Previously, I wrote about my experience at Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. You can read it here. If you have already read it then you will recall that they put me through multiple tests and scans and that they were supposed to give me a “treatment plan” in writing and review it with me. That did not happen. When I got to the end of my tests and scans I sat in the oncologists office and was told that the surgeon did not show up after I was told they would be scheduled in and consulted. I was told that they would need to get back to me. They only gave me a quick overview of what they felt my treatment should be. I was told that I would get a phone call from the Oncologist with a treatment plan after meeting with the surgeon. I now realize that I should never have gone to Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. I should have stayed home. Here is my final post on my experiences with CTCA.
My First Follow Up Call
An entire week went by and I thought that I would never get another call but I did. I will never know who the phone call was from. They did not introduce themselves and, in fact, never identified themselves as being from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at all. I picked up the phone and I WAS ASKED TO IDENTIFY MYSELF. I refused and asked who was calling. She asked again. I refused again and asked who I was speaking with and she finally said that it was “Cancer Treatment Centers of America”. When I was first setting up appointments sometimes they would say this is “CTCA”. I had no idea who that was…and then after I asked multiple times they would clarify. I really don’t get that. How hard is it to identify yourself clearly in the beginning of the call so that the patient knows who is calling.
OK, we got past the first 30 seconds of the call and she said that she was calling to follow up with me about what the oncologist had planned. My hopes began to rise. “I was wrong”, I thought to myself. “They did follow through”, I thought. Well, not so much. I got my hopes up a bit too soon.
As it turns out, she was calling to tell me all of the same things that they had already told me in person in the oncologist’s office. I said, that the oncologist had mentioned that they would contact the surgeon and then get back to me with a plan. The person on the phone was trying to get me to come back to Georgia again to consult with the surgeon!!! What!???
I explained what the oncologist had told me again. That they would speak to the surgeon, inquire about the nanokinfe and other liver directed therapies and call me with a plan. That got me nowhere. So, I asked to speak to the oncologist…..they weren’t there. I asked when I could call and speak to them. Apparently, that is a task that no mere mortal can accomplish. I was forced to set a date for ANOTHER call back. When? Well, I was given a day but no time. At least the cable company gives me a time between 8 and 12. I have to hang around and wait for the call or miss it. Seriously?
I asked about the nanoknife and she said it was “off of the table”. What does “Off of the Table” mean? Did they ask? Did they not bother? I thought of that AFTER I hung up. So, I have no answers about that.
My Second Phone Call
OK, I must have made enough of a stink that the oncologist called me rather than some “assistant”. It’s amazing how much information you get when you speak to the actual person who knows things.
Well, we were on the phone for about 10 minutes and she basically told me to stick with my local doctor unless I had a reason to come to the Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. I do appreciate the honesty. The only thing that kind of annoys me is that she never really asked about the nanoknife. I understand that my disease may be beyond anything the nanoknife can fix but just be honest about that. The doctor basically avoided the question.
I’m done with these guys. It’s sad too because it looked so good at the beginning. They had promised to send me all of my scans on a disc. Do you think they will? I hate to say it but, I had my doubts. Is that terrible of me? Well, they did eventually. Finally, they told me I have a problem with my heart. When I pressed the doctor for further information they declined to answer. Really?! I don’t understand this place at all. She told me to get retested locally. Grrrrr…..
My Third Phone Call
Well, I can say one thing about CTCA, they call you a lot. You don’t get much information and the phone calls never seem to result in any action on their part but at least they call.
My third call was from the person who set up my appointments the first time. She was so very nice!!!! I felt bad telling her the truth. No, the surgeon was never put into my schedule and nobody ever contacted him at all. No, nobody asked about the nanoknife or other liver directed therapies. I asked for them to call me back with the information. I was told that I had to go back to Georgia. I told her that my wife’s sick time was used up and that we could not. She said the only thing that she could do was send an email. Nothing has come of it. She apologized and said goodbye politely and we hung up.
Here’s what my brain looks like right now. (????????????) I don’t get it! If they just tried a bit harder they probably could be a great hospital. They’ve got the right idea.
I Should Never Have Gone To Cancer Treatment Centers Of America
I should never have gone. I kind of have the philosophy of “walking through every open door”. In other words, if there is something I haven’t tried then I try it. You never know which door may lead you down a winding hallway to another door labeled “cure”. Don’t you agree? So, I guess it’s good that I went but it’s just disappointing that they weren’t any different than my current doctor and seemed so inflexible. They really market themselves as innovative but it didn’t seem to play out that way for me. In fact, my current oncologist at my plain old hospital is much more responsive and helpful. I’m sure others have had a better experience but I wish I had stayed home when I look back at the whole experience.
Stay Strong & Keep Fighting,
Ed – To find out how to use my images on your blog for free – Click Here