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6 mo checkup - Now looking for new doctor - :-(

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 1766
Joined: Nov 2009

Ok.  So I had my six months check-up yesterday.   My appointment takes a 3 1/2 hour drive from my house.  We get there a little early.  My appointment is for 10:20 a.m.   I am told at the reception area that the doctor is running an hour behind.   It ended up more like and hour and forty-five minutes behind.   I got in the exam room at 11:45 a.m.    The intake nurse took my information and I told her some of the stuff that has been going on with me for the past six months.  She takes in all in.  Further, she tells me that she is retiring at the end of the year.   The place is revamping and asking the older staff to retire.  (This dosen't make me feel too good since my doctor left for Texas earlier in the year).    Then she leaves and the doctor comes in.   He starts looking at the computer to find my file and sighs a little becasue he sees in his schedule where he should be (15 patients behind).  I understand he had an emergency.   That is not a problem with me.  It was what happened next that is concerning.   He calls in another nurse to do the breast exam while he is still looking for my records.   He performs a PAP smear.  After the pap he gets a page.  Asks me when did I have a CT scan.  I told him he ordered it in May when I was there and that I had faxed the CT report, lab works that I had done, and some other stuff.   He asks the nurse why they were not in the file.  She said she didn't have time to put it in this morning.   Huh?   Since May, June, July and August?   Are you kidding.   Then the doctor says you can have a scan yearly and see you in six months and out the door he went.  Never asks me if I was having any problems or discussed with me what the intake nurse took in. (fatigue, achyiness, low grade fevers, headaches, pain, etc)

Oh and the last time I was there in May, my PAP came back with ASCUS.  He says this time - no big deal.  It happens.

Great.   No internal exam whatsoever.   I explained to the initial intake nurse that I was starting to get pain again like I did prior to my diagnoses and prior to my recurrence.  ie:  lower left back pain, pain near the rectum on the left side, and sciatic pain down my left leg.    I usually get rectal exams because that is where the last tumor was that they removed.   But no exam whatsoever.   I could have went to my PCP or a local gyne and had a PAP smear done.

Now I do not know where to go.   I can't go locally because no matter what hospital location I go to I will end up with the same doctor that I had problems with.   The other local hospitals I am not sure of the doctors there so I will have to check them out.  

Disappointed and frustrated once again.



Ro10's picture
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

Sorry your appointment did not go as you had hoped.  I can understand your frustration.  My last appointment was at 2:00.  I got taken at 3:30.  When the doctor came in at 3:50, he still did not have my lab results.  He said "the lab has had their problems today.  I am getting calls for lab results done this morning".  So I did not need to wait all that time.  They could have just called me the results.  

I hope you find someone to address the symptoms you are having.  Good luck in finding a new doctor.  You remain in mY prayers.  In peace and caring.

Sandy3185's picture
Posts: 224
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Kathy, I just started my cancer journey, but I definitely think you need to find a new Dr. It in inexcusable for him to not even discuss your new symptoms or have the nurse find all your results. No wonder they are getting rid of the old staff! Do you have a cancer treatment center anywhere near you?  Perhaps your primary or gynocologist can recommend a doctor. I hope you are able to see someone very soon.



Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2791
Joined: Jun 2010

Too many mishaps for one appointment.  Is there really no other gyn/onc around?  If you're stuck with this guy, I think it is really important that you call and tell someone (his nurse?) that you're having the same symptoms you had prior to initial dx and prior to recurrence, that you're very concerned, and it was such a whirlwind visit that you were not given the opportunity to even tell him.  Of course, this would mean you'll end up seeing him again but he should pay attention to you this time (I hope).  Waiting another year for a scan when you have symptoms seems unacceptable as well.  The other stuff is definitely not ok, either.    My pcp has stepped up and made things happen for me in the past.  The words they like to use are "given your history" and when it comes from another physician, well, those folks listen.  You can also get a patient advocate either via the medical group or via your health insurance.  We're concerned because you are and that's because you know your symptoms - they aren't vague, they're the same as you've had previously - and you have had one recurrence dammit.  And yes, it will mean another 3 1/2 hour drive (where the heck to do you live?) but with that distance, isn't there someone else 3 1/2 hours in the opposite direction you could see?  Our health care system is so complicated . . . .

Another comment:  I have been told by 2 gyn/oncs and a PA that the rectal exam is the most important part of the exam because that's where recurrences often happen (between the vagina and rectum).  And that's where yours was?  


Kaleena's picture
Posts: 1766
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Ro, Sandy and Suzanne for your replies.    I guess the good news is that I made it through 5 doctors!  lol  The first one retired, the second and third kinda of dropped me, the 4th one was great but moved to Texas, and now this new one who isn't cutting it.

Suzanne, my recurrence was around the rectum area.   In fact, at first I thought it might be a hemmoriod. (which I do have one).    The second and third doctors initially missed it because of the way it was situated especially if they were right handed because it was on my left side.   The second doctor and third doctor (who were basically in the same group) did the biopsy which was positive and said that the tumor could not be operated on because there were no margins.    Those doctors were in my local area.  That it why I went to the 4th doctor who was 3 1/2 hours away.  It was this doctor that did the surgery and was able to remove the tumor successfully.  However, one of the lymph nodes removed did have microscopic cells and I just took a wait and see approach.

This new 5th doctor is just a doctor who was taking over patients from my last doctor who moved to Texas.

I am now searching again for a doctor in my local area.   However, I am searching for one in a different health system group.  I just got a referral for one who changed health systems and who used to be in the practice from my very first doctor.   I will call this one on Monday.  I will let you know what happens.

Thanks all for your concerns.


sunflash's picture
Posts: 197
Joined: Aug 2011

Sorry you're being treated this way and that you've had to be seen by so many doctors! I hope this new doctor will take your concerns seriously. Since he's new and doesn't know you yet, it may be the best thing. Wipe the slate clean and start with someone else.

I always learn something when I come here. I had no idea the rectal exam was so critical. My doctor always performs one (once jokingly said I know this is what you live for! LOL!) Gotta love their sense of humor which helps lighten the criticalness of all this.

Let us know how things go. Prayers for a good visit and for a good doctor.

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 1766
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Sunflash:

I am calling tomorrow (Monday) to see if I can get a consultation with this new doctor.   I will let you know what comes about it.

My old doctor used to joke a lot too!


survivingsu's picture
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Kathy,

I'm not sure if this is helpful, but just in case - I found good quality care using doctors affiliated with a University/teaching hospital.  Do you have any nearby?  They were very tuned in to whatever symptoms I was having, and their follow-up work was also thorough.  The staff took the time to explain procedures.  Referrals went smoothly also.

My very best to you,


Kaleena's picture
Posts: 1766
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Susan:


I am checking out several sources.  I currently have a consult scheduled for December 5th.  I will let you know.



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