Saturday, March 03, 2007

Possible Change in Oncologist

Dave and I are discussing the option of changing oncologists to a site closer to home and his work. There are many reasons for this discussion.

It is expected that I will have an MRI and see an oncologist every 3 months for the next 5+ years. If my cancer returns or changes the doctor visits will increase as well.

1. Hwy 40 construction that is slated to begin soon and last for many years. Traffic will be quite heavy even if I took I-44.
2. Closer to home and Dave's work. Since Dave will continue coming to the MRI follow-up appointments it would be best if the doctor's office is closer to his work.
3. No parking fee at St. Johns or Mo Bap.
4. Less gas & vehicle expense.
5. Time away from home would be less as well.

Please pray for wisdom. I have discused this with one doctor friend last night. He said if I am not on any experimental regimen it probably would not make much difference. I will consult with one more doctor friend. We will not change over till we hear the results of the MRI. I will still see Dr. Linette on the 14th. Dr. Linette is a great and thorough oncologist. Dave mentioned that one option would be to make my appointments in the afternoon to avoid the morning rush. That is fine except since Dr. Linette is so thorough patients in the afternoon usually wait up to one hour past their appointment time to see him. We then see him for about an hour.

If the oncologist office is closer to home I could ask a friend to watch Stuart in the morning and be home in time for his nap. Yes, I realize this one is a minor issue.

Did speak with Deb, Dr. Simpson's nurse to ask his follow up protocol. Dr. Simpson usually sees his patients 6 weeks post radiation then usually 3 or 6 months post. It all depends if the patient is exhibiting any clinical symptoms like a headache.

I desire to have an oncologist that will follow me without taking the Temodar till absolutely necessary.


Anonymous said...

Forgive me for saying this, but does a simple parking fee really make that much of a difference in the overall goal to better health? I realize that money is always a concern, however,if someone I loved needed medical help, I would go to great lengths to get help, no matter the cost. All I am saying is don't sweat the small stuff and let THE PROVIDER OF ALL YOUR NEEDS, TAKE CARE OF THE REST. (For example - Remember the $$ you received for the garage door?)
Also, please keep in mind that not all doctors who have a limited bedside manner are bad. Good doctors spend most of their lives studying, researching and working with multiple patients at one time. If I had to make the choice between a doctor that looked like George Clooney with an awesome bedside manner but lacked knowlegde or a doctor that looked like Frankinstein with little or no social skills, however he had unlimited knowledge, I would go have to go with Frankie (sorry George).
I am not preaching here, it just seems like there is alot of wasted time spent on unnessasary worrying and not enough time not spent on the things that matter most.
Someone who knows you and cares.

Anonymous said...

Kate -
I don't know you personally, but I attend First E-Free and have been praying for you. I have been going through a challenging medical ordeal for the past two years and am on my 9th surgery. At one point, I tried ignoring the idea that I needed a doctor with strong bedside manner ... it doesn't work.

I would go for skill of a hysician AND good bedside manner. The bedside manner is a big deal, since you know it is going to be an ongoing physician/patient relationship. It has to be someone that you feel totally comfortable with and good bedside manner goes a long way in the healing process. It may take a bit longer to find a doctor that has both, but he/she is out there. Ask your doctor friends who they would go to .... they are often some of the best. I'll continue to pray for wisdom!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,

We will be praying for you and Dave as you make doctor decisions for the future. Your cancer experience has really opened my eyes to how complicated health care decisions really are. It seems that nothing is simple!

:) Erika

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, small things, like less traffic and fewer fees can lessen stress, and that's always a very good thing. If St. John's is equal (or possibly even better) for your needs, that's great. I'm sure your decisions will always be based on the best care available.

I'll be praying for a clear message for you.

Christine Raquepaw

Anonymous said...

My darling Kate

I think that when you and Dave are being considerate of all the issues it shows that you are being wise and prayerful, and nothing less.:)

God has put it in your mind to consider Doctor options and part of that consideration has made you and Dave consider WHY He might want you to change Dr's. I think all myour reasons are valid and you are being thorough and PRAYERFUL.

Always Loving you and Praying for you

Anonymous said...


My son DJ was a teacher for one of your boys in preschool at Covenant SS. He has had 5 brain surgeries. It is he and I who keep up with your progress and pray for you.

He does NOT have cancer, I do want to make that clear, but he has had FOUR different neuro surgeons because we have moved to different states. It could not be helped. I agree with the stress factor knowing the fees on top of that. However, when you closed your letter you said you wanted a doc that would hold off on Tremdor until absolutely necessary. I hope I am quoting *you* correctly? :)

The decision is between you and Dave, the rest of us can only offer suggestions and stand behind the decision you make, or belittle you for it. (hopefully not, but it is an option).

The Lord will lead you both if you let Him, I think you are.


Rebecca Farquhar said...


I have been following your saga and even commented one time. If you remember me, I am Ramona's friend that went through a bout of Hodgkin's Lymphoma (my hair is about 3 inches long).

Anyway, I love my oncologist at St John's Mercy (Dr. Mary Klix) and the Mercy Cancer Center is wonderful. I don't know if she works with brain tumors or not, but you could certainly call for a consult if you want. There are also two other oncologists in her office - 314-251-4400.

Just thought I would let you know.

Rebecca Farquhar (From Covenant Church)