Rule one of medical service: do not transfer to another clinic just because it is “convenient.” Once you are out of the city, you are out of sight. I transferred from the main Clinic in Edmonton to a smaller but closer satellite clinic and this means NO ONE returns your calls including your assigned specialist, your Cancer Clinic Patient navigator, the Cardiologist in charge of making sure my chemo doesn’t do too much damage to my heart and even my own doctor.
After my second chemo cycle it turned out my platelets were too low which increases leakage in my heart. Then my blood pressure dropped (to the point of falling down as my legs folded under me) last week so I’ve stopped on advice of the triage nurse and am withdrawing from them. Blood taken today had too low a white cell count so no chemo until possibly next week. Because I don’t have chemo I don’t get a consultation so I foolishly called the Oncologist whose assistant promised a call later today which didn’t happen. And I’m betting won’t happen tomorrow unless it’s soothing bullshit and a suggestion to go away until they are ready to see me.
So this is how small town chemo is done: if the last dose hasn’t destroyed your ability to clot blood or crashed your immune system you get your regular each 2 weeks dose and start the sickness routine all over again. Since no one calls you to tell you if the dose has been adjusted, your next treatment might or might not happen pushing your 2 weeks cycle to an unknown, delaying the upcoming heart surgery and unraveling your life.
The medical system, like education, is based on face to face contact. If you are as little as a phone call away you don’t exist.