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All TopicsForum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: Nurse mocked me - I KID YOU NOT

Topic: Nurse mocked me - I KID YOU NOT

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Apr 6, 2018 12:42AM

Gloria-Jeremiah29-11 wrote:

Today at Northside Hospital Cancer Center in Atlanta, Georgia, I was at the radiologist's office preparing for my first treatment. Long story short, a nurse was trying to make small talk with me, (this conversation was entirely non-medical, she was not my nurse) and then she inappropriately noticed I am flat chested, ASKED me if I had a mastectomy (NONE of her freaking business, mind you), I nodded yes, and she had the GAUL to ask me if I was considering reconstruction, to which I replied I wasn't sure and she literally, I KID YOU NOT, threw her head back and LAUGHED and said "well I know what I would do!".

Needless to say, her superiors were notified.

This is just a reminder to all of my fellow warriors that just because you're in a medical office doesn't mean some fool won't say something stupid, yes, even medical staff. I will take this experience and learn to be on guard even in what I thought was a safe environment.

Flat & Fabulous Dx 10/17/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/7/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/29/2017 TAC Radiation Therapy 4/8/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 6, 2018 01:06AM Meow13 wrote:

I know, it is hard to believe that nurses would not be sensitive to cancer patients.

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Apr 6, 2018 08:16AM Beatmon wrote:

I’m glad you reported the nurse. One of my nurse employees said in front of other staff the old hated remark: at least you will get new perky boobs! Wish I could have fired her for that...

Dx 7/27/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/9/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 12/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/1/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 8/9/2014, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/27/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 6, 2018 09:17AM Nel wrote:

I am generally pretty laid back but have reported a nurse and a volunteer at Dana Farber for stupid comments    Better trining needed on how to interact with patients.  

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf Dx 9/27/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 8/6/2013, IBC, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 6, 2018 10:17AM jo6359 wrote:

One of the dumbest things I've heard from a technician was: you're lucky that you have cancer because now cancer isn't a big deal. It's just like having a bad cold. I calmly pointed out to her that cancer wasn't anything like a damn cold. I provided objective data to this technician. She continued to minimize cancer and the effects of chemo. I reported this technician to her supervisor and followed up with a letter of complaint to the cancer center. Generally, I find that staff is usually very well trained, compassionate and professional. A few Chemo patients have told me there are times they don't have the energy to report these individuals because they are conserving their energy to deal with the Big D, constipation, nausea, vomiting, severe fatigue, port issues, Etc. I suggested to them if they're not able to report it at that time have a family member or friend report it or follow up at a later date.

Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/16/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/16/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/16/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 6, 2018 10:34AM mustlovepoodles wrote:

That's just shocking, rude, and uncouth! I hope her employer read her the riot act. You'd think at a hospital the size of Northside, in the radiology dept, they'd know better. I guess not.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/3/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/19/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Apr 6, 2018 10:49AM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi Gloria-Jeremiah,

I, too, am with Northside ONCO and got very confused by chart notes that were left on my new foob Rx. The notes were a worst-case scenerio based on my bloodwork. The nurse practitioner told me, at my appointment, that everything looked good, but when I saw chart notes and a copy of my blood work, I was at the cliff's edge again. My CA numbers are always low-normal, thought s few digits in the blood work are out of range. My regular doc says these numbers are 1. not critical, and 2. the the result of having a shingles virus in my body, which was in my record. Left with the deer-in-the-headlights feeling and not quite sure what was going on. It took me a month to get back to normal and totally spoiled Christmas.

The next day, Northside sent me a survey and I told them exactly what I thought, with both barrels. Told them that under no circumstances should they say or write anything that can frighten us in any way when you give us a printed Rx or return appointment, etc, if you don't have proof to back it up. Keep your speculations to yourself!

My onco is great as is her usual nurse, just not this NP. No wonder I have PTSD from the C doctors' offices. In the survey I made it clear that until any of the staff have been thru the hell we have experienced, don't say/do/write anything that will be the least bit upsetting unless you need to tell us something backed by fact. Have some empathy/compassion!!! What we have been thru is no laughing matter, nothing to be taken lightly, ever.

Glad we are speaking up about this kind of insensitivity to folks that should know better. Seems like there should be some kind of sensitivity training, similar like to sexual harassment in the work place.


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Apr 15, 2018 03:17PM - edited Apr 15, 2018 03:20PM by GmaJoLynn

I continue to be amazed by the comments made by my plastic surgeons (started with one and then after she told me "I'm just frustrated with you and you need to see Dr. (noname), who is in the same office)". They have both made comments that were terrible. I had immediate reconstruction and the PS came in my hospital room and told me what size she put in and laughed and said "I had to really work to get it in". The fact is I had told her no larger than 500 cc (to match my other breast) and she measured all the breast tissue removed (even the tissue taken out from my armpit (lymph nodes, etc) and weighed them and it weighed 550 so she put in a 550 size implant. It didn't take and three days later when they took my bandages off my skin was black (the size of my hand, fingers included). It made me sick. I have now had 5 reconstructive surgeries and my skin is SO thin. I am concerned and going to go back and talk to the PS about it. I'm thinking of having it (left side) removed and not replacing it. It's in my armpit and has drifted down and sideways. It feels like I constantly have something under my arm. I wish I would never had immediate reconstruction and I will probably end up having the implant taken out. I don't have the strength I used to have and it looks horrible. I would rather be flat and strong and comfortable in my own skin. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I can't believe how uncaring and brutal the comments are that I have received from my PS(s), both in the same office. So many rude comments that I am astounded at their lack of professionalism. I guess that's why it's good we have this site, so we know we are not alone in being treated poorly. It's hard because at the point where I was getting the rude comments I was dependent on them to fix me so I didn't tell them how rude they were. But when I'm done, I'm going to write the state medical board. I don't think I will even let them touch me again. I don't know where to go to get it removed. I live in Alaska and I could go to Seattle but I don't who to see and I'm scared of getting a quack... I respect your decision to not have reconstruction. I guess medical personal are human and just like the general population there are people that are rude, disrespectful and just plain cruel. Doesn't make it right. Some PS are so arrogant and if you mention anything you don't like they cop an attitude, like how dare you criticize my work. Jerks!

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Apr 15, 2018 11:09PM Rrobin0200 wrote:

how insensitive, unprofessional and unethical this nurse is. I'm glad you reported her. Imagine how many other patients have had to deal with her

Dx 3/6/2017, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/30/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant

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