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Today is Thursday. I have spent the past three days at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Monday to Wednesday I had appointments, meeting with everyone from the nutritionist to the mind, body and spirit guy to the oncologist. I had expected the appointments to last all day every day; however, the appointments really only lasted through the mornings, except for Monday, when I had a few in the afternoon. I didn’t have any expectations for the visit and was just there to keep an open mind to see what they would recommend based on my previous charts and information.

The oncologist basically said he would have suggested the same path that I am currently on (starting with the cisplatin chemotherapy and then the tarceva). The nutritionist gave me some good recommendations for helping to keep food down and helping to clarify some of the “miracle diets” that supposedly cure cancer, such as the Alkaline diet and the “no sugar” diet. The naturopath doc gave me some supplements to help build my immune system and that are supposed to help with side effects of the chemo. Overall, the service is five star. Everyone on staff is really nice. CTCA almost feels like a hotel rather than a hospital. One of the things that I was really impressed with was the fact that each doctor had their laptop they carried around and were able to access my chart at the click of a button. This helped with communication, and access to information is easy compared with some of the other hospitals, where there is only one chart or binder with handwritten notes.

Today I had an appointment to meet with the radiologist and the pain management doctor. I didn’t have a ride to the appointment, so CTCA sent a limo to come pick me up for my appointment! I met with the radiologist and we discussed my pain and the radiation that I had before. The radiologist recommended that I have 15 rounds of radiation to my lower back. They scheduled this starting tomorrow with the markings, and then next Wednesday I will start the actual radiation.

I was done with this appointment around 2:30 p.m., so I had an hour and a half before the next appointment with the pain doc.

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Sounds like you had a great experience at CTCA! Limo, interesting smoothie and new pain management options!!! Good luck with your up coming surgery, I look forward to reading your update. You're in my prayers.

June 26, 2009 - 4:29pm
HERWriter Guide

Like Princeline, I think you write so well. I was also thinking "eeuuww!" when you described the first taste of your smoothie!
I hope you continue to find CTCA so great and that you beat this disease to a pulp! Thank you for your updates and for describing your life in such a practical yet poetic way.
I look forward to more.

June 26, 2009 - 12:53pm

Melissa, You write so well, I can walk right along with you and make a face when "YOU" tell of the smootie taste; appreciated your comment on the doctors laptops and medical chart accessibility. I look forward to electronic health records and all medical records being available to OUR doctors/hospitals, etc., in my opinion it will make it easier on we the patient and cause less mistakes...
You have good day and if we don't "chat" before...Happy July 4th.

June 26, 2009 - 10:11am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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