Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First Appointment- Scheduled. First Emotional Outburst- Check!

As I've mentioned before, one of the only reasons I attended last weekend's FORCE meeting was so I could benefit from the experience and medical knowledge of women who are much farther down this path than myself. And I'm grateful for the recommendations that I did receive.

Today I made my first appointment with a breast oncologist. It'll be waiting for me directly upon my return from a one-week vacation in Maine.

Dr. Waisman, at Breast Link in El Segundo, couldn't have come more highly recommended from a woman in the group who has been living with this knowledge for nine years. She said when she gets married, he'll be at her wedding. That he was the ringleader with all her other doctors. And that he's been amazing to her ever since. I wanted someone like that on my team.

When I called Dr. Waisman's office, I was greeting by a very friendly woman, Jean, who immediately put me at ease. She referred to me as "Miss Molly" and made me feel like I was in warm and caring hands. Unfortunately we couldn't get too far before I was instructed to call my insurance to see if Dr. Waisman was a "preferred provider."

I felt defeated almost immediately. They didn't take Steve's insurance so I was really hoping it would out for my insurance. I felt myself getting nauseous and anxious. Wondering what the bleep I was gonna do if this one doctor I really wanted to see wasn't even going to be an option.

"If he's not a preferred provider, you have the option of paying in cash."

If only I printed my own money, this would be an option.

I called insurance.

Waited on hold.

Got dropped from an f'n phone menu.

Called back.

And finally got a live person after a few minutes.

It seemed like the conversation dragged out, but in reality I think it only lasted for maybe two minutes.

I hung up with a huge sigh of relief upon hearing that Dr. Waisman was in fact in network and then promptly burst into tears.

I don't know if it was the reality of the situation becoming more...real...with the step of making an appointment with a breast oncologist or what. But it took me a few minutes to regain my shaky composure and call Breast Link back.

I had another lovely conversation and an appointment scheduled by the time I hung up.

And then another cry once I realized that this is really real.

I have to say, the experience with this doctor's office was exactly what I had hoped for. I was cared for by people who gave a shit about me. People who were nice and compassionate. People who recognized my anxiety and the newness of my status and gently navigated me through the process of scheduling my first breast oncologist appointment.

As much as one can look forward to something like this, I am.

I'm happy to be moving in the right direction and to be one step closer to finding the right players on my medical team.


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