Friday, May 13, 2011

Cancer Free Weekend

Meagan was cleared for takeoff, so today we fly to Southern California, returning Monday morning. The occasion is Riley's graduation from Pomona College. The weather looks to be about perfect. A good thing, given Casey and I helped Meagan go shopping for a spring graduation festivity dress that only really works if the temp is north of 70 degrees. She has a number of new hats and scarves that will look great and cover up the healing scars and avoid sunburn due to her shorn head.
She does have a big old divot on her head in addition to the horseshoe scar which we haven't figured out how it got there. They may have drilled in a pressure release valve up there before the major surgery. We will ask our surgeon at the followup visit in a couple weeks.
We are still awaiting the radiation scheduler to get back to tell us when her initial scan day is, plus the schedule of radiation treatments. We were first a victim of the billing department pit of hell and their need to get preauthorization from our insurance company. The standard length of time is 7-14 days and once you get approval then you get scheduled. After I hadn't heard back the next morning of our initial radiology visit I called only to be informed of their process. Let's just say I wasn't very happy. We are now on an expedited process so should know by Tuesday but I also discovered I could sign a waiver agreeing to pay no matter what, which I readily agreed to do - so that got me moved from billing to scheduling.
But it doesn't get better my friends. We have technicians out on vacation early next week and the good doctor is on vacation the following week. They only want 4 or so days in between the scans and start of treatment (so their radiation scheme is as current and therefore effective as possible) so it could be early June before she starts. The scheduler is talking with the doctor about alternative options, it may be Meagan could get scanned next week and the doc has time to build the plan with the neurosurgeon and physicist and then once it's done even if she's on vacation, Meagan can still undergo treatment. Because at that point the treatment is driven by a computer program and robotic radiation beam delivery device and the presence of the doc is unimportant. And they have plenty of other competent radiologists and neurosurgeons on duty. So I am waiting to hear from the scheduler.
All this causes me a fair bit of stress and organizational juggling. Thankfully Meagan is unaware or uncaring. She is still living most of the the time in her right brain, we should all be so fortunate! She's had a good week of visitors and her eating has somewhat normalized. As you may have seen, she has resumed some posting on Facebook and email although it takes a while. She's ready for the treatment whenever it's scheduled (she's pretty much lost all sense of time and the passing of time) and also ready for her future treatment of the Interleukin-2 at the hospital for two weeks. As ready as if I told her we were going to run errands - no stress or anxiety.
It should be a fun and joyous weekend. It will be intetesting to see how she does with large crowds. But there will be lots of family to help guide and protect her. She still needs reminders and help walking in new places with her visual field diminishment. She needs to scan, turn her head from side to side as she walks to avoid walking into things she doesn't see on her right side. She had a few head wackage incidents this week running into open doors. Her confidence sometimes outruns her competence.
So this weekend we will try to set the cancer aside and celebrate one of life's rites of passage. We are looking forward to seeing Riley and his friends.

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