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NP with no beside manner!!!!!

vermontgirl's picture
Posts: 66
Joined: Nov 2012

I felt like a total idiot at my husband's weekly follow up visit. His regular MD onc who we love and is so amazing and comforting was on vacation and a NP filled in.  Stupid me asked a question about what they plan to do to monitor lungs as we always hear about monitoring neck. So I was basically looking for reassurance.  what the NP said was " we do a head to toe PET 7 weeks after last rad and that will show lungs.  But if we find anything, it is not curable so we hope there is nothing.  I wanted to smack the guy then but he continued.  He said, it does happen but it is very rare...that's  bad enough right? Well....he continued say the that all it takes is one rogue cancer cell....."but don't worry, that's what the chemo is for".  Then he went on when say that most people at our stage in tax want to know if it is working....but there is no way to know unfortunately.  We never even considered that it wasn't working!!!!

My husband was rattled and freaked out!!!!  We were both dazed.  What did I just do???

I spoke to RN coordinator who was present at appt and told her that I was freaked out.  What are we rfacing facing?  She ended up telling us that what he spoke of did reflect the MD onc opinion. The MD is confident  that we caught it early and sure that he plans to,achieve a full cure for us.  The NP was speaking in generalities that did not pertain to and and what we are,facing now.

I just felt so guilty for adding that worry To my hubby. I do the  research and stay ahead of the curve as much as possible but I realized that I need to take into consideration that my hubby has to mentally stay focused on the task at hand now....moot two montAs away.

I hope this NP learns that he doesn't need to identify the what ifs......us warriors are fully aware of those on our own.  We want assurance that they are doing everything they can to achieve the best possible Outcome.....reassure us that we are in good hands.  Don't remind us how cuncenacle rancher is.....we already know!!!!

I still feel badly.....but have to let it go and refocus my efforts.  Thankfully my hubby knows me and knows I fight and research get to the best for,him.  He isn't mad and the RN coordinator helped alleviate his worry.


vermontgirl's picture
Posts: 66
Joined: Nov 2012

cuncenacle rancher really is "how cunning cancer really is"


sorry....cold fingers and iPad are not good for each other.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mar 2012

was pulling rank, and going to do your talking for you. Wink

I'm glad he talked to the RN, and got his anxiety taken care of.  Some people just don't know when to put a cork in it....(possibly because they're very caught up in wanting others to see how smart they are)...The thing is, we ALL know about the one little cell that could get away, but when we go thru this treatment.....I think the only time it gets much tought is at scan time...


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

That one little stray yellow rat bass..tard....

Here's to kicking their azz up front, sideways, and all around.


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4317
Joined: May 2012

Hi Kirsten,


It is right in the first chapter of the cancer handbook “Beware of Bungholes”, it could be a doctor, a nurse, a friend, family or stanger.  I am sorry it happened to the (both of) you.  I’ve got enough stories I now need two hands to count them.


 You both will be better off all-a-round if you focus on the positive and leave the negative to just fleeting thoughts.  You took a hit to the chin, now stay in the game.  I know this seems obvious; it is just that being bummed out will drag you down. Putting everyone and everything aside, for me it is learning to live with what has happened.  Right now things are going good and improving slowly and that is what I deal with.


When I heard I was stage IVa I felt like I had been punched in the stomach, my rad onc saw the distress in my face (white with fear and tears).  She assured me that while serious it could be treated very successfully.  Now, at 9 months and 2 clean scans I feel pretty confident we got it.  I stressed about the lungs too and is the reason I asked for the 9 month scan.  Being involved in the H&N forum can be both educational and stressful.  These are wonderful people here and helped me more than they know each of us have been drawn to the brink of existence and it is a scary place to visit.





wolfen's picture
Posts: 1313
Joined: Apr 2009

Just remember, some in the medical field only open their mouths to change feet. Hubby saw a Cardio once who belittled him for wearing bermuda shorts to his appt. It was only 110 outside. And then there was the one who told him to get a real job so we could afford his rates(he was an Aerospace welder, at the time). In response, hubby offered to throw him through a plate glass window. Of course, neither of these are medically related, but it just goes to show you how stupid and uncaring some can be.

Listen to the words of wisdom from your many freinds here. They've experienced it firsthand.



Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

My oncologist is fine where I received my treatments, he really cares, holds no punches and takes time with me.  I even asked one time if he would like to change the % of those of us who are around in 5 years, he said "that's what the textbooks read, but I fight no mattter what" ..now that's the kind of guy you want on your team.!


However, the guy who handles the blood work and who determined my chemo dose one time IN FRONT OF MY WIFE said "oh, well if it goes to the lungs, your done for".  ???? Seriously.  The reason he said this is I had told him my concerns about my perception that we were not monitoring the lungs good enough.  My wife just about fell out and was so upset, emotional and all the other things a wife would be.  What made it worse was he said this before he looked at my most recent scan results, then when I told him I just had a scan a few hours ago and was back to see my oncologist directly after him...he looks up the scan and says "oh, I see here where they saw something in the lungs on this scan" ...so of course that same day I had to go back and get another scan of the lungs this time (the scan they had done that morning was of the neck ONLY and I had been asking for and pushing for a lung scan, actually I had been pushing for a eyes to thighs scan).....so of course the time from when Mr. brilliant said those words until we saw the oncologist 1 HOUR LATER and said he really feels the items on my lung scan are just infection, but as is his style he holds no punches, he also said no guarantee until we do a re-scan in 7 weeks, which I just had done today actually and I am waiting on the results.

That is why I moved my follow up care to SCCA (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance) whom I went to a few weeks ago and boy was that team impressive.  I am not the type that wants to have my ears tickled, but I do want people on my team that belidve a person can be cured against all odds and that it does happen.  Why would I want someone on my team who will not give it their all?  That will leave no stone unturned and allow "me" to deicde when quality of life comes into play, not them?

Best to you and sorry you had to experience that.




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