Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bomb the boats, feed the fish!

I hate the cancer centre!!!!
Yes, the lovely, caring Juravinski bullshit Cancer Centre.... is a godforsaken hell hole in my opinion.
After 3 hours in the place and dealing with farce after farce of communication nighmares I am finally home. No one told me the heart scan would take an hour, so my plan to have lunch in between the appointments did not happen. So I did not get to eat.
2 weeks ago my new nurse suggested my pending heart scan be set on the same day as my bloodwork for convenience. It seemed to be forgotten that the heart scan needed 2 needles and bloodwork needed another, and tomorrow for chemo I need another. That means 4 needles in one arm in less than 24 hours. Because of the lymphadema (arm swelling from the fact that they removed lymph nodes) risks on my surgery side, I cannot have needles there. 2 more chemos to go and I am NOT getting a port(a surgical insertion of a needle entry point that makes it easier for the nurses to draw blood and give IV's)

I waited for an hour to see the doctor and reminded the nurse that we had 5 minutes to get my prescriptions in to the pharmacy and they looked at me like I had screwed something up.... then I asked the Nurse about the menopause symptoms, and told them that I had to find out about "chemo induced menopause" on the internet, and that they should have told me.... I asked if I (41years old) should expect this to be temporary which i assumed was the case... they said NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only did they not bother to tell me these symptoms might happen, but now I find out that this may be it for me! Did it not occur to them that this may be important news? Having a child after 40 is certainly not unheard of- no one asked me if I had considered having more kids... Again I ask... Did it not occur to them that this was important news?????
So, as I was being raced out the door to the upstairs pharmacy, the Doctor stuck his head in to say " everything ok? Do we need to talk about anything this week...?"
I told him I was upset with the menopause issue and asked about another prescription that they forgot to mention he said we can talk about it next week and raced upstairs to get in the pharmacy before they closed.
Perhaps the hospital scheduling fairies should not schedule 4:15 appointments that involve prescriptions to be filled by 5pm HMMM???
Oh, right... they don't care about my arm with 4 needles in 24 hours, nor do they care about the end of my childbearing options, why-ever would they care about the fact that I might not get my pre chemo prescriptions the night before chemo???
So, at the pharamacy I slipped in just before they slammed the door in my face and got told that my drug card was not working and I had to pay for my steroids in cash.
So, the annoying visit from the nurse yesterday that is supposed to keep my drug card activated clearly was a total waste of time. So tomorrow, from the chemo chair I will have to have Tim and the social workers fight with the pharmacy so I can get the drug card issue fixed and get my white blood cell booster(neupagen) that is $3000 per month and not covered by OHIP.
Can you see this being a fun day???
So, defeated and upset I left the place to find that the elevators to the parking lot were not working. So I slowly climbed the 4 stories to my car(glad I am not 80, or that it was not a chemo day) and got in, out of breath from the stairs and burst into tears. I have cried often through this cancer ordeal but this one was one of the worst episodes. I called Tim, calmed down and drove home, stopping for a bagel (not great for the weight loss, I know but I was hungry)on the way.
Did I mention... I HATE the Cancer Centre?


Anonymous said...

Oh Noelle, I'm so sorry to hear of your trials with your Oncologist and Nurse, that's just brutal. I hope you are able to go back there and voice your displeasure ... especially about the chemo induced menopause. And that's disgusting about "finding the info on the web", there's PLENTY of info available at Juravinski and they should be giving you the resources with all you're going through.

I was there today and didn't read your blog ... I am got treatment #1 of Taxol, for a total of 5 of 8 treatments so far.

One thing that I did get everyone telling me ... my surgeon, my oncologist and my social worker, the literature they gave me etc. was about the chemo induced menopause. Mind you ... treatment #5 and I'm showing no signs of it menopause (and I'm at the point where I'm saying, bring it on). Seems unfair that I wish to be where you are and vice versa. If it helps ANY ... being forced into menopause and having it be permanent is a good thing for your cancer, recurrence is less likely (no matter what your pathology reads) if you are in menopause. My oncologist told me that.

About the pharmacy thing ... are you happy with having them there? My oncologist suggested that I fill them there, but there's no way with me living in Burlington that I'm going to trust them to provide me with anything but basic service. So I said, no, I will keep with my trusted pharmacist (who is so great, that I want him to benefit from the profits on my scripts). He was the one that linked me to getting the drug card (cause my Nupegeon is $3800 for 8 days/7600 per month ~ I weigh much more than you LOL). He also told me that my drug card would expire and that he'd let me know well in advance to give me time to get back in touch with the care team in charge of my injections and get the card re-issued.

Wished I read your post earlier, I too got treatment today (Thurs) at Juravinski, I sure would have liked to give you a hug and say hang in there, you're ahead of me!

So here's my cyber hug ... keep blogging, I find your posts make me feel like there are others out there sharing my plight.

And ... I have to tell you .. shortly after you posted about the throat sores ... that they hurt so much to even swallow water ... I was thinking "come on" and low and behold ... I got them too !!!! Thank heavens it was only for 8 days ... lol.

Hang in there Noelle, we're praying for you.

Anonymous said...


Noelle, there is way that you can get the cost of the nupegeon covered. I need to make some calls to clarify a few details and then I will get back to you. Would you be interested or have you tried for coverage?

That was an amazing, brutually honest blog, thankfully there is someone like you out there that will take the time to allow us to walk and pray with you.

I am hoping that someone at the cancer clinic is reading these also and if so, has the confidence to print and post them at the hospital..............

Take care

Noelle said...

My Neupagen is covered... they just had a momentary screw up. I am far to underpaid to afford it on my own.
I would have had no choice but to refuse the drug if there was no coverage.