I hate the term survivorship. It’s a bent little neologism that should be dragged to the middle of a wet field and drowned, face down, in a shallow puddle. Despite my loathing for the word, my diminishing health is driving me to again try to track down its clinic. Survivorship. Medals for breathing. My venom for the word could be why it’s taken me this long to follow-up. Or maybe it’s the memory of dehumanizing treatment in lab rat hallways, or my bovine fellow patients. It could also be how well they’ve hidden the fucking thing’s contact info.
Since my absence, Hershey Med has expanded, not unlike the tumors of more unruly cancers, and enveloped enough bureaucratic agencies to turn one itself. They messaged me, ceaselessly shortly after I stopped showing for my follow ups. Some time after that, they’d auto-schedule me for general checks, the dog and pony show, the pre-show, where they check the animals, weigh and measure anatomical pieces as if they could be swapped out, and then mumble together on their findings. Then the two required parts of the agency, the one that paid for me to visit and the part that demanded that it happen, stopped talking. I got a series of messages announcing a check for my heart, a problem with the appointment, then the cancellation of the appointment. I hadn’t done more than tear the letters to better fit in the recycling bin.
Since, they’ve been mum.
Now, looking through the site, all I find are trite articles about miracles, and parties for the meek and sick to get together over how they achieved something by being in the room when a series of disinterested scientists kept them from dying. No links to the ill-named clinic itself. No information for the currently unwell.
The phone system is worse. I was made to repeat the term “survivorship” five times before the woman on the other side of the line asked one too many times for me to handle and I told her to just transfer me to oncology and I’d deal with them. This is not one hand not knowing the other, this is a centipede of miscommunication. If you’re going to pick such a shite name, you should make sure everyone has to kick it around, not just its unfortunate patrons.
So, now I’m to wait for next of business, because apparently, doctors have followed bankers into the world of half-day fuck-offs. Three? Sure, why stay until five. Three beats rush hour.
Not as if it’s a matter of life and death.