OK, so I have initiated palliative care for my partner who has continued to refuse support from palliative care team even during the first meeting for assessment. Well, in a way I don't blame him. He's more active (not staying in bed the whole time) in the past few days even though his speech can be good sometimes and bad sometimes.
First impression with the palliative care nurse -- not good! This person was late for 45 minutes! We received a call at 8:45 a.m. asking when the appointment is and so I told her "Now, right now. 8:45 a.m.". The response I received was "oops, I'm running a bit late, will be there shortly." The meeting was .... , not sure exactly what I get out of it apart from a 24 hours number that I can call if there is any problem. The folder I receive has something to do with bowel movement record, from my poor memory. mmmmm we aren't at that stage yet, I think, even though we had a few accidents.
Then, we had a meeting with the oncologist who made us wait for 1:30 hr. I asked if we could see him at another hospital where we used to see him and we could see him at 5 p.m. with very little wait time which suits me perfectly. He asked "is this appointment time inconvenient for you?". Errr.. hello... 11 a.m.!? If you are on time, it's probably alright but you keep us wait every time. I can't go to work in the morning and come back for this appointment. It doesn't make sense to go to work afterwards neither. After all the waiting which made the whole thing finished nearly 1 p.m., by the time I get to work it's nearly time to pack up and go home. What world are these people living in?
One thing I note about the oncologist at this appointment. He seemed to be quite happy. I think the fact that he could see my partner in a better shape than 3 weeks ago made him happy and optimistic. But... shouldn't he be optimistic the whole time? If he's not going to be optimistic, he shouldn't he make us feel worse by looking so unhappy and pessimistic when he saw my partner wasn't well a few weeks ago. My partner wasn't happy to see his doctor all doomy and gloomy when he wasn't well. He felt everyone had written him off. It's just not right. He's fighting this disease and he needs to see that his doctor supports him in this battle. I hope he doesn't think I fail him by initiating the palliative care.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.