Colon Cancer Sucks Ass

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Team of doctors

Most of the literature about the cancer experience refers to the team of doctors that will be working with the patient. Up to this point, I have only had two doctors: Dr W, my oncologist and Dr C, my surgeon. If I have another surgery though, Dr C would not be the surgeon because he’s actually the chief of emergency surgery. He continues to be my surgeon though due to the saga of the second belly button. So basically, I only have one “permanent” doctor on my team.

At my last appointment, Dr W suggested that I start seeing a primary care physician. Although he will continue to focus on my chemotherapy and the side effect, he thinks it’s a good idea to have someone watching my overall health – a doctor who is more familiar with the newest medications outside of cancer treatments. He specifically wants me to get my hormone levels tested as I seem to be menopausal (hot flashes at the age of 28 are fun). This could be temporary or permanent, but we won’t know until after I finish chemo.

I’ve never actually had a primary care physician. My medical care has almost been exclusively at urgent care facilities or military clinics. Last summer, I was seeing an internist, Dr P, at UCLA to treat my anemia. I have not had any contact with him since two days prior to my surgery last August. I paged him because I had developed a rash that appeared to be an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I received in the emergency room. He had me come into the internal medicine offices the next day, but I saw another doctor who sent me to the ER for the cat scan that finally revealed the tumor.

I really liked Dr P. He listened closely to everything that I had to say. He did everything that he could to treat me since I was opposed to any major tests. I had already accumulated $15k in debt from my 2-day hospitalization and I was way too worried about money. So I don’t blame him at all for not discovering the real cause for the anemia. I was pushing to wait and see and hoping that I would get insurance by the end of the summer and then we could do further tests, if necessary.

Today I called and made an appointment to see Dr P on June 8th. I finally decided that it will be easier to see a doctor that I already know and like than to try to develop a relationship with a new doctor. And as my friend M said, he is likely to give me a lot of extra attention to make up for not figuring out what was wrong last summer.


  • At 3:37 PM, Blogger Brandon S said…

    It is really good to see that you are getting yourself taken care of. I'm 23 and I was just told I have Antiplastic large cell lymphoma. I started chemo last Wend. and boy has it been something. Anyway congrats on getting to a year I wish you many many more!


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