When my grandfather finished radiation last time he said he also wanted chemo, just to be sure. The oncologist refused, saying that Grandpa was completely in the clear and doing so would just make him suffer unnecessarily.
A few weeks later, a lump appeared on Grandpa's neck, right where he'd been receiving radiation. The oncologist said it was scar tissue and to wait a few months and if it didn't get better, he'd remove it.
Fast forward to, what was it, a week ago? The oncologist finally got around to removing it and told Grandpa that it was harmless. The news traveled quickly, life was good. Then I got a completely unexpected phone call from my mom to say Grandpa had relapsed. Since I'd been e-mailed a day earlier that he was all clear, it took me a while to understand that, in fact, Grandpa wasn't all-clear and never had been. I'd like to think that it only took me the whole phone conversation to figure out what Mom had just said because I'd thought he was all-clear and not just because I'm dense.
Anyway, my aunt Mel, a dentist, heard about the relapse and told Grandpa to get a second opinion. She said that a competent doctor would have biopsied it months ago -- heck, it's an outpatient procedure. So Grandpa got a second opinion, and the first thing the new Oncologist said was "Why wasn't this biopsied months ago?"
So because the first oncologist was an arrogant idiot who couldn't be bothered to be concerned when a patient got a lump right where his other lumps had been, the cancer has had several months' head start, which is why it's spread so far. I'm just a bit aggrieved here; this is the life of a person who was more a dad to me than my biological father which has been risked.
I'll update on what else Grandpa learned in the calmer post following this. Thanks for putting up with my venting.