Tips on Working with Your Doctor

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“Working with Your Doctor”

It seems little has changed in the medical field since I was first diagnosed with cancer many years ago.  My point is illustrated in a recent attempt to make an appointment.  As many of you know, I am a bone cancer survivor and have had my right upper arm replaced with a prostheses.  Several nights ago a was awoken out of a debt sleep by incredible pain in my other arm.  It took several hours of my hollering and rolling around on the floor for the pain killers to finally kick in.  What in the world just happened?  Was it a muscle cramp or was it in the bone.  It sure felt eerily similar to the pain I had when I broke my bad arm.

I went for X-Rays the next day and they were negative, but the emergency room doctor had said I should see my oncologist to talk about a bone scan.  It took me at least a half-a-dozen calls, four people and countless time to try to just get an appointment!  Unfortunately, cancer is still a growing business.

Depending upon your physical and/or mental capacity, it might be best if you have an advocate to help you.  It can be a spouse, family member, friend, someone from church; anyone who will go to bat for you and stay on top of things.  The hard part for me has always been getting in the door in a timely manner.  Once in, I seem to have lost all concentration and often momentarily forget while I am even there.  Bring someone with you!  Same as before.  Have someone who will ask the questions and remember the answers.  It is hard enough to get in, don’t waste yours or the doctors time once you have.

In summary of this edition with the oncologist, I go an appointment three weeks later, and God only knows about the bone scan.  Sure hope there is nothing brewing in that other arm!