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I finally did it!


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I've changed Oncologists -- officially as of Sept. 15th when I'll see the new one. It was a bit frustrating, but also humorous, getting this done. The former and the new one are in the same practice -- the new one is female, and I've heard really good things about her from my Pulmonologist and some of her patients. I called their office to tell them that I no longer wanted to see the former doc and wanted to change to this new one, and this is how the exchange went (keep in mind I was talking to someone less than half my age, sitting at the front desk smacking her gum):

Her: Well, I'll need your phone number so Dr. A can call you back.

Me: Why does he need to call me back?

Her: Well, he'll need to approve you changing doctors.

Me: Approve? Don't think so. This is America -- in case someone forgot to tell you, we get to choose which docs we see -- or not see.

Her: Well, Dr. B is in the same practice, so Dr. A will have to approve the change.

Me: No, it requires no approval -- trust me on this. You just let me know if Dr. B will see me or not, and if not, the Yellow Pages are full to the brim of Oncologists in this city. I'm sure I'll have no problem at all finding at least a dozen others who will be more than happy to be on the receiving end of my insurance payments.

Her: Then I'll have one of the nurses call you back.

Me: Fine -- let them know they have until the end of the day and then I'll be looking elsewhere.

Sheesh! When I finally heard back, it was one of the nurses, and I just told her I didn't relate to Dr. A very well, and that my Pulmonologist suggested I see Dr. B. She was very nice, and just had me call in to make the appointment, so I'm all set up for Sept. 15th to see the new doc. (I informed the Radiation Oncologist of the change this morning, and guess what he said? "Well, you just don't gee with everyone you meet in life, do you! Thanks for letting us know -- you're the boss, you know.")

So, I've cancelled the useless CT/PET scan Dr. A had set up for next week. As it turns out, a PET scan is useless so soon after radiation anyway -- Radiation Oncologist says I should wait at least 4 months before having a PET scan, and that everything will probably light up before that time from residual radiation. (DUH!) He also says that I need to wait at least 30 days to have even a CT or an MRI because the radiation will continue to work for that period of time and the test will be more helpful to them. (Although I couldn't prove it, I felt like Dr. A just scheduled the CT/PET scan because it's done at their imaging center, so would put some $$ in their pockets even though it would be useless. Given his personality, it would have given him probably 20 more things to be negative about, so he would have been happy at my expense. Haha.)

So, I have the last radiation treatment next Thursday - yay! I'll see the new Oncologist on Sept. 15th, and my 91 year old mother (who is in much better shape than all 3 of her kids!) will be here Sept. 13th for a 2 week visit, so life looks pretty good right now.

Yes, I know this illness is unpredictable and I know full well not to expect each and every little thing to be positive from here on out, but by golly, I will be LIVING and not DYING like I thought a scant 3 months ago.

So there. :wink:

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Good for you! Some doctors just don't understand how important it is to feel confident with your medical team. There was a recent article about how clinical trial patients do better and I know that, while I was in a clinical trial, I felt every person involved was totally pulling for me -- makes a huge difference.

You are in charge and I'm so glad (and hopeful) about this new doctor!


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I am glad you did what your gut told you to do. If you feel more comfortable with Dr. B...that's all that matters. I hope she will be the answer to your problems with the oncologist. I agree with the others in that it does sound like you have a great radiologist.


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That's great, Dianne. It's so important to have someone who's pulling for you and with whom you feel not only comfortable but confident. And I'm with you on the order of the PET scan -- or should I say scam.

Sounds like you're making all sorts of progress --- keep on truckin'! And enjoy your mom.


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