I thought that I was protecting myself by getting a mammography at Montclair Radiology every year, almost to the day. Then the report stated that there was a ??suspicious? area in one breast (DCIS) and that the scan should be repeated in six months. Both physicians copied on the report refused my request to investigate further because protocol dictated that the radiologist's advice be followed. Six months later I had Stage II breast cancer (DCIS) and was sent for an MRI, which revealed an additional malignancy. Had both been diagnosed earlier I might have been spared some of my pain and suffering and my prognosis would be better. Had I known then what I know now, I would have taken my ??suspicious? results directly to an oncologist at a cancer hospital.
Buying furniture at this store turned into a three month headache, although the saleswoman had assured us that their business practices are better than another local store where we had previously had a negative experience.
The furniture (stamped "Made in China") was missing stain in areas and was dinged and scratched. Fortunately the independent delivery company documented the damage, because the store staff was dismissive (except for the saleswoman, who seemed helpless to assist). As a result of the delivery company's report I received a call from the warehouse telling me that an independent repair service would be in touch. After waiting for several weeks, the repairman informed me that he was only authorized to spend thirty minutes in my home & that since the repairs would take more than two hours, Huffman Koos would have to authorize a follow-up appointment. He fixed one piece and left.
After several weeks I phoned the store & was told that they hadn't received the repairman's report. I responded that with E-mail & Fax, it was difficult to believe. I was then told that I didn't seem to realize that I had to operate on their timetable. Since the furniture was unacceptable, I phoned my credit card company & opened a credit inquiry. After that, a store manager called & a repairman came and spent 30 minutes on repairs; the manager followed up & seemed disturbed that they didn't get two hours worth of work. She had another repairman sent to do a better job.
This isn't the fine, solid wood furniture of yesteryear, which has become unaffordable; it is particle-board covered with veneer. The styles are attractive & it is the best quality in the price range. Unfortunately, the furniture was damaged.
We ordered a bed with headboard & footboard, 2 night stands, & a chest of drawers. The headboard had a silver-dollar sized circle finished in a different stain & indented. It was explained that the headboard width is made from two pieces of board bolted together & that the area over the bolt is then filled in.This explanation was supposed to justify the damage. The footboard was scratched & the chest was stained unevenly. In total three replacements were requested. I was told that I should have spotted all damage immediately (the pieces were extremely dusty) & rejected them. The chest contained instructions advising customers to repair the stain, if necessary, with a furniture marker from a hardware store.
A repair order was put in for one night stand.
The chest & footboard were exchanged. The second headboard had a poorly sanded area with a peeling glob of stain on it. The third headboard had an obvious silver-dollar sized area of unmatched stain (no dent). Warehouse personnel told me that I had rejected acceptable headboards.
Meanwhile, a strip of veneer had started to lift from the second night stand; a customer service representative at the store added it to the repair order. The repairman touched up the first night stand & documented that the one with the peeling veneer needed to be replaced. When I phoned the warehouse about a replacement I was unable to convince the woman that the second night stand had been added to the repair order; despite the repairman's report, they didn't wish to replace it.
It should be noted that each of the three deliveries, repair, & pick-up required that I clear a day on my calendar to be home, for a total of 5 days. (The previous day, a 4-hour "window" was provided.) One delivery team badly damaged the walls & when I complained to the deliverymen I was told that they had already been damaged, which wasn't the case.
The furniture has a 30-day guarantee. I asked them to take it back for a refund & they agreed; their patience for a customer who wanted perfect furniture had worn thin. We ended up buying at a nearby higher-end store during a sale & unfortunately had a similar experience. Buying furniture seems to have turned into a hassle.
When a wedding was canceled and gifts were returned, we discovered that Macy's considers their bridal registry to be more than a list of preferred gifts for well intentioned people to buy. They consider it to be a contract between themselves and the prospective bride and groom, and customers who buy through the registry unwittingly become parties to the contract.
A gift purchased with a Macy's credit card was sent back with a clear message on the return slip stating that the wedding had been canceled and that the gift should be refunded to the sender. We received an E-mail stating that the gift had been returned. However, Macy's sent the bride a gift card for the gift's value.
We were told that this is the policy as per the agreement signed by the wedding couple and that it was the bride's responsibility to forward the gift card to us. Our position has been that we didn't enter into an agreement, that the returned item should have been refunded by the original method of purchase, and that had the gift card been sent to us, we still would have preferred a refund to our credit card. Macy's position is that the wedding couple did not formally cancel their agreement with Macy's, close down the registry, and instruct Macy's to refund returned gifts to the senders; therefore, the bride is legally entitled to the value of the gift despite the instructions on the return slip.
