The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Dog's Life, I Wish

I’ve often wished that my golden retriever’s veterinarian would take me on as a patient. Her waiting room serves coffee, tea, ice water, and both people and dog treats. If Jordan has so much as a routine innoculation during his visit, the vet and/or one of her assistants invariably calls at least once within the next 24 hours to check on how their patient is feeling. And they always call us to immediately report lab test results; not just when they’re worrisome and the vet might need to see Jordan for a follow-up visit.

I, on the other hand, once learned (sort of) about some worrisome chest x-ray results through a late afternoon voicemail message from my oncologist’s scheduling assistant notifying me that I’d been scheduled for a follow-up CT scan of my chest the following morning. It took two phone calls and several hours for me to find out why, and I still didn’t hear it directly from my doc. And last Friday’s blood work results are apparently coming to me only by snail mail. I’ve chosen to assume that “slow news is good news”, but should I have to make such assumptions?

In fairness to the medical profession, I must say that I’ve had a couple of vet-like patient service experiences-- a concerned surgeon who repeatedly called my wife to find out how I was doing after discharge from the hospital, and a radiation oncologist who called me in person to tell me, with profuse apologies, he’d gotten me mixed up with another patient so I needed to come back and repeat an unpleasant procedure.

Nevertheless, if there is reincarnation after death I’m still hoping I come back as my wife’s golden retriever. Couldn’t we all sometimes use a hug and scratch behind the ear from our health care providers? Just sayin’…

Afternoon update: Last Friday's blood test results (lab work completed on Monday) came to me in today's snail mail. Everything "looks very good". The vet would have phoned us on Monday. I rest my case.


  1. The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a allegory for active with my accurate cast of cancer. Except for those advantageous few of us accounted "cured".

    hotel rio de janeiro

  2. Blood work by snail mail? Geeze. Glad to know that everything looks good, Rich! Great news.

    And yes...I think we could all use a few more hugs and scratches behind our ears. Maybe in our next life. ;-)

  3. I want to go to your veterinarian too, after a doctor acted like I may as well just WAIT for the cancer to come back and go to my brain!!

    Love your BLOG!! Steph Bowen in CALI.

  4. Although not cancer related, my most recent blood test results were available week later. My follow-up appointment was three days later...before the results...which my doctor had in hand at the appointment. When I asked the doc what the deal was, he said that the doc office receives the report first, then the doc adds notes and has them posted online. Sure enough, four days after the appointment, I received the report (which I had already seen with my doc in person)...and in the doctor comment section...nothing! They don't call us "patience" for nothing.