Thursday, November 18, 2010

And Then My Head Exploded

Just a warning, this post might contain more personal information than you want to know about me.  It also has nothing and everything to do with Eva, all at the same time.  It's also really just to vent, because ZOMG I'm about to lose my effing mind.

It all started 10 years ago when I found a lump in one of my breasts.  It was found on Monday and removed on Thursday.  It was a solid mass, but round.  Not a huge cause for concern, but they got it out, biopsied that bad boy, and determined that it was benign.  It was less than a week and a half between the time that I saw my doctor about it and had the biopsy results.  Exactly as it should be.

Then 6 years ago another lump came along.  I don't even remember what made my doctor order the sonogram that found it in the first place, as it was impalpable.  They said it just looked like a cyst, come back for another sono in 6 months.  So for a few years I went in every 6 months.  There was no change, so then it became a once a year thing for a while.  Then it went to 2 years.

I was almost excited when I went in for my last one.  I was told that if there was still no change, I could just forget about it.  No more sonograms, no more worries.  As good as gone.  It was still impalpable, so we expected that everything would be the same and I'd walk away from the place for the last time.

Except that it wasn't the same.  The sonogram tech and the radiologist both asked me several times if I knew why I was there.  I figured that was either a really good thing or a really bad thing.  As it turns out, not only did the original one change, it now has 3 friends in there.  God only knows what's going on in the other one beyond the pain that I feel in it on a daily basis.  The radiologist said something about complex cysts with jagged edges, but still recommended that I just come back in 6 months for a follow-up after asking if I was ok.  Because of my age and the lack of a family history of breast cancer, he was unconcerned.

I thought I was fine.  Disappointed, but fine with it.  Cysts aren't a big deal, so I wasn't too upset.....until I researched it and found out that simple and complex cysts mean different things.  Simple cysts are no big deal.  Complex cysts are malignant 30% of the time.  I'm trying to focus on that 70% of the time that they're not, but still.  My father is currently undergoing treatment for bladder cancer.  I want those things biopsied.  Yesterday.

You'd think that'd be easy to have scheduled, right?  Apparently not.  My doctor told me that if I didn't hear from her a week after the sonogram to give her a call.  Actually, I called a few days later to leave my cell phone number because I'd be out of town for a few days.  Heard nothing.  Called back the following Tuesday.  She wasn't in, but would be in the office tomorrow.  So I call the next day, which was yesterday, and so started the drama.

I ran through the whole "I'm a patient of [Dr. So and so], she ordered blah blah blah, said if I didn't hear from her that I should call, blah blah blah."

(Cue attitude)  "Well, she's with a patient right now."

"Um, ok.  I didn't mean to pull her away from a patient.....I just was checking to make sure she got the report and needed to talk to her about that when she has a minute."

"Well we never got the report."

"It's been a week and a half!  They still haven't sent the report?!  How long does it normally take?"

"When they get around to it."

"Well, I really need to get this moving along so I can schedule a biopsy."

(Cue more attitude)  "Well she can't schedule a biopsy until she sees the report!"

I might have blacked out from rage at that point.  I then called the imaging place, ready to raise hell, then quickly  backed down when they told me that due to the nature of the findings, they faxed my doctor's office a copy of the report the same day I had the sono done and sent a copy in the mail.  The nice lady even offered to fax it again.

I called the doctor's office back to let them know the report was on its way again.  "Ok." *click*  How professional.

I made the decision today after talking to a friend to switch doctors.  (Thanks Melissa!)  Not only is this ridiculous now, but if something really is wrong, I don't want to think about having to deal with this kind of stress and run around while I'm sick.  I called a breast specialist to schedule an appointment, but apparently that's not how she works.  You have to have your doctor fax all of your records and reports to her and then she decides if she'll take your case and calls you back.

The lady at the imaging place sent my reports right away, no problem.  The doctor's office said I needed to fill out a form.  Fine.  That's understandable.

"What's your fax number?"

"I'm at home.  I don't have a fax."

"Well then, I can't help you."  *click*

I called back and talked to someone else who told me to come in and fill out the form.  Guess whose office staff wasn't there upon my arrival?  Yeah.  The people who were there had me leave a note.  You can imagine how much faith I have in this being resolved any time soon.

The situation has just been infuriating for me.  Even worse is that I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has had this experience.  To be told that there's a chance you could have cancer, especially breast cancer, and then have the rest of the system completely break down while you're at the mercy of idiots is just cruel.

If it is cancer, how long has it been growing in there?  Has it spread?  Where?  These are all things I was hoping to know by now.  Things that everyone facing such a thing should know by now.  How many people out there are strung along like this all the time?  I can only imagine.

Anywho, sorry for such a long rant-filled post.  I'm seriously not looking for sympathy, I just REALLY needed to vent.  Hopefully the venting will keep me from losing my temper on someone.  Wish me luck with that.


  1. I wish you luck with everything. Stay positive.

  2. I'm so sorry these people are being so rude to you. I admire you for not flipping the heck out when they just hang up on you. This is a good time to find a place like Angie's List and letting other people know what kind of office is being run over there.

    I hope everything smooths out for you. You are in my thoughts. Hang in there, mama and stay strong.

  3. I'm happy you started the process of switching doctors... but I'm so sorry it is so difficult. Hang in there. My fingers are crossed that you find a great doctor and staff and that everything turns out well.

  4. Well, that all sounds just horrible, so I'm sorry about that. If you ever need me to watch Eva for you, please ask. I'd be more than happy to help out. Also if you want me to go and yell at someone, I'm really good at that as well!

  5. ha, i wrote almost this EXACT POST yesterday, except mine is dealing skin cancer. probably *not* skin cancer, true, but not NOT skin cancer either, and it took me 2 weeks and consistent harassing the office staff before i got that information.

  6. Brad- Thank you.
    Somer- Thanks, I will definitely look into that.
    Melissa- Thanks again for the encouragement!
    Cathie- Thank you so much. I really appreciate the offer. I'll let you know- for either service. Haha!
    Alice- I'm so sorry that you're experiencing the same thing. The not knowing is bad enough, and then to have the office staff create such a hurdle just multiplies the stress and anxiety exponentially. Good luck! Hope it all is resolved soon and turns out to be nothing!