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VA Surgeon says nothing to offer

Mike49
Mike49 Member Posts: 261
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I had a consultation with the Phoenix VA surgery department, the same team that left me with a wound infection on my first surgery and were unable to get clear margins on my sole liver lesion in July. This stellar group says the PET shows some inflamed lymph nodes and regrowth at the spot where we incompletely excised that lesion. He said, "surgeons don't usually resect liver lesions if there is evidence of cancer elsewhere in the body. To which I said, interesting, I want a second opinion ASAP from MAYO, I informed them that I was going to report them to the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation for variances in the stanndard of care. I have never met my attending surgeon, not once only the teaching housestaff he filters through. I also informed them I will be pursuing other actions to Make sure this surgeon does not continue to collec tax dollars to treat American heroes (ie;veterans of every period of service) without seeing them or being responsive for his results.

I head to Mayo tommorow but the cavalier way these guys dismissed their errors and their practices has become my new cause. A little background, I am a 23 year employee of the VA system and not only put faith in my life's work, I know a little bit more about the rules, laws ans regulatory requirement of VA hospitals having until 2008 been an administrator.

My every visit to th Mayo clinic has been professional and well orchestrated. I am hopeful they can find a plan.
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Comments

  • mommyof2kds
    mommyof2kds Member Posts: 519
    wish you all the best when
    wish you all the best when you go to mayo, sorry for the negaitive experiences you have had at the VA. Thinking of you and hoping for a positive outlook and plan.. Petrina
  • dianetavegia
    dianetavegia Member Posts: 1,942
    You Go Mike!
    Mike, I've always wondered if your very first surgery left something behind that caused you to have mets so quickly. Certainly, the incomplete removal of cancer during the liver surgery has cost you time and health.

    I'm so glad you know what to do, what to say. My heart aches for those who DON'T know ways to get around the VA ..... My own husband was sent by the VA to a dermatologist for his skin cancer and we just received a bill for $600.00 saying the VA only approved the ONE visit, not the 30 surgeries. Thank the Lord, we got insurance after the first few visits or we'd owe soooooooo much more. :o(

    Meanwhile, praying that Mayo offers a true answer and that you are fully healed.
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392
    Go Mike GO
    Good one, Mike

    I'm glad things are going better for you at Mayo - but kudos to you for wanting to report the VA establishment - that is just flat wrong how they handled you - and not seeing your surgeon, it' inexcusable.

    I'm pulling for you all the way :)

    -Craig
  • tiny one
    tiny one Member Posts: 465
    makes ones blood boil
    My son is in Iraq fighting for the Freedom we all deserve. Our soldiers deserve the best care, they are in harms way every day. I say spread the word. You gotta fight for the right to good health care for our soldiers.
  • angelsbaby
    angelsbaby Member Posts: 1,165
    tiny one said:

    makes ones blood boil
    My son is in Iraq fighting for the Freedom we all deserve. Our soldiers deserve the best care, they are in harms way every day. I say spread the word. You gotta fight for the right to good health care for our soldiers.

    Mike
    I hope you find the answers at mayo i heard that was a good place for answers, thats up by fountain hills i think .angel went to the virgnia g piper cancer center on shea. Good luck


    michelle
  • GOOFYLADIE
    GOOFYLADIE Member Posts: 232
    Hi Mike,
    I am an 11 year clean and clear. I am so sorry you are having so many problems with VA. If there is anything I can do to help you out please let me know. I am off work having surgery my self and will be home for awhile. I would be glad to research, write or just get your back if you need me. I had a right hemi-colectomy, 16 of the 32 nodes were positive and a grapefruit size mass removed that was positive. I did a year of Chemo and they told me I wasn't going to survive. Look at me now 11 years clear. I have faith in Mayo let me know if I can do anything for you. Make it a Great Day!
    Goofyladie (Cass)
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342
    mike
    Mike,
    Great that you are going to Mayo. You are wise and diligent and it will pay off. Also, good for you for reporting this lack of service. You can make a big difference in your own life and the lives of others.
    Best to you!

    Aloha,
    Kathleen
  • karguy
    karguy Member Posts: 1,020
    I wish you luck
    I wish you luck at mayo ,they are an exellent hospital.I am suprised that after having worked for the va you tried to use them.I was in the usmc from 1969 to 1975,and when I got wounded in viet nam,I was sent to a causalty unit ,and you wouldn't believe the lack of medical care.I was told I would never walk again,but as usual they where wrong.Short story,you are a brave person for even trying the va.You are making the right decision by going to mayo.I wish you the best of luck,and send you prayers,and good vibes.
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
    karguy said:

    I wish you luck
    I wish you luck at mayo ,they are an exellent hospital.I am suprised that after having worked for the va you tried to use them.I was in the usmc from 1969 to 1975,and when I got wounded in viet nam,I was sent to a causalty unit ,and you wouldn't believe the lack of medical care.I was told I would never walk again,but as usual they where wrong.Short story,you are a brave person for even trying the va.You are making the right decision by going to mayo.I wish you the best of luck,and send you prayers,and good vibes.

