September 18th, 2010 - What To Do What To Do

Okay so this is not a quilting related post. It’s about my mom. She had  cancer and was being treated with radiation and chemo in June to shrink the tumor before surgery. Before her surgery, she had a CT scan and then met with the surgeon the next day. He said the tumor hadn’t gotten any bigger and I thought to myself  “All that radiation and chemo and the thing hasn’t shrunk. Well, at least it didn’t get any bigger.” My mom had the surgery to remove the tumor and all was well. 

We went to see the chemo doctor and he suggested she take another round of chemo more as a preventitive more than anything else. She is cancer free at this moment but you never know when it might return. Anyway she was taking chemo in the pill form and she didn’t have much of a reaction the first time around other than tiredness. So she agreed to do another round. The doctor said she would have to take more pills than first time and we thought okay. 

 She had the prescription filled at her local pharmacy and she noticed that this prescription looked different than her last one in June. I called the pharmacy and asked why these pills looked different and they said the first round were 150mg of Xeloda and these ones were 500 mg of Xeloda. We knew she had to take more pills but the doctor didn’t say anything about the dosage size. I thought about this all weekend and called the cancer clinic on Monday for some answers. The doctor’s nurse said that these were right but I kept on saying but they are different from the first time. She was going on about the number of pills but not the dosage size. Finally it clicked in what I was saying and she said she would call me right back. I called my mom and said that somebody had made a mistake somewhere. Apparently my mom was supposed to be taking the 500mg not the 150’s, hence no side effects and no shrinkage of the tumor. The pharmacy had made the mistake and called to apologize to my mom. So what do we do now?

 We met with the doctor and he offered to write a letter to the Ontario College of Pharmacists and we thought that was a good way to go. The pharmacist has called my mom to apologize and my mom accepted her apology and  would like to speak to other family members about this. What for? She made a mistake and it should be noted that this happened and what if it has happened to others? And what if they billed for the larger dose and not the smaller one? Are there checks and balances that are not in place? This was a drug that had to be ordered in and didn’t someone notice it then? What if it was the other way around and they had given her a larger dose and it killed her? What then? So many what ifs and I don’t know what to do. My mom is not in to doing anything even changing the pharmacy. She has accepted the apology and doesn’t want anything to happen to the pharmacist. My mom is way too nice, even going through all this cancer treatment.

 When you get a prescription filled, you place all your trust in the pharmacist and I bet you don’t even think about the dosage or anything. You just trust that you got the right thing and all is well. I think we should be checking all our presciptions and even before getting them filled, we should be asking the doctor what he is prescribing and the dosage and then checking our prescription to be sure it’s the right thing.

 Okay I feel better now. It’s raining here so I think I will sew. Have a great day.


One Response to “What To Do What To Do”

  1. Allie Says:

    OH MY GOSH. Yes, absolutely something needs to be said, there should be checks and balances in place. Did the dr. write the letter? That’s the least that should happen. I know the chain pharmacies here have several checks and balances – but it does happen. This drugstore needs to review their policies. Is it a small one or a large chain? This is horrifying, hon.

Leave a Reply