Surgical resection of the right lobe of my liver scheduled for this morning at the local military hospital was cancelled. I called the surgeon last week to cancel it.
I sought out a second and third opinion from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center Liver Tumor specialists. The treatment protocol suggested by these two doctors was quite different than that of the military surgeon.
I decided that I wanted to pursue treatment at UWMC, which was a less radical surgery on the liver. They also considered other options as far as the genesis of this cancer. Each of the two doctors with whom I consulted feel that the primary tumor has originated in the ileum and NOT the mesentery, which was not even suggested by the original doctor. This is based upon their expertise, having specialized in gastrointestinal cancers.
Surgery was approved through Triwest for the procedures to be covered outside of the military system. However, this approval was rescinded after the military surgeon went to Triwest and complained that he did not authorize this approval, after I shared with him that I was more comfortable with these other two doctors and their suggestions.
It is important to note, as well, that the original doctor painted a much bleaker picture for a hopeful prognosis. I held little hope for much of a future, based on how things have been presented to me. Even if it may be truth/reality, these other two doctors have given me more “light” for a longer and more hopeful future.
For many reasons, I felt that I could not talk to the original doctor. I had tried, but to little avail, as I tried to discuss the other options and was shut down. I did not want to get upset with him, as his reactions seemed to be ego-driven.
I did not want MY ego to get the best of me (and it can), so I went to the Patient Advocacy office for help. He stated to my advocate that he will not refer out under any circumstance, claiming that he can perform the surgery as the specialists will. I have declined his offer, as my confidence in the system and this particular doctor has bottomed-out. In a word, this has gotten quite “messy.”
The advocate has presented the case to higher authority in the system and I am awaiting the decision. I hope that it is favorable for going outside the military system and into the UW Medical system. I just want to get back to some semblance of health and wellness and on the road to recovery. I want to concentrate SOLELY on getting the best care for me, and stay positive in this experience as I face this fight of my life.
Thanks to all for your support, thoughts and prayers. I will keep you posted, and will fill-in the details when all has been sorted out.