Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Helicopters and Chemo

Yesterday we drove to Madison for some appointments.

We got there and made it to the first one.
When we checked in for the second one with the Chemo doctors, Rich was asked if he had his labs.

It wasn't on our sheet nor was it scheduled.  Well things went a bit wacky after that.

When we got in the room with Dr. R. we were told that they may be starting chemo today...

But from now on, after this first treatment Chemotherapy would be on Tuesdays,...
they were still awaiting to hear from the Radiation folks.

Two different hospitals are involved in this treatment.  Communication between the two seems to be a bit...well...
difficult...even though they are connected to each other by walk ways, they are two different entities.
Even though UW doctors rotate through the VA Hospital and clinics, they still are two separate entities.

There is quite a bit of 'red' tape to cut through when dealing with the VA and non VA hospitals.

Eventually our Care Coordinator Gabe got down to brass tacks.  He took us to the Chemo Clinic or Infusion Clinic to meet the nurses.
While Nurse Ronnie explained what to expect Gabe worked on getting a time for Radiation Therapy from the University Hospital.

During the time that we were sitting there, a Flight for Life helicopter hovered nearby to land at the UW.  
When Rich is emotional this is a trigger for his PTSD.  

Suddenly he went quiet, whispered "Chopper," and stared down at his hands which shook.
Ronnie and I looked at each other.  I saw on her face that she understood what was happening.

In a few moments it was over and we got back to our discussion.  The infusion clinic is nice and spacious.  There is a snack bar, and each infusion room has comfortable chairs for family to be with the patient.  And there is Wifi!

Finally we were ushered out of the clinic with appointment times.  11am, Dental, 12pm Chemo, 3pm Radiation.

Then his daughter will be taking him home to her house where he will stay tonight and then tomorrow I meet him at the Radiation Clinic.

We are beginning to start a routine.  Each week before chemo we have to do labs.  5 days a week will be radiation.
I am reaching out to a couple of neighbors to cook some meals for us.  I'm finding that long days are not good for making decent meals.

I've looked at the 5 day week with fresh eyes.  We'll see if working Saturday and Sunday are going to work.  I feel it won't work out really well if I am not able to keep up on house chores, groceries, and those small mundane things we all take for granted.

Something has to give.

Now just to figure out the schedule for feeding animals...


  1. Too much, too much, too much! Too much stuff to remember. Too much stuff to do! I wish I could do something. I know it will all come together for you guys, because it HAS to, but I cannot imagine how on earth you'll be able to work, too. Prayers continue for you, Val.

    1. I brought a voice recorder and will continue to do so ... I can go back and listen to everything that was said.
      I also have gobs of file folders ... and Patient Guides. I had to make a spreadsheet just for contacts!
      As for work? I will have go to one day a week or there will be no food on our table.

  2. SO many things to do..........Wish I would have known you back here.....