Monday, November 17, 2014

I talked to CCTA

CTCA stands for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, but I'm hoping to call it Can Take Cancer Away.

Rudy and I are very blessed.
We have MANY people who have special places in our heart!

As posted before, I have a number of friends with contacts there and I got a call from one more friend today - Renee - and now the ball is rolling.  If there are no snafu's, Rudy should have his second chemo at CTCA - Friday, Dec 12, the same time we would have had the 2nd treatment with Assikis.  Please pray that the transition goes smoothly!!!

Renee called to tell me about her contact, Amy, and after several phone calls and emails, Amy helped put everything in motion.  Rudy is now in their system, Release papers are being faxed.  I have talked to 3 patient advocates and ended talking to a man named Ryan who took me through the whole process.  I have been given LOADS of information.  Everyone was wonderful.

There were several standout points.

When we go for our first meeting (around Dec 10), we will meet with the lung team, including several doctors from the oncology dept, a nutritionist, a naturopath, and a mind/body specialist.  He explained the importance of each one of these people and the inclusion of the naturopath and nutritionist, in particular, will be important for me.  Not only will the nutritionist and naturopath tell us what to eat/what to take, but they'll also tell us what to avoid.  There are some herbs and supplements that conflict with certain chemo treatments.  They can cause side affects, or worse, cause the chemo to be far less effective.  He told me an example of this and it touched on the very thing that scares the heck out of me.  I am reading about this and that and, to me, it all sounds like what Rudy needs, but what if what I give him is hurting him? I could kill him with kindness! So having the help from people trained in these areas will be wonderful.  Even better, they are trained in what is good for you AND what works with chemo!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Most nutritionists and naturopaths don't have that extra piece of the puzzle and it's a very important component!

They will have specialists who will be working directly on pain reduction and there are many other options that are less debilitating than hard narcotics and they can be even more effective.  Rudy would be thrilled.  He wants to drive that Challenger when it arrives!!!

In case you are wondering why we aren't switching sooner, it has to do with an agreement with the state of Georgia.  CTCA was required by GA to take at least a certain number of patients from out of state and no more than another amount from GA.  I don't know if they are trying to bring in more out of state business or what.  The bottom line is they have maxed out their GA residents for November.    Since chemo is set to begin this Friday, they felt it was important to not put that off and I heartily agree.  A patient feels best just prior to the next chemo, so that's when he'll be brought in for the transition meetings.

One more tidbit that I found sweet - they have what they call a "Mother Standard of Care".  They want their people to treat every patient like they would want their mother (or father or child or sibling) treated.  From what I experienced today, they are on target.

I want to thank Renee and Amy for their help today!   Shirley is also contacting David Kent, who I hope will be able to make sure the transition is swift and smooth.   Having his extra push will be icing on the cake!

Also, to Kathy H, Kathy G, and Lorraine - Amy knew Dr Schuler and said EVERYONE loves him.  She also knew Bruce love and spoke highly of him, too!  It sounded like they must be friends.  We have some great contacts and I feel like we're going to be in loving hands.