Sunday, October 19, 2008

And, more doctors..................

The Pelvic Sonogram: On August 25th, I had a pelvic sonogram. My decision was based on the ct/pet scan from September of 2007. The ct/pet scan last September was to see if I had any cancer anywhere else in the body besides the right breast. As it turned out, the only other activity was in the left ovary. At that time, my doctor didn’t think this was any big deal because I was pre-menopausal. He figured it was just the follicles at work. But, the doctor didn’t tell me the radiologist recommended a pelvic sonogram and I didn’t get a copy of the report until May of 2008 and didn’t read it until July. So, as this year comes to a close I am trying to dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s”.

Nothing here in New York is ever easy, though. I think I can just make an appointment and have the sonogram done; but, no. Even though I have a PPO and this report from last year I still need a prescription from my primary care physician. Who knew? This wouldn’t be such a big deal, but I had a ton of water sitting in my bladder when they told me I had to come back another day.

When I came back the following week we only did the trans-abdominal test because neither the technician nor I could get the wand in for the trans-vaginal test. It was frustrating and embarrassing to say the least. But, I now have the name of an internist who I am going to try and make my doctor.

For a really great explanation of the pelvic sonogram process, go to Radiology Info .

The Gynecologist: On September 16, I saw Dr. Shefer (formerly Dr. Shapiro) of the New York Methodist Hospital system. There was nothing out of the ordinary. Yes, sure there were lots of us lined up outside before they opened the door and yeah, the alarm system was being worked on and oh by the way, the computers were down so we all had to wait until they could get the computers up before we could see the doctor because they don’t know the schedule without the computer and for some reason when the computer came up it wouldn’t take the secondary insurance because the codes had changed or something. But, otherwise, it was business as usual, for me-the annual pap exam.

Dr. Shefer, another very good doctor, was able to get the results of the pelvic sonogram and the report came back positive for the most part; there is some thickening in the uterus which is normal for women on tamoxifen. However, I still have not been able to get a report from the gynecologist on how the Pap smear went. The first time I called, the nurse assured me that if there was a problem, the doctor would call. The second time I called they told me they didn’t know how to pull up the report from the computer and I would have to wait for the doctor who is only there Tuesday mornings until noon and won’t be returning until November!

The Plastic Surgeon: I saw Dr. Scheinman for the last time on September 26. We spent about five minutes together, so all goes well in that area. I’ll miss him; he’s a nice guy and I would definitely recommend him. But I am also glad to have one less doctor to see on a regular basis.

The Oncologist: None of the complaints I have regarding the tamoxifen are unusual or worth talking about, I guess. At least that seems to be the conclusion from my conversation with Dr. Reitshel on October 1st. But, I can take a multi-vitamin, drink green tea and take a magnesium pill for my muscle cramps if I want, which is quite a big step for the doctor. She also tells me I should have the internal pelvic sonogram and recommends a doctor. I seem to be one of those patients who is doing quite well. It is going so well, in fact, that my appointment with her was cancelled twice prior to this one. Both Natasha (my very good friend and super health care advocate) and I like Dr. Reitschel allot. So, I try to make the appointments towards the end of the day and then after waiting thirty minutes past the appointed time (which is good for Maimonides) we finally see her. And we laugh and laugh. She’s a very to the point kinda gal—which can be off putting if you don’t have a sense of humor. And, because we are there at the end of the day we can spend lots of time with her. Besides being around the same age and having gone to the same type of Ivy League schools and both from Germanic tribes, she and Natasha seem to have a karmic connection of some type. At one point I feel a little ignored, but I decide to let this go because I am so grateful for both of them in my life.

The Mammogram Follow-up: About two weeks after my mammogram I got one of those scary follow-up notes. This one said I should call my doctor right away to schedule an additional test. Apparently there are new tests. I finally reached Dr. Borgen and he said that two tests were plenty and that I am fine. In the meantime, the radiology department lost all of my films from the 90’s.

The Dentist: Dr. Sarji always sees me when he says he will, never cancels an appointment, doesn’t over charge me and always does a good job. He is in the process of putting in a cap for me.

The Energy Healer: So often people do not hear me when I say things like I feel pain, so I am seeing an energy healer, Philip Marden, just to make sure the cancer is out of my body. Why not.