I must tell you, Mayo was kind of a bust. As is usual at Mayo, we were scheduled early in the morning for a blood draw. (I am so aware of my use of "we." I originally put "draws," as if I had one, too! I feel so connected to Jud in this almost symbitic process). I am fine with the early morning tests and understand that it would help the doctor know how you were doing right away. At 10:30, Jud had x-rays. Then the long wait. We were supposed to see our (!) new doctor at 2:30. We were put in a room and a nice young research assistant came and signed Jud up for another study, a bank of people with pancreatic cancer. Good idea.
We waited and we waited. No one came into see us and tell us what was going on as we sat in the "little white box," both feeling quite anxious. So much depended on this. Finally, two hours later, the doctor arrived. He was handsome and dressed beautifully. However, there was no apology or explanation for being late. We would have understood if he had an emergency or another patient who took more time. He shook Jud's hand. He ignored me. I practically grabbed his hand from his side and shook his.
He scolded Jud for not having all of his materials there. Jud had made a special trip to his office in doctor in Minneapolis and hand carried it all in. It was all there. He knew little to nothing about the protocol of the study Jud was interested in. "She" will tell you, he said. "She" was the research coordinator. "She" didn't have a name.
He was very negative that anything would help Jud. The longest anyone had stayed on this drug was four months. They had to stop because the cancer progressed or because the side effects were too great. He was very cold and negative about the whole affair. We could accept that this combination of medications could have little value, but please, please, just tell us in a kind way!
Finally the research coordinator came in. She was harried-looking but reasonably nice. Dr. S. left in a hurry, shaking Jud's hand. He tried to pass me and I again grabbed his hand. He refused to look at me.
Jud was accepted into the study ("It is your only alternative" said the doctor.) We will go back after Thanksgiving for four days.
Jud went home and, after a little thought, he called the research coordinator and asked to fire the doctor. No one with a serious illness deserves to be treated this way.
Interestingly, this is our second rude doctor. Our first was at Stanford. When I read one of the Steve Job's eulogies, I discovered that he was his doctor, too. I'll bet he was nice to Steve1 Our main doctor at Stanford, Dr. Albert Keung, was one of the kindest doctors I have ever met.
The Brothers Mayo
As we left Stanford, De. Keung said to Jud, "I will always be your doctor. You will always be my patient. Please call me at any time."
As it should be.
P.S. As is true of all major medical centers, members of my family have also had wonderful care at Mayo Clinic in my family. My brother was treated with such caring when he had esophageal cancer and today is cancer-free.