Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In the beginning 6/28/08

Wow - what a difference a caring doctor makes.

But more on that in a minute - I've been going like a madwoman for the past 2 days, and this morning when I woke at 4:30 I just took a few minutes to breathe and take in all the love and prayers and beautiful sentiments you all have sent. It was the first time I cried ever since this all started on Tuesday. It was not for any sadness, but a deep, wonderful sense of connection with all of you incredible people in my life. I can't begin to tell you how much your calls and notes and conversations have meant to me. Going through such an emotional event leaves the heart raw in a good way - exquisitely sensitive to the smallest kindness, and overwhelmed by your outpouring of good wishes. Thank you from the depths of my heart.

It has been awesome talking to you either by phone or email, but things happen pretty fast, not giving me much time to call or write every time. So in addition to any other contacts we have, I'll keep things updated on this page for as much or as little information as you'd like!

This morning Dave and I went to Sutter Cancer Center for a second opinion. The initial appointment process was encouraging in itself. On Wednesday, a young lady named Manjesh had made the soonest possible appt. for me, which was July 16. But knowing how concerned I was about the wait, she said the if I faxed my records, she would put a note on the dr's phone to see if I could come in sooner. Thursday at 8:30 a.m. she called to say the dr. would come in EARLY - before her clinic hours - if I could be there at 8 a.m. today. That's dedication.

We met for over an hour with Lisa Guirguis, MD, whom we both fell in love with. She thoroughly explained my pathology report, all the best and worst case possibilities, as well as every treatment option in each case. She brought in the ultrasound unit to do an exam herself, and explained everything to us in detail. Not only will she have the original tissue samples re-analyzed by a pathologist that specializes in this type of cancer, but she also ordered an MRI of both breasts to make sure we had a better idea of what we are dealing with.

When I told her the name of the plastic surgeon I was consulting with, Lisa gave her high marks and said they work together all the time - and did so yesterday.

What Dave really liked is not only did Dr. Lisa help her assistant immediately write up the MRI referral, but we each got our own map - a "guy map" (regular diagram/street map) and a "girl map" (because we want all the details of the story) that was hand drawn to show where it was in relation to Safeway, the water tower and the fire station.

Within 15 minutes of our getting home, her office called to say our insurance had authorized the MRI. A half hour later, the radiology office called to schedule my appt. for 7:30 a.m. on Monday.
The previous surgeon had given me a huge disorganized binder that was a collection of booklets, photocopies and brochures, and a good luck wish in finding the rest of my medical team. Dr. Lisa's binder is beautifully done by Sutter - "My Personal Journey." The first page is a business card holder, with cards for her, the plastic surgeon, dietician, oncologist, nurse, etc. I feel I'm in competent, caring hands. It's a great day!

No comments: