We finally got our telephone calls. We heard back from M.D. Anderson around lunchtime yesterday. It was not exactly the phone call that we were after, but at least we are certain now that the ball is rolling. They called to discuss the diagnosis, request reports/slides/films, and financial information. Of course, as of lunchtime yesterday, we had not yet received the pathology report from Emory University. Regarding the diagnosis, we were only able to tell them what we have verbally been told ourselves, which is a Soft Tissue Sarcoma. The reports, slides, and films were all collected yesterday. And the financial information was simple; here is my insurance information, bill us for the rest.
Marissa and I spent hours gathering records from every doctor’s office and clinic that I have seen in the last year. We were able to collect everything from dictation notes to microscope slides for our pending journey to Houston. On the last errand, which I wasn’t able to make, Marissa received a call from Dr. Sharma. She said that the documentation that we were gathering had already been sent to M.D. Anderson. She had personally gathered those documents and sent them ahead of us. She also said that she had spoken again with Dr. Sarma about the pathology report. Dr. Sarma made the comment that Emory would not be able to provide the care that I was going to need for the type of cancer that I had. The recommendation of both doctors was to cancel any remaining appointments that were scheduled locally and go to Houston immediately.
Marissa immediately came home, woke me up, and gave me the news. This news, of course, is something that we eventually wanted to hear, but it made me a little anxious to hear it the way that I did. We received confirmation from Dr. Sharma that this was not necessarily an emergency situation; it was just the fact that there was little doubt now where I would end up. Why waste time, right? Also, because of the severe pain that I have been having, should I need to go to the Emergency Room, I could do so at M.D. Anderson. The obvious benefit to that would be any treatment I would receive would be reviewed by an oncologist, so as to avoid anything that would have an adverse affect on my cancer treatment. I had debated several times going to the ER at Emory, but I was afraid that my cancer would be ignored in my emergency treatment.
Regardless the reasoning, we made plans to travel. The plan that we had laid out for this occasion seemed to work out flawlessly. Our dogs, Paddington and Yogi, were to go to Knoxville and stay with Marissa’s mother Christine, and her husband Gary. They happened to be in town visiting and planning to return home today. Marissa’s sister Meaghan and husband Nathan have volunteered to watch the house, as well as our neighbor Babbette. With regard to traveling, my parents Bill and Paula drove to Atlanta last night from Tennessee to travel with Marissa and me. My mom and I booked tickets to fly and Marissa and my dad decided to make the drive. With this arrangement, I did not have to make a 12 hour car ride from Atlanta to Houston, but it also prevents us from paying for a rental car for the entire stay as well. The flight left Atlanta around noon, arriving about two hours later. Marissa and my dad dropped us off on their way out and arrived in Houston around 8 p.m.
The admissions off does not open until Monday morning, so hopefully there will be no new news until then. If I do need emergency medical attention before then, however, I can check in to the emergency department. Until Monday, we will do our best to enjoy the new city, as winning the battle with cancer is 80% mental.
Thanks, as always, for checking in on the blog. Keep the prayers coming, and thanks for all your support.