Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Big Second Opinion Day...

I started at 6:30 this morning drinking orange flavoured vomit. chalky vomit. yuck. I tried to go back to sleep for another hour, but was already thinking about my appointment at Karmanos (the second opinion). At 7:30 I had to drink a glass of water the same size as the orange vomit - about 500ml. I got to my CT scan on time and everything went smooth. The process for this is that they set me up with an injection site at the crease of the elbow for inserting the contrast dye. They ran me through a couple times, not sure why, and then they inject the dye. This causes your entire body to heat up. This is a very weird feeling...I can still feel it a little now at 9pm. As odd as this may sound...the part of the body that gets the warmest is the bum hole. I might regret typing that...

So, I got the nurses to burn me a copy of my CT scan onto a CD and off I went back home to let Diletta have a shower, visit with Isabella and grab my GPS.

On my way from WRH to home, i checked my messages and found that Lena from Karmanos called. She confirmed my appointment with Dr. Melissa Runge-Morris for 12:30. (actually, this was after she called and left a message that an appointment with Dr. Schiffer had been set up for Wednesday - she then called back and told me to ignore that and that the 12:30 was a go - confusing).

I also called Windsor cancer center and told them that I did not want to start my chemo until next week. They called me back and told me that I was booked for next Thursday - 8:30 am. This should take about 6 hours.

I drove to Karmanos and there was complimentary (for international patients) valet parking. Great. The attendant started the experience perfectly..."good day sir, have a great day and you and your family are in our prayers" - I was taken slightly aback, but in made a lasting impression (I searched him out after my appointment but he was gone for the day). I walked in, 30min early, and Lena was waiting for me (Great). I went through the registration process (seamless) and then Lena took me into the waiting room of the cancer clinic. I waited for about 30 more minutes and then my little buzzer went off.

I met the first nurse who took the basics (ht, wt, bp and temp). Basically, I met two more nurses (Lori and Kim) who took my history and discussed the process for the day. I then met with Dr. Runge-Morris who is a professor of medicine in Hematology and Oncology at Wayne State University.

The bottom line, she agreed with the basics of what Dr. Hamm has told me (diagnosis, prognosis, testing plan, treatment plan, etc.). However, the great thing about this process is that every Tuesday at 4pm a large group meets to discuss new cases. What happens is that Dr. Runge-Morris will present my case (by verbally introducing my presentation, showing on a large screen my CT scan, Xray and Pathology Slides) to a multidisciplinary team at the Hematology Conference. In the room will be radiation oncologists, oncologists, the 2 other lymphoma experts (Schiffer and Zonder) the bone marrow transplant team, new doctors, new students, all the lymphoma nurses, and others - around 25 people in total. This seems fantastic to me!

Dr. RM offered to call me right after the meeting, but I went golfing so I asked her to call me tomorrow afternoon. I asked her for a written report, which they don't normally do, and she said no problem. She will also be talking to Dr. Hamm about what was said at this conference meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

So...all in all a great meeting. This is what I had thought would happen, as I do have a lot of confidence in Dr. Hamm, but think that I just needed to hear it.

I also got a call from the nutritionist at Windsor cancer center...she is going to come see me during my chemo next Thursday.

I also left a message at the cancer center regarding my spinal tap, the only appointment that hadn't been booked yet. The nurse called me back within about 30min and said that Dr. Hamm could do it either Friday or I could wait until next week, there is no urgency. If I do it Friday, it would be at 9am and I would have to lay down for at least one hour...I couldn't make a decision without talking to Diletta ... the nurse said that I could just come by her office tomorrow after my Gallium/MUGA tests and see them (as long as I brought Isabella). Done.

That's all i got...I'm tired and I have my Gallium tomorrow at 8am.


1 comment:

Phil Duym said...

Just wanted you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers everyday Jeff

Peace and love

Phil, Nanc and Tatum