    You know....
    ... the VA hospital around here has a horrible reputation on the medical care they receive here, and feel badly for the patients there. I am glad you are doing something about your care Mike, and feel you will get one heck of an outcome! I hope you get better, and that Mayo, who has an excellent reputation will give you the best care! You are in my prayers!

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,036
    Good!
    Good for you! It's good to know that there are some feisty and smart people around like you to make people do what they're supposed to do!

    Good luck with the care you get at Mayo. Sounds like it certainly will be better than what the VA gave you!

    *Hugs*
    Gail
  • Mike49
    Mike49 Member Posts: 261

    Mike
    I hope you find the answers at mayo i heard that was a good place for answers, thats up by fountain hills i think .angel went to the virgnia g piper cancer center on shea. Good luck


    michelle

    Thank you
    Michelle, I am so glad to hear from you. Your love for Angel has always shown in your posts and I am glad your positive thoughts are there for me and others
  • snommintj
    snommintj Member Posts: 601
    tootsie1 said:

    Good!
    Good for you! It's good to know that there are some feisty and smart people around like you to make people do what they're supposed to do!

    Good luck with the care you get at Mayo. Sounds like it certainly will be better than what the VA gave you!

    *Hugs*
    Gail

    VA
    I could be receiving VA care. I have a very good friend I went to college with struggling with hepatitis he received from unclean colonoscopy equipment. My uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer 3 years ago, he was dead three weeks after beginning treatment from VA. I'll take my chances as an under insured or uninsured before I gamble with those guys.
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625
    heard things about the VA hospitals
    Hi Mike,

    I'm astounded that you never even met your surgeon when you were at the VA hospital. My dad was in the military and my mom tells horror stories of how she was treated when she was in a military hospital giving birth- they made the women change their own sheets, walk down the hall to get their meals (while sitting on hard wooden benches)- the nurses were like Nazis. Well, I was born in Germany, so maybe that had something to do with it, but the service really was no better for her when she had my brother at a military hospital up in northern California. I know military hospitals are not supposed to be the same as VA hospitals- but I think the VA hospitals are even worse. I was having chemo yesterday and got to talking to an older gentleman next to me who happened to be having his first chemo treatmet for rectal cancer. Somehow, he got on the subject of VA hospitals and how he would never, ever go to one for treatment. I guess he had gone once years ago for something else and the treatment was very sub-standard. What a shame that is!
    Good for you, Mike, for standing up to the system! It's something that needs to be done.
    Best wishes at Mayo. By the way, I had lung mets when I had my liver resection. They were not lighting up on the PET at the time, but were definitely still visible on the CT. My surgeon had told me he wouldn't operate if they lit up on the PET, but would still do so if they were simply visible on the CT. Something to consider and discuss.

    Best wishes!
    Lisa
  • dianetavegia
    dianetavegia Member Posts: 1,942
    lisa42 said:

    heard things about the VA hospitals
    Hi Mike,

    I'm astounded that you never even met your surgeon when you were at the VA hospital. My dad was in the military and my mom tells horror stories of how she was treated when she was in a military hospital giving birth- they made the women change their own sheets, walk down the hall to get their meals (while sitting on hard wooden benches)- the nurses were like Nazis. Well, I was born in Germany, so maybe that had something to do with it, but the service really was no better for her when she had my brother at a military hospital up in northern California. I know military hospitals are not supposed to be the same as VA hospitals- but I think the VA hospitals are even worse. I was having chemo yesterday and got to talking to an older gentleman next to me who happened to be having his first chemo treatmet for rectal cancer. Somehow, he got on the subject of VA hospitals and how he would never, ever go to one for treatment. I guess he had gone once years ago for something else and the treatment was very sub-standard. What a shame that is!
    Good for you, Mike, for standing up to the system! It's something that needs to be done.
    Best wishes at Mayo. By the way, I had lung mets when I had my liver resection. They were not lighting up on the PET at the time, but were definitely still visible on the CT. My surgeon had told me he wouldn't operate if they lit up on the PET, but would still do so if they were simply visible on the CT. Something to consider and discuss.

    Best wishes!
    Lisa

    Mom is right, Lisa
    I gave birth in the military hospital in 1970 and had to walk to the end of the hall for each diaper (only one at a time) or any need. I was only in the hospital for one night but had to care for my newborn immediately after giving birth. Six women in one room, six crying babies.... Hubby was an officer.
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625

    Mom is right, Lisa
    I gave birth in the military hospital in 1970 and had to walk to the end of the hall for each diaper (only one at a time) or any need. I was only in the hospital for one night but had to care for my newborn immediately after giving birth. Six women in one room, six crying babies.... Hubby was an officer.

    Diane
    Hi Diane,

    I was born in 1966 and my mom had my brother in 1970. She was in I think 5 days with me and 4 days with my brother- pure torture, she said! And yes- a whole room of beds with women with their crying babies. When I gave birth the first time, I shared a room with one other women & that was bad enough- every time my baby was quiet and my relatives left, her baby would start screaming and her many Hispanic relatives would fill the room and jabber away and simply would not leave. I was so glad to get out of there! Things were a bit better with my 2nd and 3rd. I actually got a private room, but they still bug you nonstop, so that I could't wait to go home!

