Thanks to all of you, Dr. Lamm and I have embarked on a (hopefully) long and bizarre friendship. I learned more from him in 30 minutes than I did from the Cancer Treatment Center in three days. I do not doubt this man is the right one for me with the right treatment at the right time.
It is high-grade cancer, but T1, lamina propia invasion. Prognosis is good. He will perform a second TURBT next week with intravesical treatment, followed by BCG intravesically and percutaneously through induction and then on to maintenance. Hopefully 10 years from now I can borrow the Grateful Dead's "what a long, strange trip it's been" line for my own.
I only thought I had hope when I went to CTCA. Now I really feel it. I appreciate Dr. Lamm's obvious brilliance and his old-school ways. The flash and dazzle of CTCA was nice, and I have little doubt they know what they are doing for the types of cancer they treat. But the spartan office of Dr. Lamm, his casual style, and the laid back atmosphere just seems to exude quiet confidence. Reminds me of college and one of my brilliant but not-quite-there professors. You saw through everything on the surface to realize he was the best in his field. Dr. Lamm has that quality, but he is "there." I feel I need to buy him some art work for at least one wall in his office!
So how are you folks doing? Hopefully well and kicking the begeebers out of bladder cancer every day. My fight has just begun, but with Helen and Dr. Lamm, I feel I have the advantage. Again, my thanks for this referral.
8 years 1 week ago - 8 years 1 week ago#42610by CatherineH
What an exciting trip and enjoy!
I had almost forgotten my own cowardly doctor story until last night reading this thread again. Selective memory, I'm sure!
I had pain in the back of my leg behind the knee. I was scheduled for my bladder surgery at Vanderbilt the following week (300 miles away) so I went to my local doctor to check that it wasn't a small blood clot. He had two interns training with him and sent them in first to practice their "patient interview". I explained my situation and upcoming bladder cancer surgery and my concerns. They listened closely, took notes and left.
Enter Dr. X (as in ex-doctor).
Paraphrasing his first comment... "You have pain in your leg, I can give you something for that."
Me (to myself): "Shouldn't we know what THAT is first?" (I am a terrible patient and almost always refuse any meds.)
Doc: Going on and on about it's probably a Baker's cyst, no big deal, ... can give me a Rx.
Me: "Did the other doctors tell you I have bladder cancer?"
Doc: (Eyes downcast) Yes (quickly changing subject). I am sending you for an ultrasound on your leg. Yada yada... (Would not look me in the eye.)
He went out, came back in with the ultrasound order, then left for me to dress saying nothing. As I exited he was sitting in his office at his desk, glanced up then back down, not a word about hoping my surgery goes well, or even acknowledging me.
And yes, Scot, that made me feel angry. I guess I felt more trivialized than anything because I had gone to him several times over the past couple of years (nothing really serious... cold, tonsillitis, etc.). I was floored by his lack of empathy or concern. And, you're right, I don't care why he was like that. It didn't make his behavior any less offensive.
But, I don't seem to be able to stay angry for long, but that was the LAST time I saw Dr. X, and I have steered several people away from him and his dangerously overzealous prescription pad. End of THAT story and doctor-patient relationship!
Best wishes... Catherine
Forum Moderator Team
TURBT 1/21/10 at age 55
Dx: T2aN0M0 Primary Bladder Adenocarcinoma
Partial Cystectomy 2/25/10
Vanderbilt Medical Center
I still believe he is a coward, and not just missing a personality gene. He is the one that George S. Patton would have slapped silly. I am fortunate in that his lack of professionalism drove me to CTCA, then to this forum, and now to Dr. Lamm! I have an appointment with him in August.
So all's well that ends well! My daughter just arrived from Texas, my wife just graduated from veterinary technology school, and we are heading to Mexico for five days on the beach. When I get back, the battle resumes.
Great folks on this board. Thanks for having me. I guess I will be a regular from now on, as friends are few and far between, and I feel friendship here.
Wow, Scot, amazing how some doctors are and their total lack of personality. Jim's surgeon while very quiet was compassionate and having worked in the medical field for 45 plus years I recognized him as the type of doctor who put his patient's needs/interests first. So, I would let the quietness go. But, to not have the cajones to tell you himself that stinks. So glad you fired him and went on to a better place. I haven't read through the entire thread so do hope you will setup a 2nd opinion with Dr. Lamm if possible and if you haven't already done so. Glad CTA helped ease your fears etc. BC the "b**tard cancer sure is a scary one and a cancer that we need to have the best available to take care of the patient.
Glad you found us and sorry you have to join our little club.
George Patton was supposed to be a real sob, but get outa his way on a battle field, because he was going to take you out. Nice only, only gets you nice, in my battle against bc I will takethe meanest most anti social guy or women dr. out there as long as they are the top of the best and willing to tell me the truth and fight like I will for my life. I am not in this game to spare anyones feelings , I am in it to live !
That said, I really am a nice person . My first ur told me I had a kidney stone, a year later he said I just had a polyp he had to take out. As I was waking from surgery he told me he took out five tumors and it was cancer. oh and he was sorry. Good thing they had just given me demerol I laughed at him. ( the wonder of pain meds) I found out three days later he had put a chemo agent in my bladder. I went back to his office to educate him on dealing with patients honestly.
His reason for not telling me ahead of the surgery that it could be cancer was...are you ready ... I might get to upset !!! I told him, as oppossed to how mad I was right now. I also ask him if he had ever heard of informed consent before he stuck chemo in someone. He is lucky i am not the type to sue at the drop of the hat kinda person. Hopefully I was able to teach him something he didn't get in med school.
I now have nice and one of the best , Dr. Schoengberg at john hopkins.
You made the right decision to see dr. lamm . and I wish you well.
I also know how it feels to be the wife of someone with cancer. Four years ago my husband was diagnosed with non hodgins large b cell lymophoma. We didn't know what was going to happen. Well here we are four years later and if you came on his job site ( he owns a construction comp.) and saw him work you would never guess he had been so sick ! God bless and my prayer for you is healing and strength for you and your family. Rocky