SDianneB Posted January 18, 2005 Share Posted January 18, 2005 I pretty much knew when I first heard my diagnosis that I was in for a "lifetime" of scans and tests and doctor visits (whatever "lifetime" means now!), but it's now becoming reality. I'm about 7 months past diagnosis, done with first line treatments, and NED. Can't ask for more than that, given the circumstances, except for the new goal of keeping the monster in the closet and OUT of my body. Last week, I saw the Oncologist and saw the Pulmonologist yesterday. The Onc. wants me back in 6 wks, and will do a chest x-ray. I asked the Pulmonologist if I'm supposed to see 3 doctors every 3 months from now on, and if so, why? What he says will happen (and he's been right every time so far) is that I'll have the chest x-ray, see the Onc., they'll see the radiation damage and think it's pneumonia, then order a CT scan just to "make sure." (Remember too that this Pulmonologist actually LOOKS AT the scans -- I bring him copies on a CD after I have them. The Onc. just looks at the report.) That sounds about right, so he says that if I don't have another CT scan by April or so, that he'll order it, and he'll call the Onc. and smooth it all out with her. He says that I should wait until about June/July which will put me about a year out from diagnosis, see how things look then, and if all is stable, I can just follow with my PCP and Pulmonologist. He will also smooth this all out with the Oncologist. My thoughts were that if I don't have active cancer, why see an Oncologist so often, since I have a great Pulmonologist who has seemed to be more on top of this all along anyway? Plus, when I go to the Onc. office, I wait a LONG time, so it takes a LOT out of my day. When I finally get back there, they do my lab work, and I sit in an exam room for another LONG time (making them leave the door open now so they can SEE there is a person in there and not just a closed door). Then, a nurse practitioner comes in, asks me questions off a typed list, listens to my chest, and leaves. I wait some more. The Onc. pokes her head in, says hello, things look good, see you in 6 weeks, then outta there. Not even 2 actual minutes (yes I timed it this last time). But, of course, the office visit costs the same whether I see a doctor or a nurse practitioner. (Not that there's anything wrong with nurse practitioners either, but having lung cancer just makes me think I should be seeing doctors, especially if that's what I'm paying for.) She is a truly nice person, great doctor, but is a breast cancer specialist, doesn't seem to really understand lung cancer protocols, and is SO busy. I feel like I get the best care from the Pulmonologist, so I'll probably stick with him like glue. I also follow with my PCP because he's a friend, and is good to tell me when he thinks I'm not thinking something through adequately, and helps me through things like that. (He told me yesterday that I'm the kind of patient they like -- was feeling bad when he first saw me, and all I've done since then is to keep getting better!) So, all is still well for now, and I begin the first year of frequent follow ups, followed probably by another year of just about the same! Oh joy! (NOT!) I would bet a lot of people (most?) follow with an Oncologist, but how many have three docs -- PCP, Pulmonologist, AND Oncologist that you follow with frequently? It just seems like WAY too much to me, but some of you have been down this road before me, and I'm sure there are reasons I'm not even aware of that may have some bearing on this. Di Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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