    Anyhow, enough on that!

    Take care everyone-
    Lisa
  • sfmarie
    sfmarie Member Posts: 602
    Best of Luck
    at the Mayo Clinic. Good for you for taking things into your own hands, you need to be your own advocate. It saddens me that you are not getting top A treatment for a place you even work at! Keep up your fight. There is always hope.
  • bdee
    bdee Member Posts: 304
    Wish you the best at Mayo
    My husband was career Air Force and I could fill a book on the kind of doctors they have at military hospitals. When he retired, he trained to be a Registered Nurse. After working one Christmas break at the VA hospital, he told me he would rather I kill him before putting him in a VA hospital for any reason. I had one uncle and numerous friends who went to our VA hospital for one thing or another and none of them made it out of the VA hospital alive.
    We have TriCare Insurance and can go to any doctor we want to go to right now, but with Obama in office I am sure that will change soon and we'll have to start going to the VA or to the military hospital at Little Rock Air Force Base, a 40 minute drive.

    Debbie
  • DennisR
    DennisR Member Posts: 148
    Geez, Mike,
    I'm sorry to

    Geez, Mike,
    I'm sorry to hear that you're having such difficulty with the VA. I've been going to the local VA in Helena, Mt for 9 years and have nothing but praise for the place, the staff, the Nurses, and the surgeaons, Doctors, and the Oncologist I've been seeing over all this time. Heck, even the Janitor Staff are helpful and friendly.
    I was in intensive care for 6 weeks after the first surgery and became good friends with the entire nursing staff. My Surgeon gave me his home cell # and told me to call him anytime 24/7 and he'd get back to me within an hour, he said no matter what I'm worried about, just call. He also came to my room nearly every day while I was recovering.
    I had 8 sessions of R-CHOP at the VA here as well and to this day my Chemo Nurse is a personal friend I can call directly for any questions, or help I need getting around the system, or any other advice, including emotional. She expedited all my travel arrangements when I went to the Denver VA and acted as my PCP for any info they required in Denver. (Where I was also treated very very well by the Oncologist, his Nurse, and the entire nursing Staff. Same was true when I was sent to the Seattle VA for the Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant, several of my Doctors from the Transplant Unit still call me occasionally to check up on me, offer advice for side effects, and take the time to carefully explain things so even I can understand them. I guess I trained them well while I was there, since I never let them leave my room without a complete explanation for everthing they said.
    I guess I've just been lucky ...so far... but, I certainly don't have a single complaint regarding my treatments, care, communications, or with any of the many dedicated Nursing staff I've been fortunate enough to encounter during my Journey.
    I'm sure there's bad apples in every bushel though, Mike, and you are definitely correct in reporting them to the proper powers.
    DennisR
  • DennisR said:

    Geez, Mike,
    I'm sorry to

    Geez, Mike,
    I'm sorry to hear that you're having such difficulty with the VA. I've been going to the local VA in Helena, Mt for 9 years and have nothing but praise for the place, the staff, the Nurses, and the surgeaons, Doctors, and the Oncologist I've been seeing over all this time. Heck, even the Janitor Staff are helpful and friendly.
    I was in intensive care for 6 weeks after the first surgery and became good friends with the entire nursing staff. My Surgeon gave me his home cell # and told me to call him anytime 24/7 and he'd get back to me within an hour, he said no matter what I'm worried about, just call. He also came to my room nearly every day while I was recovering.
    I had 8 sessions of R-CHOP at the VA here as well and to this day my Chemo Nurse is a personal friend I can call directly for any questions, or help I need getting around the system, or any other advice, including emotional. She expedited all my travel arrangements when I went to the Denver VA and acted as my PCP for any info they required in Denver. (Where I was also treated very very well by the Oncologist, his Nurse, and the entire nursing Staff. Same was true when I was sent to the Seattle VA for the Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant, several of my Doctors from the Transplant Unit still call me occasionally to check up on me, offer advice for side effects, and take the time to carefully explain things so even I can understand them. I guess I trained them well while I was there, since I never let them leave my room without a complete explanation for everthing they said.
    I guess I've just been lucky ...so far... but, I certainly don't have a single complaint regarding my treatments, care, communications, or with any of the many dedicated Nursing staff I've been fortunate enough to encounter during my Journey.
    I'm sure there's bad apples in every bushel though, Mike, and you are definitely correct in reporting them to the proper powers.
    DennisR

    This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • Mike49
    Mike49 Member Posts: 261
    Let me be clearer
    The VA surgical department has lost my confidence, the rest of the operation has been quite good, yes sometimes I have to wait> I continue to see the VA Oncologist and the infusion chemo section because they havetreated mr great. My oncologist give ne his personal cell number and he is a compassonate and active advocate for me.

    The surgery department is just behind the times in terms of hou they practicee. I have nt given up on VA but I know I can't just let the system fall apart. Since my first post the surgeon has called me and tried to work things out. I am a fighter and not only of cancer but for veterans, one of the labels I am most proud of.

    Thanks for all the kind posts