Thursday, 15 July 2010

My Final Six Month Check Up

Yesterday I had my regular six month check up with the oncologist, in the new Stronach Regional Cancer Centre in Newmarket. This was quite a change from the informal temporary offices of the oncologists. The foyer of the new centre reminded me of Sunnybrook Health Sevices Centre in Toronto. I had a flood of memories when I first entered the building until even after I had left.

At the reception desk I stated my name and presented my health card. The receptionist confirmed my information and then took a photo of me with a small digital camera for my medical records. She gave me a form to fill out rating the severity of various symptoms and told me to go upstairs to the waiting area where a nurse would then call me.

After several minutes a nurse approached me introducing herself, took my completed form and weighed me. She then led me to an examination room where I sat in a chair while she took my blood pressure and pulse with a machine. I am very familiar with these machines as they were often used when I was a patient in the hospital; and when I was having my chemotherapy sessions in the cancer clinic. The nurse noted the results, asked me further questions and then entered my responses into the computer. This was very "high tech" compared to the handwritten notes that the oncologist had done in the past.

After the nurse left I waited a few minutes and then the oncologist, who was filling in, came to see me. He examined me and checked my chart on the computer. He asked me a few questions including whether my oncologist had ever ordered a CT scan for me. As he did not see one having occurred, he said that he would order one to have as a baseline reference. I told him, that at my previous appointment, my oncologist had said that providing my levels remained good I could then be on a yearly call-back. He agreed saying that he would order a CT scan to be done next year when I return for a follow-up appointment. I was to wait in the waiting area for the necessary paperwork.

Again I had to wait several minutes until I finally asked the nurse about the paperwork as she was walking by me. She led me to an area that was adjacent to the waiting area. There was a nurse there who I recognized as one who had cared for me a couple of times while I had my chemotherapy sessions. I also recognized one of the nurses at the desk as she had once worked in the cancer clinic. I mentioned that to her and said that she probably would not recognize me since I did not look the same. She agreed on the changes in patients once they are now healthy. She gave me a copy of the CT requisition as well as the blood work requisition form. The CT scan will be booked for June 2011 and then I will have my follow-up appointment in July 2011.
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