I never stopped to think about how much things can change in just one month.  In our day-to-day linear embrace of time it is not something we often think about.  We think in terms of days, perhaps two weeks at most.  A month inhabits a kind of purgatory–as close as adults will ever get to waiting what seems like years for Christmas Day or your birthday party.  But a month goes by in due course and a lot can happen in thirty days.

Take my last visit to the oncologist, for instance.  I almost couldn’t wait to meet her and move forward together.  We all know how that turned out.  Might as well have walked into a Hellmouth for all the good that visit did.  Unprepared, disinterested, rude, and dismissive aren’t the kinds of words I’d attach to an oncologist.  Maybe to one of my undergraduate students back in the day, but not an oncologist.  I hope no one else had that experience (I’m not holding my breath).

Today I met my new new oncologist.  She’s a veteran of the center and, in a word, wonderful.

Professional, informed, knowledgeable, and she walked in the room well aware of my disease history.  We talked about the story known so far and how to continue moving forward.  She set up recurring monthly appointments and blood work and ordered a PET scan for the end of February.  She was also interested in the back pain and decided to contact the pain doc to learn more.  We chatted about other things, she was interested in what I did for a living and where I lived.  And we live three blocks from one another–who knew?  (My dentist lives three blocks away in the other direction!)

I am happy once again.  I have a partner and that is all I ever wanted.  And it’s the very least that anyone deserves.


It is 11 degrees as I write this. And this image, to me, is happiness!

This entry was posted in My Stage IV Life, Physicians and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Doctortown

  1. The Accidental Amazon says:

    Oh, I am soooo glad you found a new partner!!! Whew. This is huge. Sending hugs of joy and relief. xoxo, Kathi

  2. Renn says:

    YAY! I feel this way about my plastic surgeon. My oncologist, however, is really lacking in the personality dept. But after a second Onco opinion, I went running back to him. Decided I needed his brains more than his personality. So glad you got both!! 😉

  3. Susan says:

    I am so happy for you Scorchy. I knew you would find the right oncologist. Having the right team when you are going through so much is so important. Funny you mentioned your dentist. I just dumped mine and I am so glad to be rid of him. There were a bunch of things he did wrong and why I didn’t run for the hills when he left my friend with MBC stage IV having osteonecrosis of the jaw. It happens but he didn’t even follow up with her. When I told him she died, he said he had to throw out her chart. When a doctor sucks-leave..I knew you would find the right one. It’s so important.

  4. That’s IT….. “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

    She reminds me of something I heard one of the “big guns” talk about in San Antonio. The REEEALLLLY big guns….. Discussed how during initial consult he tries to get a sense of what ELSE is important to the patient. Sports, music, movies….. TALKS …. LISTENS…. in other words, they aren’t a tumor, they are a person–a WHOLE person in whom he now has a vested interest and a genuine concern. He finds common ground that is NOT cancer related to build trust. In his words, those sessions may be long, but at the end of the day, it saves time in the long run…

    I am very thrilled that you found a friend, a neighbor and a new oncologist..

    Love ya…


    • Scorchy says:

      I don’t think any patient is looking for a best bud, but that trust. When I saw my first oncologist I liked her, but I didn’t like the oncology suite. It was mismanaged and selfish and, by extension, it affected my feelings toward my oncologist even though she was personable and kind. Because I didn’t trust the unit, I couldn’t trust her. When I found Dr. Raptis, he did all of the right things–we had a common ground since I worked at his alma mater–but still it built trust. So I was able to accept treatment and not be so damned suspicious and combative. This doc is the same and it is appreciated on a profound level. Love you too, “Fog”.

  5. I’m happy for you (and I want one of those smiley faces too)!

  6. dear scorchy,

    i am so happy for you; i bet everytime you think about your new oncologist it just makes your heart sing. i wish EVERYONE could have that – it’s what we all deserve…”a partner”. enjoy the afterglow of your first meeting, and float on cloud nine – you earned it after the last fiasco.

    love, XO,

    karen, tc

  7. Just stopped working for a bit and read your blog. It brought a big smile to my face. Happy partnership to you both.

  8. So glad for you, dear! I just had a similar change (just blogged about it) and completely relate, for the first time in 7 yrs, with the ordeal of changing doctors. I hope both our fits are good ones!

  9. Lazy Jen says:

    So glad you were able to find a good doctor. Makes me feel warm and fuzzzy!!! My thoughts are always with you my crazy friend.

  10. Reading this makes my day. I’m on oncologist number five, changing does get old. I’m thrilled you have found one that suits you. And so close to home no less! Smiling here.

  11. estey4 says:

    I am so glad you found a good partner. You deserve nothing less. Karen – obxk

    Sent from my iPod

  12. dglassme says:

    Nice to hear you got to do your happy dance with someone who cares and you can now see eye to eye with. You must live in the right neighborhood 😉

  13. juneaubugg (aka Jennifer) says:

    That’s fantastic! SO GLAD for you!

  14. Katie says:

    Now if only she shares your potty mouth and sarcasm, you’ve got a keeper.

  15. Great news, girl. I’m so glad you found an onco you like. Finding the right docs is so important for this wretched “journey” we’re on. The first time I met my onco he knew my whole story without even bringing my chart into the room. Clearly he’d done his homework. It sounds like you found a keeper!

  16. Jane Cowell says:

    It amazes me when people who don’t like people choose “people” professions. Best of luck to you. Keep writing! Fingers crossed for your full recovery and for a continuing sense of humor as you travel through this messy life.

  17. Carol Shaw says:

    Happy dance! Sounds like excellent progress.

  18. You remind me, as a doctor, that the partnership is everything. It all comes down to that old saw: nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Thank you for sharing, and for the excellent picture to start the (cold) morning off right!


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