Gaming the System, Part II

Sunday last we had our appointment with the surgeon.  We arrived at the hospital in time (great parking, thank you very much!) and made our way to the office.  As we entered the waiting area I looked around and said to Tammy, “This place looks a bit empty, don’t you think?”

Sauntering up to the nurse, I handed over my papers showing the appointment confirmation from the hospital and the approval from the HMO.  She looked at me and said simply, “What are you doing here? He doesn’t have office hours today.”

Uh huh.

“Pardon me?” says our hero.

“How did you get an appointment?  He doesn’t see patients today. Only Wednesdays.”

“Well, I got the appointment by calling the appointment center at the hospital and they told me 3:15 Sunday.”

“He won’t be able to see you.  As it happens, he’s only here to see two other people.”

Turning to my concierge, I said: “Do you want to do this or shall I?”

“Let me handle it.”

And so she did.  Explaining to the dour nurse that I was scheduled to fly that evening, and that the hospital itself offered us this appointment time, and that the patient in question has cancer and we must see the surgeon to determine the timing of surgery, and that directly impacts the timing of chemo ‘twixt now and then, so perhaps you want to ask the surgeon himself if he’d like to see us before deciding on your own that he won’t?

Wouldn’t you know it, the nurse emerged from the office and, without looking us in the eye, told us to sit right by the door and wait patiently.

As opposed to the impatient way I normally wait?

After a short while he called us in to his office and he apologized profusely.  He was, he said, completely amazed we were able to get an appointment but, knowing me and my case already, and the timeliness of the discussion, he was happy to be helpful.

He called up my CT images and reviewed it all himself.  All looks good – or at least not any worse than the last CT – so we can go ahead and schedule surgery.  After a bit of negotiation we settled on August 12th as my date for cytoreduction, a little off the top of my liver and HIPEC.  For those of you who remember, that’s the same procedure I had two years ago (minus the liver chopping).

Between now and then, I will do another two cycles of treatment and then take a well-deserved break prior to surgery.

I’m hoping all goes as well as last time.

Further updates as events warrant…


About Alan

F---ing Cancer since 2011.
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11 Responses to Gaming the System, Part II

  1. mayerfertig says:

    Very fortunate to have such a capable concierge. Just seeing this now … If you’re back home already, hope it was a good Shabbos.

  2. erica says:

    Alan and Tammy. You both have endless bounds of patience and strength. Behatzlacha and continued refuah shlema. We continue to pray for you both and your family.

  3. helen mayer says:

    Alan, It seems like you and Tammy have all these untapped talents. You, as a writer, she, as a negotiator. What a team you are. We are all hoping your surgery goes as well as last time. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  4. Mort says:

    When you are all done with the doctors and hospitals and tests, you should let Tammy negotiate a peace treaty in the Middle East. Seems like there is nothing shen can’t negotiate. Love to the family.

  5. Ilana says:

    You two can write a book called ‘How to Make the System Work for You’ or something

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