Wednesday, May 18, 2011

surprised at my own reaction

Phoned the oncology centre today. Hope it's not just a coincidence, but ever since I did the Geeta Iyengar open day - where we did have to stand for aaaaages with our hands up at shoulder level -  I have had pain in the area where I had cancer. Well, kinda in the general area cos my left arm has also been a little sore lately...but the pain has been worrying me. For two days after the yoga which was on the 7th, it was bloody sore. Now it has toned down, but it is still there and does not seem linked to movement alone.
Now The Tango Man told me that radiation can affect the skin for up to eight years and I am hoping that the yoga just stretched some tissue. And I still have mobility - eg, did yoga tonight and it felt a little sore, but not in a bad way.
Anyway, phoned the oncology centre today. Am due to see The Tango Man on June 14, so thought maybe I could bring it forward or if necessary see The Skinny One, the other oncologist, in the interim. So I phoned and asked to speak to J.
J is a great nurse there: super experienced, honest, fun and trustworthy. "She doesn't work here anymore," I was told. Whaaaat? Apparently she was ill, needed a stomach op, and they haven't been able to get hold of her since; been a few weeks now. The scary thing is that they seem to have written her off: "she doesn't work here any more," was the first thing I was told. And I do know that she has previously been unhappy there.
Besides worrying about her, and if she is ok - I almost feel like going to see her at her home to see if she is ok but I don't know her surname although I could find it out) or her address beyond a general area - I also, and this is the scary/worrying part, I feel lost without access to her.
You see, at this oncology centre you cannot contact the oncologist unless it's an emergency. Fair enough. But there have always been good nurses to speak to who could guide one. There was Erica, the head nurse, with about 10+ years' experience, but she resigned. J resigned on the same day but was talked out of it. Now she too has left.
And I feel sad at the departure of these maternal figures in my life. Those with knowledge. Those who can advise even if what they say is harsh.



  1. I recently had a similar experience. When I was first diagnosed, began treatment I was assigned a nurse. So for the past couple of years I had held on to the fact that if I needed anything I would have her to fall back on. I was having issues with Tamoxifen, I called the clinic with an update as I was supposed to. I of course wanted to speak with her. She was not available. After further questioning I found out she was reassigned I felt betrayed . How dare this happen without telling me at least/ Of course it's silly because I'm not her only patient even though you like to think you are more important than the rest.
    She was promoted to be a "New Patient Liason" OK I felt better that she was still there she did come to see me yesterday sat talked for a few moments. The nurse I do have now is very good, great personality very thorough. I came home and laughed at myself for feeling "Betrayed" When there are hundreds of patients needing the same one on one attention that fortunately we do have. The hospital Oncology Clinic is good at making sure you have the consistency instead of going through the questions at each visit..
    BTW your hair looks great!!

    Love Alli XX

  2. Well wherever you are, it sure sounds super organised. I phoned the other day - subsequent to writing this posting - and felt like I was dealing with a strange place, well strange as in a stranger to me.