29 October 2010

Three month checkup

Yesterday was Ford's followup day at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital. He was scheduled for a 7:30 am PET scan, followed by a blood draw. His appointment with Dr. Glenn was scheduled for 4:40 pm. This large gap in time was to allow time for the results of the PET scan to be completed by the radiologist and then sent to Dr. Glenn.

We had made arrangements to fill that time. Ford needed to move information from his old computer to his new computer and Apple had told us they would need approximately 24 hours to complete that task. We figured that as long as we were going to do that transfer, it would be a good time to retrieve information from our old computers and move them to the computer that I would be using. This included a MAC Performa that was purchased in 1994. The long and short of it all was that all of our computers were at the Apple Store in downtown SLC. Since we estimated that the appointment at the HCH would be done about 6 pm on Thursday, that was no problem. We even scheduled a workshop for Ford to attend from 3 to 4 pm at the Apple Store leaving us enough time to get back to the 4:40 pm appointment.

When the PET scan was completed and we checked in for the lab work, the nurse told us that there was a possibility that we could come in at 12:30 pm instead of waiting until 4:40 pm. Okay. That was probably a good thing. Then we would get the results earlier and would ease the tension of awaiting the pending outcome a bit.

We left the HCH and went to the U of U Guest House where we had stayed overnight. We had asked for a late checkout, but if we hurried we could check out by the normal 11 am time. We were back in our room at about 10:20 am and were getting things gathered and packed when the phone rang. It was Nurse Debbie asking if we could come right back in and see the Dr. now. We dropped everything and made it back up to the HCH. We were ushered right back into a room and there we waited... for about 30 minutes before Nurse Debbie stopped in to apologize, tell us that the opening they thought they had, had closed up very quickly. Then, as if she had anticipated our anxiousness, assured us that we had not been called back immediately because they had found some abnormality in the scan or blood work. ~whew~ So we waited a bit longer, about 30 or 40 minutes more. When Dr. Glenn came in, she checked the meds chart for updates and said she was glad that Ford was off the coumadin. She asked the usual questions about pain, abnormalities, activity level, endurance, etc. Then she told us that while the results of the PET scan were not yet completed, she had taken a look at the pictures and she could not detect any difference between the previous tests. The MALT was not advancing and there was no sign of the Diffuse Large B-cell lymphoma. The blood work looked wonderful. All the numbers were where they were supposed to be. She was happy, because the previous check there was abnormal results with the hemoglobin and she had been concerned. Those were now normal. She questioned him about his nice tan and then there was a bit of a discussion about sun exposure, sun screen, and protection. Then she told us that unless the report from the radiologist had something different than what she had observed, she would see him in another 3 months. She did reiterate that there was the option of irradiating the areas in the stomach that showed the MALT and they could completely get rid of the lymphoma or they could wait until Ford showed some signs of problems. Ford said that he would wait and she commented that she thought that is what he would respond, but was just checking. Nurse Debbie told us that when the results came in from the radiologist she would email them to us. That was great! Now we just needed to get a computer back from the Apple Store so we could receive the email when we got home.
We left the HCH about 12:20 pm, finished checking out from the Guest House and went to lunch. Then Ford attended the workshop and afterwards asked about his computer. We checked in and were put in line and waited. About thirty minutes into our wait, the young man that was managing the flow of customers and customer service began to get concerned at how long we had been waiting. (The store was really crowded and there were a lot of people waiting for help of one type or another.) After some confusion about who to ask, where that person was, and which computer we were needing, we were connected with the right person and told that Ford's computer would be about another 30 minutes. The others would be ready in a day or two. While waiting the next 30 minutes, it dawned on us to check the email through Ford's phone. We did and only found a test email to make sure that the email address was correct before sending medical information. Finally, a little after 5 pm, we loaded up the computer and headed home. The first thing we did when we arrived home was to set the computer up and check the email. The results from the radiologist were just as Dr. Glenn had observed. Everything looked essentially the same. Hooray! It would have been great had things lessened a bit (like the last PET scan had shown), but with no advancing and no recurrences, we will take it and be grateful.

We are glad it is over with for another 3 months and will continue to look for ways to improve.