Kaiser Permanente Complaint - Kaiser Sucks - Kaiser Cancer Treatment
DENVER, COLORADO -- I was diagnosed in April of 09 with Stage III breast cancer. Little did I know, but Kaiser Oncology FAILED to tell me that the type of breast cancer that I suffer from is called a Triple Negative and is rare and aggressive. The one thing that they did right was to treat me with chemotherapy first (which shrunk my tumor), but they NEVER told me any details about my cancer. When I asked if it was estrogen positive, all I got was a "no" and sent off to chemo treatment. The oncologist always rushed us and never gave my husband or me any clear answers. When I finished my chemo treatments in November of 09 I asked what my prognosis would be. All I got from the oncologist was, "I don't know. We won't know until we do surgery." No support whatsoever! I made an appointment in early Nov with the surgeon to discuss my mastectomy and she "informed" me of what "they" were going to do for my reconstruction. No options...Just one procedure. When I started doing research, I didn't like the butcher job that they were proposing, so I asked questions. The surgeon told me that I could not have breast implants as I was to have radiation and they couldn't do tissue expanders due to radiated skin. I kept asking questions, which started to tick her off. I asked for a consult with the plastic surgeon and he told me that tissue expanders would not work with radiated skin (he had spoken with the surgeon prior to my visit). When I asked about the TRAM flap procedure (a tummy tuck and use of abdominal muscles for breast reconstruction), I said that I would look like a patchwork quilt and he said "yes" without any hesitation! He treated me like crap. My husband asked if there was anyone in Colorado that did do breast implants and he thought that there was "some guy up North". My current plastic surgeon (NOT related to Kaiser) is a half a block to the south and has been doing breast implants on radiated skin for years! The Kaiser plastic surgeon then asked me if we had any other questions, told us that he was late for his next appt (which he was late for mine and didn't give me the full hour I was promised) and then told us (very sarcastically) "Good luck". I went to work the next day, made appointments with a new plastic surgeon, a new oncologist and had a referral to a new general surgeon. I then switched my insurance to United Health Care (thank God for open enrollment). I then finished my chemo on the 23rd of Nov. I visited the radiologist oncologist (through Kaiser) and he said the same thing...Can't do breast implants with radiated skin and then proceeded to give me information for support groups and counseling (which I NEVER got since I was first diagnosed...Too little too late). I went home and cancelled my surgery for December. The general surgeon was such a chicken that she didn't want to call and find out for herself why I had cancelled; she waited for her nurse to get back from vacation (over a week later) to call and grill me. Then she had the oncologist call and grill me some more. I told them that I had switched insurances and that I would not be having surgery until after the first of the year. I am very happy to report that I had a double mastectomy on Feb 10th and I have been given such EXCELLENT treatment by United Health Care. They have called me and referred me for counseling and checked on me frequently. Kaiser is the worst possible place to be treated for cancer (in Denver, at least). I have had two other women come to me to discuss their breast cancer treatment with Kaiser and neither one has been good. Enough is enough!