Happy Easter Monday!

Hope everyone had a great long weekend!   Children luckily have the day off from school.  Unfortunately for some, many employers chose for their employers to work today!  So if you are one of the lucky few to have the day off …Enjoy!

Mike picked up the mail yesterday and I received a written response from Dr. Dick on my complaint re his lack of follow up and care.   He obviously has his own version of the story.   He denied some of what he said and implied he asked me to follow up in a month if I experienced any change or pain.    Too funny because he never said this to me at all.  Also what Doctor would tell you to take a “wait and see” approach if there is a potential for breast cancer?   If there is “any” potential for “any” cancer, I think the rule of thumb or “tumor” should be to “to rule it out quickly”.   He also said he examined my breast….yes with an eyeball glance.   Really?  Honestly, I think he has so many patients and just assumed he examined me but he did not.   He also denied saying that it was 100% a cyst and that this was language he would not use.   Well, he has to protect himself…but honestly he absolutely said this as it left me gobsmacked the day he said it.

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I wrote back to indicate that this will obviously be a case of “he said, she said” and the main point of my complaint is to ensure that he makes some process or procedural changes to avoid this happening to other patients.     I even itemized some recommendations that I would like him to implement such as:

  1. Notes are put in patient files to record when the patient is advised or contacted re abnormal test results and when follow up appointments are scheduled.
  2. Any lumps/bumps should be examined with applicable tests like ultrasounds, mammograms etc..   I also said if both patient and Doctor agree to wait and monitor then, this too, should be recorded in the patient’s file.  This said, there should be no reason to wait and see particularly if there is potential for cancer.   Seriously, isn’t early detection, what it is all about?

My Investigator told me she will send my comments over to Dr. Dick and to the committee and let me know when she secures the date for the committee review meeting.   I don’t attend this meeting but I believe Dr. Dick does.  I really don’t expect much to happen and often keep my expectations low so I don’t get too disappointed.    This said, if he just gets a little more diligent and records the date his office follows up on abnormal test results and records when the patient is advised, that may just help someone out.   If he listens carefully to a patient’s complaint of a bump/lump and takes appropriate action with the patient’s agreement, I will have done what I have set out to accomplish.   No one is perfect and sure mistakes are made but if Doctors can put in some minor changes and do what they can to minimize mistakes…that will be a step in the right direction!    If you think something is wrong with the way your healthcare is managed, I urge you to speak up!  Do it for yourself and think about the difference you can make for someone else including the Doctor!  Do not be afraid to speak up because it is all about learning and growing into better people!

This time round, my chemo reaction seems very different from the 1st round of chemo.    I have absolutely no energy.   I sleep and sleep but am fatigued.   So I am just taking things slowly which isn’t my usual speed.   I feel nauseated and have no appetite.   Being a true lover of food, that doesn’t stop me!   I have a “tester” background, I keep tasting things to test out what gets rid of that nauseous feeling.   So far…found nothing!  There is definitely a strange or weird taste in your mouth and nothing is appetizing.   However when you eat, you realize you absolutely need to eat for energy.  It perks you up a bit.   It is almost like you have a perpetual flu bug.   I was also experiencing major heart palpitations on Saturday which seem to have subsided and my blood pressure has been a little low.   The bone pain is still there but not like the ping pong effect from 1st round.  It is manageable with tylenol and/or advil.

So I thought I better see what would help for anyone suffering from fatigue so here are some tips:

  1. Keep a diary–  Write down when you are most fatigued or have the most energy.
  2. Identify what is fatigued? –  Be detailed, do you have tired eyes, legs or is it a whole body fatigue?  Can you concentrate, do you feel weak and have a general malaise?  How are your moods?  Do you feel irritable, anxious, impatient or nervous?
  3. Level of fatigue?  Is this interfering with your own self care? Should you see a Doctor?

Here are things you can do:

  1. Delegate to Others;   Can your husbands, kids or dog do the dishes?
  2. Plan ahead & simplify;  Can you combine activities or make things easier?
  3. Schedule Rest; Try to balance rest and work, rest before you are too fatigued, don’t feel guilty by taking short rests


Here’s hoping my energy levels start to come back up!




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