CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Visit with psychiatrist

Hello All,

Yesterday I had the pleasure, or so I think, to visit with the psychiatric clinic intake department personnel. I say personnel because it was an intern who had to be rescued by an experienced psychiatrist (shrink). The visit was bittersweet and emotional. I was angry and grateful at the same time.

It started out with her telling me the intake process and that she was an intern. She was as nice as can be and she offered me the opportunity to do the narrative or questionaire first, so I chose to do the narrative first. I explained my situation and the anger associated with having had incompetent doctors who missed my diagnosis. I spoke of my fears of forever living in poverty once I start to heal. I asked about prognosis, why is there no prognosis. I expressed frustrations about my treatment plan not belonging to me but rather a product of "research" and sort of "off the rack" generalized plan.

About midway through the narrative another shrink came in and just sat down. It was odd, maybe he came in because my voice was loud and carrying through the halls. I had already gotten frustrated at the intern because she asked about my previous occupation. I was upset because she said "there's nothing wrong with being a secretary". I told her not to patronize me and let her know I had already lost one career due to a disability and now I have no job to return to after all this is done. The worst of it being I have no clue how to prepare or create a purpose because nobody has told me how long I'll be here. It could be six months, six years, who knows. I got snappy and said if I were still an OT, I'd be earning 75K per year.

Well then we were talking about Gilda's Club, which seems like a great resource for women with Ovarian Cancer. My problem now though is there intake meetings are all early in the morning and I am still not able to be anywhere before noon. The guy said "oh that's because you work". I got very angry at him and said "if you aren't going to pay attention, don't sit here". Well, I was harsh, but I don't like it when health professionals make assumptions. Then the intern said I don't like it when you treat me that way. I said I wasn 't speaking to her and for her not to argue with me.

After about 5 minutes of arguing with the intern and shrink about how to treat a patient who is angry, we eventually moved on and it's all better. They want to give up on you quickly. If you aren't all wrapped up in a neat little package with a big red ribbon on top, they want to throw you away. I need help.

I will discuss my past psychological trials and tribulations in a future blog. This is not the first time I have needed psychological support (surprise surprise). Being a disabled person can take a toll on your emotional health. But for now let's suffice to say that the team will check with my insurance to see if it covers "talk therapy". I am not a good candidate for psychiatric medications.

In spite of the argument, I feel good about seeking emotional support. I think I really need to handle my anger about my cancer and the previous medical yahoos that ignored me. I desperately want to discover my life's purpose. I think sometimes I could become an advocate and raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer, but that needs to translate into a JOB. I want to work from home.

The shrinks advised me not to think too far ahead and simply try to live each day one day at a time. I am trying to do that, I really am. I just get so worried.

I also today agreed to do another round of Cisplatin and Taxol in the hospital. I go in on New Years Day. I spoke with Dr. Gray's nurse. I told her how miserable I was and expressed the pain associated with the nausea was overwhelming. She said they will give me an additional drug for nausea and hopefully I will be better able to manage the side effects. The doctor is not comfortable stopping platinum drugs yet because according to "research" I have not had enough platinum drug therapy.

I am a small person, I just wish they could customize my treatment plan a little better.

Anyway, if I still have a terrible experience after adding the additional medication, then they may consider discontinuing platinum drug therapy. We'll see. I pray the additional anti-nausea med will do the trick. I really do hope it works.

Love you all,

1 comment:

  1. Denise,
    I have stage 4 breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2002, by they way, the doctor I was seeing, missed my breast cancer. Eventually, in 2002, I was finally dx with breast ca which had spread to my spine, ribs, hips, etc. I did 6 months of chemo and return to work as a nurse. I saw my oncologist every month and received Zometa to help with my bone cancer. In 2005, Pet scans started lighting up on my left adrenal gland. Was put back on chemo May 2007 until this past May 2009. However, the combination of therapies were not working. The tumor that was on the L adrenal gland has now spread to part of my left kidney, renal vein, to part of my diaphragm and to the distal part of my pancreas. Luckily, I found an oncologist surgeon, who removed my left kidney, 60% of my pancreas, spleen, left adrenal gland. This will by me hopefully a little more time. My life expectancy for my cancer is 5-10 years after dx. Well, I am getting close to the 10 year mark. But, I do not dwell on how much time I have or when I am going to die. No one can tell us that. We must live our life without anger. Anger will kill you quicker than your cancer. Luckily, you are not stage 4! I always look at it "It could be worse". I too see a psy for my mental health and has helped my a lot. I take Cymbalta 60mg aday. Why can't you take depression med?
    You say you are an OT? Why can't you return to your profession after you have finished chemo tx? Why are you saying our healthcare is broken?
    I had to finally take a medical retirement from my beloved profession as a ICU nurse. I still have the hope of one day of returning to nursing even if is on a PRN or part time basis. Never give up hope. Stay positive and you will return more quickly to a healthy person.
    We all have our tribulations and demons we must face. But, try to have a more positive attitude towards your fate and things will not seem to be so bad. Just think, there is someone out there worst off than you are.

    Jan Carlisle


Thank you for giving to me your precious time. I look forward to what you have to say. Peace and Blessings, Always.