Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Who do you trust?

   We put our faith in the doctors that treat us. In all the years I've been going to doctors, I've never once asked for a second opinion.
   With the diagnosis of bladder cancer and the route the diagnosing doctor wanted to take, several close friends suggested I get a second opinion.
   That second opinion came highly recommended. As I was a new patient, I was sent reams of paperwork to be filled out then told to arrive one half hour ahead of my scheduled appointed at 4p.m. I arrived about 3:25p.m. and was showed into a room. "The doctor will be with you shortly" was told.
   At 6:15p.m. this highly popular and well recommended doctor came in with my chart. "I got a little busy," was all he said before launching into what he felt should be done.
   His suggestion was quite aggressive and he wanted to schedule me for it asap. I told him I would go home and think about it then call his office.
   Instead, I contacted a fellow writer whose brother went to U of M med school and practices dermatology on the west coast. Yes, I know he isn't a urologist but felt he probably know someone out there that may have a different view.
   He called back within a half hour and said to tell me to go to the U of M. I called them on a Thursday afternoon and was asked if I could be there the next day at 8:15a. I told them to book it.
   I got in, got some good answers and a sensible (I thought) approach to m,y diagnosis. The rest is history.
   I was pronounced cancer free last Friday but must follow up with the doctor every three months for two years then every six months for two years.
   While this isn't necessarily outdoor news, I mention it because so many friends near me were patients of this chemo-pushing doctor and are scared to death. They have no idea where to turn.
   I'm thankful I wasn't one of them. Early on I got some advice from a three-time cancer survivor: "Roger, you need to be your own advocate." Truer words were never spoken.

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