Yesterday I experienced a few bumps in the road. I know they are to be expected. When you bank on every moment counting the bumps however are hard to take. As I had stated briefly before the other day in my post “choices” , my Father did a complete 360 over the weekend and decided to go see a Radiology Oncologist instead of the Surgical Oncologist for the second opinion. After a few phone conversations I told him “if that if what you want to do that is what we will do.” He is the one fighting the disease he needs to feel comfortable with his decisions and the direction he wants to take in his battle.
Monday morning I immediately got on the phone and talked to the Cancer Center he had the appointment with and got the ball rolling on changing the appointment to the radiology oncologist, the Cancer Center that I am dealing with is and has been fantastic. I can not utter one negative word about them. They have absolutely gone above and beyond what I could have ever expected. I managed to get everything in order in one phone call to the Center, with only one small problem. My Fathers pathology slides which were supposed to be in route from the hospital he had the surgery done to the Cancer Center in NYC, were lost. LOST. The Cancer Center could not track them anywhere and they had not arrived in New York.
Having heard this I immediately got back on the phone to the hospital in New Jersey. I refuse to be mean but I can honestly say that the only decent uncondescending conversation I had with this hospital was with the initial information station I dealt with. I was given to the wrong department first who seemed to have better things to do with their time than to help me, then when they did finally patch me through to the right department no one answered the phone. Realizing it was 12:30 prime lunch time I decided to leave a voice mail. By the time 3pm rolled around I realized that no one had returned my SOS call. I called the hospital back and finally got a person on the other end of the phone in the RIGHT department. I explained my dilemma how we had an appointment NEXT Wednesday and the slides could not be tracked and had not arrived in NYC yet. The person I talked to was again what I would consider to be very disrespectful, didn’t seem to want to be bothered, and then put me on hold. Coming off of hold about 3 minutes later all that was said was “They are in New York…..okay….” To which I replied “Oh that’s great thank you.” Then I heard ‘click’. I realize that this is just one small problem in the long road ahead. However, lining up these appointments and making sure all the reports, films, and slides, which by the way are all coming from different offices, is a bit overwhelming, and a bit of a logistical nightmare. Especially for someone like myself who is not used to arranging appointments like this, where every piece of information is another piece to the puzzle and completely needs to be there. Making these calls are very stressful due to the mere fact that I don’t know all the medical terms they are using. I don’t know which doctor has what report, and I am tentative trying to make sure every I is dotted and t is crossed. I believe that if you are representing any business, or even yourself, you should be aware that a lot can be told by a voice on the other end of the phone. When you answer that phone you set the tone. It takes nothing more to be kind, patient and courteous to the person you are speaking with and it goes a very long way.
The bottom line is I am happy that the slides had indeed arrived and that all the pieces to the puzzle are in place and we will start on another leg of our journey on Wednesday. I have no expectations other than hoping we receive some direction as to how my Dad can begin to deal with this rare form of MAC from a medical standpoint. Which in turn I hope will help him to deal with it emotionally as well.