On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Madder than a wet hen

Three weeks ago I told the radiation oncologist that I had symptoms of a simple infection.  No, no, it was the tumor that was causing the discomfort.  He prescribed a narcotic.

A couple days later I emailed him, reiterated my concern and backed it up by saying an over-the-counter medication was more helpful than his narcotic.   No, no, it was the tumor...

In the second weekly appointment I complained about the pain again and he upped the dosage of the narcotic.

This week, before I saw him, I went to the lab and asked to be tested.  I have so many open lab orders that I frequently just pull them at will.  Then I went to my radiation oncologist appointment, told that I was being tested, that my concern had never been ruled out.  He said it was probably a good idea that I had done that, but three times more in that session he said he was sure it was the tumor causing my misery.  He prescribed morphine.  As I was leaving, I mentioned that the lab results would likely go to my oncologist since he had originally ordered the test - over a year ago - and, if it proved positive who would prescribe for me?  Either one could.  Well, will you be watching for the results?  Yes, but he was  sure it was tumor blah blah blah.  The side effects of his narcotics were creating new problems and new discomfort.

This morning I was in so much pain I woke up in tears.  I was saying to Steve, I can understand now why some people just give up.

The radiation oncologist passed me in the hall, but said nothing, not exactly hunched over his computer watching for my test results.

So my regular oncologist telephoned an hour later.  Say, I just received the results of your test..... And yes, I now had a massive infection and he had ordered a potent antibiotic.  At that very moment part of me felt totally exonerated and suddenly full of hope. I will feel better tomorrow! Another part wanted to rip the face off the dork who kept dismissing me.  Morphine doesn't cure infections and three weeks of pain is inexcusable.

The task in front of me:  Calming down before my next appointment with that guy.  I am so very, very angry!


  1. I think we always know our own bodies more than the doctors do, most of the time. I hope you will finally have some relief from so much pain. I haven't heard the phrase "madder than a wet hen" since I left the Midwest !! Keeping you in my prayers. Ginny

  2. Hi Ginny - I didn't realize that was a midwestern expression! I was there from age 4 to 32 (minus 3 years) so I probably have lots of those residual expressions lurking around my brain.

  3. Ugh! Why don't people get it! We know our bodies!!! So sorry you went through all of that.


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