Thursday, December 4, 2014

First Day at CTCA

We were supposed to go over to Cancer Treatment Center of America next week, but since Rudy is having so many drug interaction issues, we were able to have the appointment moved up.

Today (December 4th) was so full that I hardly know where to begin.  I guess I'll just go in chronological order.

We had our first appointment at Cancer Treatment Center of America.  Rudy and I got to CTCA early so we sat in the lobby and just took it in.  It's like a huge swanky hotel.  It was very busy - tons of people going here and there.  The wild thing - every single person we saw (patients and workers) was smiling.  I'm not exaggerating.  Ask Linda and Nancy.  It continued thru the day - every person we met was positive and happy and enthusiastic.  I really felt like we were in an alternate universe.

Rudy met with 5 people (or maybe more)  today and each one asked more questions than anyone we've met with so far.  They gathered lots of history - Rudy's history, his immediate family and extended family.  They were thorough.  

They were also organized.  OMG!  I have a DELUXE binder with everything I need to know and everything is organized with tabs and card holder pages and more.  If I want to look something up, I'll be able to find it easily.

Everyone we met said if we have questions, call them.  I have most everyone's number.  AND we can call over there 24/7.  If Rudy has trouble on a weekend, we won't be in a random emergency room being seen by someone who doesn't have access to his records.  Everything Rudy needs in regards to his health will be taken care of in this one facility.

We had a tour of the infusion room.  It's not one big room with all the patients.  There are large individual private rooms with TVs.  And Rudy can have guests.  They also have a nice porch so if someone gets tired of being cooped up inside, they can relax outside.

The whole facility felt more like a hotel than a medical facility.  

The cafeteria food was very good.  95-98% organic.  Much of it local grown.
This farm also sells produce at the hospital - market style - on Tuesdays.  This family has a child who was diagnosed with cancer at age 4 and they did a 180 degree change in their lifestyle and eating (hence the farm name).  Their child is now 12 and fine.  Apparently, the family really knows their stuff about fighting cancer with food and is very willing to share.

I am always a little nervous eating out.  I can't be sure what people have done to the foods that I may not be able to tolerate.  You'd think salads would be safe, but many places dip their lettuces in a solution to keep the leaves looking fresh longer.  Also, having dressing out is a big risk.  I took a gamble today and was just fine.  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Now, I won't have to pack my lunch on long days.    That'll be so nice.

I know I must be leaving stuff out.  The bottom line - we were all bowled over and feel like we're in very good hands.

Once home, we had something sad to deal with.  Our very old dog (17 or 18 years old), Lulu, had to be put down today.  She had a stroke overnight.  When we got up this morning, her feet were turning under and she was having a very hard time staying upright.   My sweet dad went with me to the vet. Lulu had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia and told she would likely only live another month or two.  That diagnosis was three years ago.  She lived a good long life, so we're trying to focus on that.

Late this afternoon, after Rudy took a nice nap, he wanted to go for a spin in his new Challenger.  I went along and boy, was that fun.  I've never been one to care much about cars as  long as they were safe and reliable, but I have to say, it was really fun riding around in this one.  Rudy made sure to test the power a few times.  It definitely has way more get-up-and-go than anyone would need.  I felt myself being thrown back in my seat on several occasions (and Rudy never broke the speed limit).   

So that was our day.  

We'll be back over at CTCA for more meetings tomorrow.