No big deal, huh?

First of all, let me start by saying incompetence pisses me off. Aside from that, though, anyone undergoing cancer treatments knows what it is like to count down until you are done. Final chemo, final radiation, and later, hopefully, final routine check if you hit the coveted 5 year mark without a recurrence.  Like anyone else I am counting down my treatments.  I stayed on schedule through 16 rounds of chemo. Now on to radiation..  8 down, 25 to go. 5 more weeks of 5 days a week, starting today.  My “last” day is was 8/10/11.  I live 30-40 minutes from the cancer center depending on traffic/weather. I give myself 45 minutes to get there. I usually arrive 10 minutes or so before my scheduled treatment.  Today was no exception. I checked in, got undressed and sat to wait. There was a mishap when a lady fell in the bathroom and was calling for help. There wasn’t a nurse in sight and she couldn’t reach the call button. Unfortunately she had fallen against the door, so I couldn’t open it to see if she just needed help standing or needed a nurse.  Another patient went to find someone while I stayed with her. Once the nurses arrived I got out of the way and continued to wait.  My name was called and the nurse who (I think) is in charge of the scheduling said “I left you a message!”  Okay, but here I am.  She said the machine was down (again!.. this is getting to be a habit, though I’ve never been sent away before) and she had called me to cancel.  I asked what time she called and she said “a few minutes ago”.  Splendid. A few minutes ago, while she was calling my house I was already disrobed and freezing in the waiting room. She informed me the “other machine” was up and running but the  one I was scheduled for was down. I was already there. I was undressed. There were only two other people waiting and one had been wheeled out on a stretcher. Surely they could have squeezed me in even though they were “booked solid” until 5. My treatment takes all of 5-6 minutes.  I debated arguing, but I was afraid if I pissed her off she would turn up the juice.  Then she said I hadn’t wasted the trip because Dr. Jones was seeing his patients today. Well, bully for Dr. Jones’ patients. I am not one of them.  She kept apologizing and of course I don’t blame her about the machine being down or even for being boneheaded enough to call me 5 minutes before my scheduled appointment to cancel. Even if I lived in the parking lot it would take me at least that long to get there.  What pissed me off nearly beyond reason was her flippant.. “oh it’s no big deal.. we just tack the missed appointment(S) on to the end”.  Yeah, it is a big deal to me. It’s a fucking big deal.



  1. Tracey · July 9, 2012

    Oh dude. I’m so sorry. Cancer is a pain in the ass as it is without this stuff on top of it. I’ve had my share of telling off people who can’t figure out how to do their damn jobs, especially when dealing with sick people. Thing is, they should have to do chemo and radiation. Then let’s see if a couple of missed appointments are a big deal or not. Sorry you had to deal with that.


    • mainelyhopeful · July 9, 2012

      I kind of have an unofficial policy of not telling off people who have control of things like my radiation or where the needles go. I may have to rethink that.


  2. Susan · July 9, 2012

    I am sorry you had do deal with such incompetence. I went last week for my MUGA and they blew two veins in my arm. Acted like it was no biggie also. I hate wishing bad things on people but sometimes I am tempted.


  3. embracing chemo · July 10, 2012

    I hear you! There are some medical staff who really need to learn the impact of their words. Most of them will need to walk a mile in our shoes before they get it…


    • mainelyhopeful · July 10, 2012

      I would think dealing with it day in and day out would be all they need to “get it”. I wish they would lose their damn scripts and talk to us as individuals.


  4. decisionsformyfamily · July 10, 2012

    I think people become so robotic it is sad. Good Luck hope it ends soon!


  5. jelebelle · July 11, 2012

    Ugh. Good for you for keeping it together. The NY’r in me might have gone wild. You will get there. Standing beside you, and looking forward to celebrating at the end of your tunnel. xo


  6. breastcancerat40 · July 11, 2012

    I can empathize with your frustration. Just think, a few more weeks and u r done!


  7. Cindy's Cancers · July 11, 2012

    I get it…but the office girls don’t seem to. I had a girl at the oncologist’s office tell me that I couldn’t get another appointment for six weeks and before I knew what I was saying I said “I may not have six weeks”! If they’ve never been through what we have then they may not ever understand why every little thing means so much to those of us that have cancer, or any serious illness for that matter. You’re doing great, just remember that.


  8. erinambrose · July 12, 2012

    I am so sorry you had to endure this with all else you are going through. Wishing you peace and an easier time on your future appointments. You are a warrior and will get through this!!


  9. hopeforheather · July 13, 2012

    I’m screaming for you, “What part of this is NOT ok do those people not get?!”

    Sorry doesn’t come close. I’d be close to making a stink and being a squeaky wheel…but I saw your other comment and kind of agree.

    Freaking fruitcakes!


  10. The Presents of Presence · July 13, 2012

    So sorry you had to endure that…it is a big deal…the whole thing is. xo


  11. eddiesandcurrents · July 15, 2012

    I feel you, Sister. So frustrating. I think the dailyness makes some of our caregivers/zappers/pokers forget to be kind and caring. They don’t realize how tough the path is.


  12. judiththomasberg · August 3, 2012

    I think it’s interesting that they expect us, the patients, to call 24 hours before if we need to cancel but they can call 5 min before WTF! That’s just rude. I know the nurse in question didn’t have anything to do with the break down but a little flexability wouldn’t hurt, right?!
    Sorry you had to experience that!


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