Sunday, July 29, 2007

A second opinion...

I've been busy with my new nutrition regime. I've cooked quinoa and fresh mackerel, investigated shiitake mushrooms, created the most amazingly inventive nutritious organic dairy-free meat-free meals, chopped and sprouted and crushed and creatively substituted good stuff for bad stuff and been kind and patient with myself when I have not quite made the grade (haven't quite managed the juicing yet)...

Still not quite there with the meditation and relaxation yet - family stresses are not helping - tho I actually got to sleep before midnight last night which may be a first for several years...?!?!

It was also suggested to me that I ask for a second opinion. Not easy - don't want to upset any apple carts. I have a letter prepared but it's taken me a while and I'm not quite sure why I might be seeking a second opinion. I guess there aren't many choices out there - you just hope your surgeon has a good eye and a steady hand, and that the oncologist knows a bit about chemistry! ;-)

But in the process of scouring the web for organic delights, I came across this US website and their comments about getting a second opinion. They are of course selling their wares - but now I know why I'm seeking a 'second opinion'. And I'm feeling good and mad...

[Our] breast cancer experts practice integrative medicine — a unique care philosophy that combines technologically advanced conventional treatments with supportive and nurturing complementary breast cancer therapies—all under one roof. We work with you to build an individualized treatment plan around your needs instead of applying a standard treatment formula for everyone. You may not be getting the comprehensive, nutritional therapies you need, guidance and support for you and for your family, or you may be suffering from side effects of your treatment.

They talk about the importance of the team and being in the driving seat. Hey, I was just grateful my 'team' didn't throw me immediately into chemotherapy with the hope that I might not have to face it afterwards either. I pray for that. But I don't even know if the meds are working or not any more as the surgeon decided (as I was being difficult by not leaping at the opportunity of surgery after three and a half months of meds instead of waiting for the full six as the oncologist had anticipated) that he wouldn't keep an eye on how things were doing (is it reducing, staying the same or getting bigger?) until the six month mark - shithead).

But, oh my goodness - that website has lanced a boil of rage.

Integrative medecine : My very first thought after the diagnosis was to find out what Bristol could teach me. Where else would one find such an 'alternative' approach. They have a lot to say about diet and a healthy lifestyle, about a holistic approach. When I've asked at the hospital about diet, they've had absolutely nothing to say. Shitheads. When I talk about stress being a factor, I'm laughed at. Shitheads2.

And now I learn that the Bristol approach is everywhere in something officially called 'integrative medecine'. Of course, putting it all into context, what I knew about Bristol comes from the early 80s - it WAS pretty avant garde back then, pretty controversial, but things have moved on in the last 30 years or so. Der! It's almost mainstream now...and I *could* have expected a different approach from my 'team'. I haven't even had the minimum of continuity with a named nurse. Hell, I haven't even had continuity of anything. Just a bucketful of 'misleading information' (putting it kindly). Lying toerags. Hell, sometimes nobody turns up to see me.

And they care so little about side effects of the drugs that nobody ever bothered to ask me if I had any...And the people on this website actually offer naturopathic remedies. It's all right up my alternative street. The fact that I cried solid for days as a side effect is an irrelevance to them as well as screaming at my husband when the marriage was already in difficulties and it's the last thing an Aspie can cope with - and anyway, I'm used to misery and being ignored (know your place, dear, out of the way and be quiet). Having been brought up in an Aspie household, I'm a great candidate for the traditional approach. Shitheads. Oh, sorry, am I repeating myself. I would have thought that, with the Aspergers 'n' all that, we were a family crying out for some additional emotional and medicinal support. Ignorant toerags.

But I'm not quite sure what a second opinion could offer me. Just knowing that, if I lived somewhere else, I could have (had) a better experience doesn't quite do it for me somehow. Hmmm! How I hate living at the back of beyond with the sea on one side and meandering lanes on the other, a main road coming from the south, going north, leading nowhere except more sea either way and a two hour journey out of the county. Not even a plane to anywhere except...Aberdeen! (I wonder...) ;-)

2 Comments:

Blogger fineartist said...

Oh hon I don't know how medicine works over there, hell I'm not sure how medicine works here either as I have been known to wait till the last minute when my body is refusing to do anything but hurt before my cheap and stubborn ass is forced to get help, before I go to the doctor, but you should not only seek a second opinion, but also, seek a crew of doctors who are sympathetic to you and who you get on with well.

Sounds to me like your crew isn't all that interested in you as a person, and shock, you are a person, the shitheads.

Also I am a firm believer that stress causes all kinds of physical diseases and the less stress you are under the better.

I'm saying Hail Mary's for you hon, Lori

3:50 AM  
Blogger Astryngia said...

Thanks Lori - hugs for you! The Hail Marys are working...

4:30 PM  

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