After completing all my treatment and the pathology from my surgery came back “all clear,” a friend told me that I should ask about seeing Maureen, a nurse in our practice, for my survivorship appointment. My friend loved the binder she gave her with all her cancer details. Diagnostic reports, treatment drugs and dosages, pathology reports, all in one neat, tidy place. I feel like this is such a valuable resource as so many women are living so much longer after their breast cancer diagnosis. At some point, I’m sure I’ll stop calling the oncologist for every little thing, afraid that it has to do with the cancer (not that I’ve made any of these calls, but most of my friends have at least once). And at that point, I’ll need that binder o’ details for my primary doc. Anyway, everything wrapped up for me in mid March. I asked my doctor about the survivorship appointment, and after a couple of weeks, she apologized for making me wait, that there was some transition in the survivorship program or something like that. She put me in touch with the scheduling office and we got something scheduled before school let out. To make a long story short, the appointment has been cancelled and rescheduled several times since then, and I finally had it set up for this week. (And I should also say that this is the only time I’ve had anything not-glowing to say about my oncology practice. They’re great.)
Last week, I got a call from the scheduling office, and knew what she was going to say. They needed to reschedule my survivorship appointment.
Me (in a sincerely nice tone): Hi, Brittany. (yes, she is a grown up named Brittany) I’m really trying to be kind. But I’ve been trying to schedule this appointment since April. And it keeps getting rescheduled. And it’s usually about four or five business days before the appointment. I understand that I’m not sick, and I don’t want to take away Maureen’s time from someone who is sick and needs to be seen. But it really seems like maybe her schedule isn’t full and so it’s just cleared and she doesn’t come in. And every time I have to reschedule, it’s usually another six weeks before she has another opening. Can you help me understand what’s going on here? My friend said this is a great appointment, and I’d really just like to get it taken care of. Can you help me with this, Brittany?
Brittany: Maureen is actually out of the country. We expected her back but she’s adopting two children and there are problems with the paperwork so she can’t get back into the country right now.
My appointment is now scheduled for October. I’m going to go back to eating my humble pie, thank you very much.