I returned two phone calls this morning – one to the specialty pharmacy that delivers the Neulasta shots I must have Troy give me each Saturday after chemo (bless him) and one to the genetic laboratory doing my BRCA test. An hour later, I think, “Oh, I need to make an appointment with a plastic surgeon.” I’ll be having some sort of surgery in August and I’m coming up with lots of questions about how to proceed that will have to be directed at a plastic surgeon. It would probably be good timing to have the oncologist, surgeon and plastic surgeon meetings in the same week.
I start to think about what a hassle this will be. I will have to call the surgeon, ask for recommendations on plastic surgeons, find the notes I have on a friend’s plastic surgeon, wait for my surgeon’s office to call back, wait for the plastic surgeon to call back and so on.
Out of frustration, I blurt, “I really need a cancer coordinator!”
You know, like a wedding coordinator, only not as much fun.
If I can say so myself, I think this idea is brilliant. My cancer coordinator can return all the stupid phone calls, can sort through this mountain of bills sitting next to me, can yell at the insurance company or the billing office (whoever is screwing up that day), can make my appointments, can arrange my rides, can follow up when the doctor’s office loses paperwork or doesn’t return your calls, and so on.
Really, cancer would be so much more manageable if I had a cancer coordinator.
I would immediately quit my job and start a business as a cancer coordinator if I felt there was any money in it. However, if other cancer patients are in the position I am, they are all flat-ass broke from not working, paying the insurance deductible (or worse) and 10,000 co-pays. So, it’s going to have to be a non-profit organization. Someone needs to start a foundation to raise money to assign cancer coordinators to every new cancer patient. It won’t be me. I have way too many phone calls to return as it is.