Let’s review, shall we?
Dec 23rd ’06 – receive call that some calcifications were spotted on the left breast in recent mammogram. Schedule second set of films.
Dec 28th ’06 – get second set done. Radiologist on the spot confirms a spot they want to test. An order for a needle biopsy will be written and I will be called within a week.
Jan 6 ’07 – Receive call from Scripps Polster Center in La Jolla (where films are done) and schedule needle biopsy at their facility for Jan 24th at 1:00pm.
Jan 18 ’07 – Receive call from referring physician’s admin that insurance not going through. Go through about 4 phone calls between insurance and admin to straighten out.
Jan 24′ 07 – Receive call from SPC technician – machine needed for needle biopsy broke during morning procedure! Repairman on the way, but most likely need to re-schedule for following week. They will call by the 26th to confirm.
Jan 26′ 07 – Received promised call. Machine not fixed. May take weeks. They issue order to refer me to their Chula Vista facility where same process can be done. Call Chula Visat and sonnest available that I can make is Feb 13 at 1:00.
Feb 13′ 07 – Biopsy actually done! It’s hell. Results promised on the 16th which is the Friday before a 3-day weekend.
Feb 16 ’07 – no call by 2:00pm so I start calling around. Results were sent to my PCP who did receive them but had already left for the weekend! Call Chula Vista and plead with sympathetic nurse who gets doctor who ran the labs to call me. No cancer, but a-typical hyperplastic cells. More work to be done. PCP will call me.
Feb 21 ’07 – PCP calls with surgical referral. Gives name, I call, and find out they don’t take HOM insurance. Call PCP back and get different name. Call surgeon’s office. They wont make an appointment until the insurance auth goes through. Call PCP’s office – they promise they are sending the insurance auth out that day.
March 6th ’07 – Surgeon’s office (okie dokie girl) finally calls with insurance auth. Schedule appointment for 3/23 to consult on pathology results from biopsy. Receive directions from okie dokie girl. No further instructions given.
March 22nd ’07 – Receive call from okie dokie girl to confirm next day’s appointment. For the first time she tells me that I need to bring my mammogram films with me. Multiple phone calls all around the place later, films are located in Chula Vista and a courier request is sent to transport to surgeon. Unfortunately not in time for scheduled appointment so I reschedule for 3/30 at 9:30am
March 28th ’07 – Call to confirm films were delivered. Yes!
March 30th ’07 – Consult with surgeon. She recommends surgical removal of all atypical cells. Informs me that marker supposedly left during Chula Vista biopsy is in the wrong spot so more films are needed. She puts through insurance order for diagnostic films at SPC. No further instructions are given (see a theme here?)!
April 5th ’07 – Receive call from surgeons office at 11:00am that the order has gone through and they want me at SPC on the 6th at 9:30am. Oh, can take your films with you. Huh? The films that YOU have? That you never mentioned I would need to take back again? Inform them that no, I cannot just be told when my appointments are and they are doubly insane to think I can drop everything (hello, I work!) and drive up to encinitas then back to la jolla! Call SPC and make appointment for 4/20 at 2:30pm.
April 10th ’07 – Drive to surgeons office and pick up films. Vow to never let them out of my sight again!
April 20th ’07 – Diagnostic films done. Radiologist checks them out and tells me he sees the original spot and he circles it on the films – about 2 inches away from the marker!! I insist they print out films and give me the packet back. They say they will transmit report to surgeon who should call me.
April 27th ’07 – Surgeon calls. She has the report and can see where to go to clear out cells. Tells me her nurse will call to make an appointment.
April 30th ’07 – Nurse calls and we schedule the surgical biopsy for May 14th and she tells me I will need to take off the next day as well to recover. I contact SP and he arranges to take the day off on the 14th. DS1 will be able to stay home with me on the 15th. I tell them I will bring the films with me – she had the grace to laugh 🙂
May 3rd ’07 – Receive call from surgeon’s nurse. She wants to see if I can go back to SPC for a ‘dry run’ on the procedure the next day. Huh? I say no, cannot ditch work on such short notice. She says the surgery time is still scheduled but there is some concern about their ability to find the cells again with the type of procedure they want to do, so they want to ‘practice’ at Scripps at no charge. Yeah, no kidding no charge, but now I have to find time for another appointment! Fine. I call SPC and tell nurse that I cannot be there on the 4th so she finds a slot first thing on the 8th for me to come in. She does not know how long it will take. I should bring my films with me :->>
This is why I was so pleased when I heard that an August mom going through something much worse – actual breast cancer lump found as well as spread to one lymph node – had films on the 25th, biopsy the next day, labs already in and surgery set for the 9th. Chemo to start 4-6 weeks later depending on the results of the labs on what is removed in surgery. Thank gawd her insurance and doctors staff’s and equipment are a helluva lot more competent and efficient than mine!!
TO be continued……hopefully with a surgical biopsy actually happening on the 14th!