Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Souvenir MD Anderson T-Shirt

MD Anderson is amazing.    Literally, amazing.   For starters, it's huge.  Just like going to a sporting event or trying to park in downtown San Francisco for dinner, parking is the first thing you think of when approaching the complex.   After circling and seeing multiple "Full" signs on 15 story parking garages, we found a spot and made it into the "primary" MD Anderson building.    Asked the front desk that was next to the "Aquarium", "Bookstore", big "Souvenir" shop and "Art Display" (because who doesn't want a "My mom and dad went to MD Anderson and all I got was this crummy t-shirt") where to go, and she pointed at Elevator T, 9th floor.    When you walk off the elevator there is a huge waiting room with "MD Anderson Melanoma Clinic" above the entrance.........ahhhhh, my people!!!   "Paperwork" on an iPod, and I was called back......super nice nurse, and a somewhat pushy and over the top "nice" research nurse and then the GREAT Adam entered the room.    Adam is Dr. Ross' PA, or wing man, right hand man, just all around great dude.   We chat for 15 min, and he gets all the pertinent info down to present to Dr. Ross in some super top secret room where I envision Dr. Ross sitting on a big throne with scantily clad nurses fanning him and feeding him grapes.   Then the smell of freshly cut grapes filled the air, as a heavenly glow shown under the door, and after an angelic knock, Dr. Ross entered the room to a huge ovation.   Dr. Ross is the man, super great guy, and all round great doctor.   He has known Dr. B from med school, and asked Adam to try and get him on the phone after questioning me about why the melanoma was removed, instead of keeping the mass intact, and monitoring it versus various treatments or trials.   Adam sticks his head in the door two minutes later with Dr. B on hold.......Dr. Ross steps in the hall to discuss.    They have a good discussion, have a plan if it comes back, and Dr. Ross comes back in.    He wants to do a sonogram on both sides of my neck, and a needle biopsy on anything that doesn't look normal.    He sends me off to the Ross Clinic, which is a 1.3 mile walk through the Sky Bridge system connecting all the buildings.    Literally there is a "golf cart" side of the Sky Bridge, and a "walking" side of the bridge.   Side note/question:   Why do people in white doctors coats look smart.   I could go the Drag in Austin, grab a homeless dude, shower and quick shave before putting him in navy slacks and a white doctors coat that says "Dr. Wilkins, Emergency Trauma Medicine" and he would INSTANTLY look like he knows what he's doing.     So back to the walk......I get to the Ross Clinic and check in for the sonogram.     A really nice tech lady does the very thorough sonogram, and walks down the hall with the results.   A really smart guy (no clue if he was smart or not, but he had a white dr. coat on) appears and says he would like to do a needle biopsy on the left side, he thinks he can tell which lymph node was 'of concern' on the report from last month.   So they set up for the needle biopsy, make me sign consent forms, and another VERY smart guy enters the room......he must have been smart because he had a white coat on AND scrubs.........ooooooooooooohhhhh, impressive.    He jabs me and pokes me with multiple needles, and drops it on some slides.    The nurse hands me an ice pack and a big wad of gauze and they disappear to the floor below us, to have the slide read, right then and there....again, MD Anderson is the real deal.   20 minutes later the doctor sticks his head back in the room and says "Not malignant, you are free to go."     AMEN........finally a sliver of good news!!!!!!!!!     A 1.3 mile walk back to the car and we are on our way back to Mindy and Dave's house to get the girls.  

Tomorrow I have a 2:00 appt with the oncology team.    Dr. Ross had some interesting opinions on the treatment options, but we will wait to hear what the team has to say tomorrow.    And I'll update the blog again tomorrow night.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers!

Mike "I'm wearing a white coat to the office next week" Peters

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