After I had dressed, I sat opposite Dr. Prinsloo as he continued to study my reports.
"You are going to need a full course of radiotherapy," he said, "followed by chemotherapy."
"Yes, you told me in hospital, I replied, and took a deep breath. "But Dr. Prinsloo, I would like to go to Dr. Meiring." I knew a bit about the oncologist that Dr. Prinsloo normally referred his patients to and didn't like him at all. I had never met Dr. Meiring, but a friend had worked for him and thought he was wonderful.
"Shirl, please give Kurt Meiring a chance," she had pleaded on the phone. "After you’ve met him you can choose to go to someone else if you like, but please give him a chance. He’s a wonderful oncologist. He’s also a strong Christian."
A look of extreme annoyance flashed across Dr. Prinsloo’s face. He did not like patients to make suggestions. Tough! I thought. This is my life! I am taking control wherever possIble.
He pulled across his script pad and started to write a referral letter.
"I am not happy about this decision," he stated flatly. "And I want to see you regularly myself." He sealed the letter in an envelope and handed it to me. "You only need to wear the sling at night or if you are in the car. So start to mobilise your arm now. You cannot start radiotherapy until you can lift your arm above your head."
Above my head? He had to be joking.
*Some names have been changed to protect identity