Oct 13, 2012 - 10:17 am
So here I am, scheduled for a lumpectomy with lots of questions, and I finally receive my pre-op call. The nurse left me so P-O'd. First, she called at 9:30 to ask if I’d be available at 11 for a half-hour call. I said that would be perfect. I blocked out my schedule at work to be available, and then waited and waited AND waited. She finally called at 11:45, and I had to be out of the office by 12:05 in order to make an appointment that I knew would be on time.
No apologies, but now we’re rushed. She runs down her script, but not explaining anything. “Oh, you’ve had cancer before, breast?” No, Metastatic Mucinous Adenocarcinoma of the Appendix. “Huh? Where was it? Can you spell the last word?” APPENDIX! “Did the dr say you needed medical clearance for the surgery?” No, I don’t believe so. “Have you had a chance to review the breast reconstruction options sheet?” Excuse me? I never received a sheet, and my understanding of my surgery is that it is to remove 2 likely-benign lumps – we’re not talking about anything radical. “Do you have any pain?” Well only from the biopsy that was done last week and is still a bit sore.
I was under the impression that the nurse on the phone had no comprehension of the procedure that I’m scheduled for.
She then told me about pre-op and asked if I knew where to go. I told her that I understood I’d be going to radiology first for the wire localization, and asked if everything was taking place at the hospital South Campus. Um, she wasn’t sure, because she didn’t know about this radiology thing. Um, yes, she thought it was all at South Campus. (Yes, it’s all at the South Campus site of the Medical Center, but I didn’t like her not being sure.)
I then tried to as her a few questions, like what I could expect my day to be like, and when I’d be allowed to shower again. However, she had no clue about anything, and finally referred me back to my surgeon. (I’d been referred round in circles from one to the other.)
I then raced out of my office to get to my next appointment (the therapist who is keeping me sane through all of this) and spent an hour fuming and grousing. Dr. P – thank you for all of your help over the past 5 ½ years of my cancer journey!
Needles to say, I was fit to be tied. Here I have surgery soon, with some pretty basic questions that she couldn’t answer. When I described this incident to Dr. P, he asked me if she was a nurse. My answer: She’s a voice on the other end of the phone who self-proclaims to be a nurse. I don’t know the reality. (Gosh, I love Dr. P!)
I finally reached my surgeon’s nurse who clarified for me what to expect, and I was much relieved. Now it’s a matter of just staying busy for the next few days, and then awaiting the pathology report, ideally by Friday.
On a side note, you pink sisters have been wonderful welcoming me and addressing my concerns and questions about the wire localization and lumpectomy. I can’t thank you enough for your support. While I’m hoping that when all is said and done, I’m not a “full-fledged” member of your team (I have enough membership stripes in the rare cancers and colorectal boards), I’d like to retain honorary status, as I want to be here for you as much as you are for me and others.