Friday, August 28, 2009

Canceled my Oncologist appointment

I was supposed to see my oncologist yesterday for a check up. I didn't see the sense in spending the money. I've had several of these visits now and I can do all that she does myself! She asks me questions that I always answer "no" to and she feels my lymph nodes and spleen. I can feel my own lymph nodes and know by now what I'm feeling for. I'm much better at knowing my body and assessing my condition post cancer that I feel like I would catch anything she would in an appointment. Obviously, if I had concerns I'd go see her, but I don't. It can wait until my 6 month CT scan in Dec.

Friends have gaped at me when I tell them I've canceled my oncologist appointment and broke the traditional protocols. But, this is exactly what is wrong with our health care system. Doctors and hospitals over treat because financially it is in their favor, and we, the patients, are too afraid and/or ignorant to question them. It's only a $25 co-pay for me, but it's $300 for my insurance company. While I have no warm feelings for insurance companies, it's not fair for them to pay for something that is unnecessary. Their costs go up which in turn means my costs will too. I give them way too much already, thanks.

I am not afraid or ignorant of relapse because I've been through it once, right? I'm knowledgeable about lymphoma, but an expert on my body, which a doctor is not. I trust my judgement. The CT scans on the other hand allow us a view of the inside that neither I, nor my oncologist, can monitor. I do take those seriously. Again, if the scans are clean, I shouldn't need to make an appointment and see her. A phone call with the good news should be enough. If the scans are concerning, by all means make an appointment to discuss options face to face.

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