For all the fantastic people I deal with at Princess Margaret first class hospital, there is always one dud. In this case it my oncologist’s secretary. Her name is Cerberus.
Because my oncologist (Dr E) is almost unreachable, we have to go through this secretary. My other doctors are all reachable by phone or email, and seem genuinely concerned. Not Dr E. She doesn’t make things easy.
So, I had a question that has been puzzling me. I am on a drug called Tamoxafen that messes with the estrogen that contributes to the development of cancerous breast tumours. Because I’ll be replacing my breast tissue with the fat from my big round tummy, I’m wondering if my drug regime will remain the same. So when I was at the hospital having my arm checked, I thought I should stop Dr E’s office, and say hi.
‘Hi Evelyn,’ I chirped sweetly. She looked slowly up from her appointment book.
‘Oh. She said. ‘Hi’
‘I’d like to talk to Dr. E.’
‘Ok. You can phone for an appointment.'
I looked at the appointment book, which was at her fingertips. ‘ Can I make an appointment now?’
‘You should call.’
‘I’m standing right here.’
She looked up at me as though she’d just cracked open her Wendy’s salad, and discovered a piece of slimy lettuce. Her face puckered in disdain. Reluctantly, she opened her book.
‘July 4th.’ She said.
Really?! Screw off! ‘Can I please have something sooner? I have an important question.’
‘What kind of question?’
I explained about my continued Tomoxifen. She ooomphed. ‘You’ll have to ask Dr E about that.’
‘ I know.’ I said. ‘That is why I’d like to make an appointment.’
She leaned back in her chair and narrowed her eyes. We had a little staring contest as I sized up her three heads. Then she dragged her finger lazily across the calendar as though the effort had exhausted her. ‘April 4.’
I nodded. ‘Fine.’
Janet-1. Cerberus -0. Time to find a new doctor.