Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Phone phrustrations

All right. Here is an update on where I stand with the Revlimid:

I got a call from the Revlimid nurse late Friday afternoon so she could tell me about the next step in the process. Apparently it is not enough that I signed 2,451 forms swearing that I wasn't pregnant and provided the drug company with an actual negative pregnancy test. No. Now I had to call a special hot line at the drug company and reassure them once again via touch-tone phone that I'm aware of the risk of birth defects. I have to do this every month in order to renew my prescription.

If someone is dumb enough to not heed all of the warnings up until this point, do you think a call to a computerized hot line is going to help? Really?

But it's required, so I called the hot line and answered questions for a computerized voice. I think the least the drug company could have done was record the hot line messages using a real human. At least a human could possibly add a shade of compassion to her voice, maybe a hint of "Yeah, it really sucks that you have to take this drug and that I have to ask you all of these embarrassing questions." Instead, I got to talk to something that sounded like a female Speak 'N Spell from the '70s. "Do ... you ... have ... a-ny ... rea-son ... to ... be-lieve ... you ... might ... be ... preg-nant? Press ... one ... for ... yes (long pause) two ... for ... no."

It wasn't the least bit soul-crushing at all.

Anyway, back while I was on the phone with the Revlimid nurse, I told her I still had a lot of questions about the drugs and about my blood-test schedule. She said she'd set me up for a meeting with a nurse practitioner to go over everything, and that once I called the hot line, she'd fax out a bunch more stuff, and the Revlimid would get Fed-Exed to me.

Monday I got a call from a different nurse, telling me I need to come in for a blood test on May 1.

I asked if she was sure, because my understanding is that I'd need to come in once a week or so until I'm adjusted to the drugs. She had no idea. She transferred me to the Revlimid nurse. She had no idea. I said, "Didn't I sign a bunch of forms promising to come in once a week?" "Oh," she said. "You did?" Sigh. I'm waiting for a call back on all of that. I think I'm just going to call Dr. H at Mayo and ask her all of these questions. I think they're overworked at the KC Cancer Center. I meet with the nurse practitioner on Friday the 13th.

I think I need to go eat some jellybeans. Lots of jellybeans.

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