingernails can turn black and fall off.

"Um. Haven't heard that. Just trying to think what the long-term effects are for Doce... Doce... Right, Docetaxel. Been a long time since I've done breast cancer rounds."

3) My cancer twin S told me that it's not worthwhile to get a pap when you're going through chemo - that your results could be skewed somehow. True?

"Um. Hmmm. Haven't heard that. I would think it's the opposite - get it discovered now while you're on chemo and the drugs are killing everything bad. Not sure though. Interesting thought."

4) I'm a bit worried that if I have surgery next, which will put me around Christmas time in the hospital, that I'll get the B-team surgeons because it's the holidays. Will I get Dr. R and Dr. T no matter what? And if I have radiation next, do I have to worry that the cancer might grow in that time because rad is not as hardcore as chemo?

"Good questions. Hmmm. Not sure about that. You'll have to ask Dr. A when you see her next time."

Actually, that last response was the eventual response to every question. The guy couldn't get out of the room fast enough, and his cursory checking of my heart rate/breathing/lymph nodes made me feel like I was in some bad rom-com and he was pretending to be a doctor so he could meet the pretty girl with cervical cancer next door.

So now I'm going to call the chemo desk and double check everything he bumbled his way through re: meds and side effects. As I'm learning more & more... trust no one.


  1. I'm praying even harder for you now! :-)

  2. Sometimes a girl just has to take charge! YESSSS

  3. Good fucking grief!!! Another incompetent. Seriously, though, what the hell's going on??? Thank god you're not a laid back person. Keep questioning and researching every little thing.........the more you know, the harder you can fight. It'll be interesting how Dr A answers your questions. Glad to hear though about the go girl! xo

  4. Good God, sounds like he was at the end of a 50 hour shift!! You're a wise girl to double check everything.

    So glad to hear your Neutrophils numbers were good. Keep driving green!

  5. HOLY eff girl. That is NOT right. What a

    Please know (as you do) that clinicians and physicians aren't all like that. But sheesh! I hope you don't get him again!

    xoxo Talk soon

  6. Dude was seriously out to lunch. He couldn't or wouldn't make eye contact. After a 5 sec exam that consisted of him stroking the back of Carissa's arm he bolted across the room, door knob in hand with his back to us. I was stunned and ready to stomp on his wretched little neck just so he would stay to answer our questions.
    Worst doctor. Ever.