cancer and waiting for a surgery date:

I’ve been pretty busy with two jobs for two reasons: I want to get my house paid off as soon as possible and it keeps me busy physically and mentally so I don’t obsess with my diagnosis. Because of this I have yet to really research cancer surgery and, more specifically, THE TYPICAL time lapse between confirmed diagnosis and surgery date.

I met with the surgeon about a week ago for the second consultation after more tumors were found via MRI. My decision hasn’t changed regarding what I want so we agreed to proceed – just awaiting a date. I didn’t hear back for a few days so I sent an email to the office inquiring. I got a response from the surgery coordinator that my surgery will be sometime in October.

O-C-T-O-B-E-R!

Now, I’m not in a hurry to have my chest removed and more biopsies to see how extensive the cancer is but…well, I wasn’t expecting to WAIT two months. Today is Saturday and the coordinator isn’t back until Tuesday. My mind is vacillating between:

  • Do I go with the flow because they know what they’re doing and this is the way it is?   OR…
  • Do I call Monday and inquire as to why someone with multiple tumors and questionable mets is expected to wait at least two months for surgery to GET RID OF THE BLASTED DISEASE?

I know everyone’s problems and surgeries are important to them and I am not insinuating that I should take precedent over other patients but…yes, there’s always a “but” ~ elective cosmetic surgery shouldn’t take precedent over a necessary surgery, IMHO. Allegedly, the “problem” with a surgery date sooner is that the general surgeon’s and the cosmetic surgeon’s schedules have to coordinate for this procedure. And I’m wondering (since NH has the highest rate of breast cancer in the US) why these two surgeons don’t have one day per week or every two weeks a combined surgery day for people who need procedures (expediently)?

Anyway….my original thought and question to anyone out there who knows, has experience or knows of someone who’s gone through this …. is waiting three more months (in addition to the two months already passed for ‘workups’) normal?

#SoCS: call

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18 Comments

  1. I waited four months before mastectomy after diagnosis. I opted not to get the elective (really ?) reconstruction. Fake boobs in a wierd bra do good enough for this old broad. My little sister, who also had breast cancer, waited almost six months…BUT, she kept changing the surgical date (ex-model and freaked out). two ladies I know who also had the surgery waited respectively one week and seven months. One “lucked out” according to the doc (he’s my doc too…or was) and the other had insurance issues. I think the “average wait” in the US is 2 1/2 months. so 3 doesn’t really sound so bad.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, that’s astonishing, you having to wait three months. I truly don’t feel that’s normal, but then again I’m clueless about cancer surgery. It couldn’t hurt to make that call on Monday, right? I mean, then at least you can ask that they confirm with the oncologist/surgeon that such a long wait is safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah – I can be impatient/impulsive but I sent an email because I work Monday and I know I’ll forget until afternoon and then it’ll be late to get Doc/answer. Suze said (in her experience) the wait isn’t abnormal. 😕

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I worked with cancer patients frequently (I’m not an MD or an RN so I am not giving medical advice). It *really* varies as to when the surgery is scheduled and that tends to be based on diagnosis and staging. That the surgery is pushed further out is an indication of relatively “good” news. I’d be more worried if they wanted you in tomorrow morning. However, do NOT just go with the flow! You honestly have to be your own advocate. Lots of medical people will give you only the barest of information because there are some people who do not handle information (any information) well. I worked as a lymphedema therapist and would frequently hear that no one mentioned lymphedema as a *possible* surgical side effect because they didn’t want to stress patients out more than they already were. No one is going to hand you information. ASK for answers. Go to recognized websites for information, which will bring up more questions and you need to ask those, too. Don’t worry about being a pest if all you are doing is asking questions! Keeping yourself in the dark is understandable but isn’t very helpful. The boogeyman doesn’t go away just because you’ve closed your eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’ve been reading and researching- it’s a matter of how “pushy” I want to be – I don’t feel my circumstances are a priority over others – I’m fishing right now for others’ experiences. Thank you for your insight

      Like

  4. cage is right. I should have specified. all the women I know who had breast cancer had a wait of a bit. Now, my cousin had liver cancer and was in surgery the day after the diagnosis. BC grows slowly, so the wait isn’t all that important in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately, I don’t have answers for you only opinions, so I am glad that you have gotten some responses. My opinion though is that it doesn’t hurt to call or email. This is your body, and while you may not be in total control of what is happening to it, you do deserve to have some peace if that makes any sense

    Liked by 1 person

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