Macy's employees have quoted their policy to us several times and I keep telling them that it isn't that we don't understand it; it is that I consider it to be invalid. I have also pointed out that others who bought their gifts through other registries have been refunded to their credit cards. Perhaps Macy's is taking advantage of the fact that the gift was purchased on a Macy's credit card. I am wondering what would have happened had I used a MasterCard or Visa and then opened a credit inquiry.
In all fairness, I have met people who have been satisfied with their treatment. This is a doctor-centered & not a patient-centered cancer center; it didn't work for me. I felt disrespected & reduced to such powerlessness that I lost the strength & desire needed to fight my cancer.
I began at the Rippel Breast Center with several stereotactic core breast biopsies. I asked for pain medication; my pain was repeatedly dismissed. I was told that biopsies aren't painful, that I was merely sore & that I should take Tylenol when I got home. My needs were already not being met. I should have taken this as a sign & gone elsewhere.
Some hospitals sedate mastectomy patients prior to an agonizing pre-op radioactive injection into the armpit area. At Morristown Memorial they didn't. Generally, there was little interest in avoiding or alleviating pain.
My surgeon was vague in his commitment to perform a skin sparing mastectomy so that I could have the type of reconstruction (implant versus TRAM Flap) that I wanted. He wasn't honest in answering my questions regarding the injection & post-op drains; he told me what I wanted to hear. After the surgery he didn't tell my husband or me that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes & that several had been removed. I didn't know why I couldn't raise my arm. Nor were we phoned with pathology results. All of the bad news was delivered more than two weeks later at the post-op check-up.
There was a lot to take in during our meeting with the oncologist. After going home & rereading the pathology report, I phoned to clarify one point. He kept saying, "We already went over this."
A radiation oncologist told me that in general, radiation & reconstruction are incompatible (yet their plastic surgeons successfully perform it all the time) & that in my case, due to an underlying skin problem, reconstruction would be impossible because my skin would be burned beyond salvaging. I was told to choose between reconstruction & increasing my survival odds. She refused to "work with me" on my exceptional case. I wasn't about to have radiation there after a commitment to destroy my skin. I was disappointed that a physician in her position wasn't more of an advocate for mastectomy patients desiring reconstruction. In retrospect, I should have been referred to the oncologist & radiation oncologist before surgery and not after so that I could have made a more informed decision about the surgery.
I didn't want to get an IV port for chemo; I was told that it is mandatory. I asked around & was told by other cancer patients (being treated at other hospitals) that the entire mechanism is put into the chest area, is painless & unnoticeable under clothing. In the OR, this same surgeon informed me that he was going to shove the catheter up my neck. I told him not to do it; the surgery should have been canceled at that moment. I was anesthetized & it was done anyway. It was extremely painful 24/7 & was unsightly; it only added to my self-consciousness.
At this point I ran for my sanity & dignity to a cancer center in Philadelphia that is known for patient empowerment & a whole-patient approach. I met with a Pain Manager who immediately prescribed much needed medication.The port was removed & replaced with a painless one in my chest. (Patient comfort is a priority & they do not use the neck procedure-nor had my surgeon ever seen it done when removing ports put in elsewhere.) I could have attempted chemo without a port, but did the swap because I didn't want to risk a third port procedure. My medical team was committed to giving me a chance at a breast implant & I was monitored during radiation, in case it had to be paused & resumed. I have been kept informed, given choices, and have been the deciding factor in every decision.
Before leaving Morristown Memorial, I confronted a physician who had disregarded my wishes. He said, "It was a medical decision. It had nothing to do with you." He succinctly summed up my entire experience there.
I regret not starting out in Philadelphia; due to their philosophy & strictly enforced policy, none of these things would have happened.
If you prefer to be an empowered patient and to be part of the process, you may want to find another surgeon (and hospital, if you are a cancer patient).
Dr. Carter was vague in his commitment to perform a skin sparing mastectomy so that I could have the type of reconstruction (implant versus TRAM Flap) that I wanted, which made the situation more stressful. He didn't honestly answer my questions regarding an agonizing pre-op radioactive injection & post-op drains; he told me what I wanted to hear.
Upon completion of the surgery, he did not inform my husband or me that cancer was found in my lymph nodes and that several had been removed. I didn't know why I couldn't raise my arm. Nor were we phoned with pathology results. All of the bad news was delivered more than two weeks later at the post-operative check-up.
I needed to have an IV port put in for chemo. I had asked around & had been told by other cancer patients that the entire mechanism is put into the chest area, is painless, & unnoticeable under clothing. In the OR, Dr. Carter informed me that he was going to shove the catheter up my neck. I told him not to do it. The surgery should have been canceled at that moment. I was anesthetized & it was done anyway. It was extremely painful 24/7 & was unsightly; it only added to my self-consciousness. When I transferred to a different cancer center (where patient comfort is a priority), the port was removed and a new, painless one was put into my chest.