On Monday, July 2, 2012, my parents, daughter and a girlfriend accompanied me to meet with my oncologist. Good news! No cancer in my brain. At last, a victory. The doctor lined out a treatment plan and encouraged me to seek a second opinion if I wished. I wished to go to MD Anderson (MDA) in Houston, Texas.
“Houston, Ms. Patricia Brown has a big problem, she has cancer but she is a fighter.”
MD Anderson is the place known for its champion work in the field of cancer. I figured when you go to battle you better get a top notch team assembled to help you win the war.
My Fort Smith oncologist told me I would have to be a squeaky wheel with MDA and with his clinic, he wasn’t kidding!! You don’t just call MDA and get an appointment especially in the timeline you need. Every day that I wasn’t being treated, is a day that cancer had free reign in my body. Talking about a real ... Tick Tock feeling.
The Race was on! I had to get in to MD Anderson….in two weeks or less….Tick Tock!
A little snap shot of what I had to champion to get to MDA:
• Register on the MDA website requesting an appointment.
• Smilin’ & Dialin’ everyone I knew to get my MDA file marked expedited so I could get in sooner than six weeks. I need chemo drugs people…..cancer is trying to kill me!
• Have ALL medical records 2005 to present – faxed before they would confirm an appointment. Obtaining records from seven different places in two different cities was a challenge like you can’t believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
• Collect scans and mammograms done in Memphis and Fort Smith since 2005 to present to be hand carried to MDA.
• Update medical power of attorney and living will.
• “Charm” the health insurance company to pay otherwise get ready for potentially a six figure bill.
• Plan a road trip and stay for up to two weeks…..a wardrobe for two weeks and all the necessary accessories….plus books, snacks, and first aid kit….after all I was going to war and I was determined to be prepared and fight with style!
• Delegate my duties at work and home. My real life would need to continue while I took a summer vacation at MDA.
• Communicate with family and friends….Gotta love Facebook.
• Pray, Pray and Pray some more!
If you know me then you know I am a worker. I have NEVER worked so hard as I did for two weeks to first get an appointment at MD Anderson and then get ready to go to MD Anderson. On July 16, 2012, I officially walked through the doors of MDA as its newest patient.
Tick Tock - I beat the alarm clock!!
P.S. THANK GOODNESS FOR GIRLFRIENDS!!!! Amanda, Vonda, Laura, Luann, Jennifer, Debby, Danna, and Daelene (the whole The City Wire team) who where on the front line in this portion of the war. It takes an army to fight cancer! Game On!!