Melanoma and Sarcoma

Cage.


It’s about a mile walk from my clinic to my office. A small part of that walk is outside. Grey was the sky, a cold wind penetrated my shirt but not enough for a jacket I thought. A light drizzle of rain. I guess this is the “Ambience” of this blog. I sighed deeply as I walked, the conversation of the day speaking inside me. I could feel each step, each bone in my body ached. And I walked distracted.

“I am sorry but your insurance will not accept me treating you on this clinical trial.”

Shell Shocked.

I did not go into medicine to be forbidden to treat someone with what I felt would be the best option for them. I imagined myself a rare bird stuck in a cage realizing the boundaries of the system that I existed in.  My wings unable to soar. My perceived freedom now defined by outward forces beyond my control. I felt the bars close in and force my decisions. A slave to the system that I have now discovered is not  easy to navigate. “This is all I have to treat you with”.  I did not even want to be in the room anymore as I spoke to this human. Where did my compassion go?  I longed for the freedom to decide the best treatment. I wanted to soar and my anger rattled me.  I flew into the bars wanting them to bend. I felt the imposition of the system. Where are the tools to help my patient today?  This is coming from someone who does not take “no” lightly.

I walked to my office, and talked to my boss. An incredible man to say the least. He let me talk. Like a cushion he absorbed this shock. This is not the first time that this has happened.

I have always liked the political cartoons of the past. They speak volumes in pictures. Intelligently portraying the issues of the time. I sat and read some of the “Far Side” cartoons on my couch. Humor a mature psychological defense mechanism like an old teacher showing the way.

Here is my picture for you- “Imagine”:

That despite this cage; this bird today sang.

I still found a way to deliver my care.

Mo

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6 thoughts on “Cage.

  1. Thank you for stopping by my blog and liking my poem “Cancer” and sharing your thoughts and experiences on your blog. Hearing the other side from the doctor’s perspective is heartbreaking. No one should be denied medical care. Insurance companies should not be able to dictate what care a patient can or cannot be given. Insurance companies should be held responsible for each patient who dies because treatment was withheld. It is too bad the system holds a noose around people’s necks so everyone is too afraid to stand up and refuse insurance in order to force the system to change. America’s government and many of the conglomerations rule with fear, and people are so frozen by their fear they cannot move towards change. Maybe with more doctors and people like you change will slowly come.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. Thank God I live in the UK where we have free healthcare for all – bless you for doing what you can with whatever resources you have available. Never give up 😉

  3. Lori james says:

    Dear Mo,
    This is Lori from Arkansas….I recently messages you after you had a meeting with my family over the loss of my best friend and cousin….I won’t mention her name and am hopeful you will know who I’m talking about….her husband and daughter came to meet with you….her sister is in hopes to see you….my aunt is on the 6th floor in your hospital….she is also the mother of my cousin that passed on….she has a very large brain tumor….I’m guessing that they are going to try to remove….my cousin is in hopes that maybe you could come by and talk w her for a few minutes…..I don’t know if this is even possible….if you want to contact me xxxxxxxxxx I can give you names….I don’t know if what I am asking for is even possible but if so please let me know!! Thank you so much and have a blessed day!!!
    Lori James

  4. Claire barnhouse says:

    Mo,
    I feel for your frustration with the healthcare system. Although I am very fortunate that I have good insurance I cannot imagine you telling me I cannot receive treatment due to insurance not paying that would be devastating . I feel you of all people and how you seem to be driven will find a way to help someone in that situation. If we had more docs like you “oh what a system we would have”.
    I hope your will and determination will motivate other doctors to do the same .. As always I want to thank you for being the kind of doctor that you are and never change Dr. Mo. You are special and unique and I bow to you my amazing doctor of science.
    Claire

  5. Bob Krause - VPA says:

    I can feel your agony & frustration. Do you know of any relationships between  progenitor cells ‎and skin creating stem cells that may impact your discipline? I do not know enough about it, but I am guessing there is action occurring from stem cells in aggressive melanoma. Could it be a progenitor cell giving the stem cell a bad command? This is an alternate scenario to a mutated existing cell or a mutated stem cell. Just a non-expert thought.

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