01/12/2016: PET Scan Results and 13th Infusion @MD Anderson


7:00:  Up we are.

8:00:  Uncle Victor picks us up and we head to the airport.

8:30: At the airport.

8:45:  Through security.  Takes longer to go through security with king cakes and warmer clothes for colder weather.

8:50:  Sitting at gate C6.

9:25:  Boarding begins.

9:40:  Push back from the gate.

9:47:  We are taxing to the runway.

9:50:  Take Off

10:50: Landed

10:55: Off the plane.

10:58: On the skyway.

11:00: Off the skyway.

11:05: Jumping on the bus.  Express 102 to downtown.

12:10:  Off of the express 102 bus.  We walk the two blocks to main street and then over a block.  The light rail is there, but we have to buy our single ride tickets.  We buy them and wait for the next train.

12:15:  We are on the next train.

12:40:  We are off the light rail train and walking to MD Anderson.

12:43:  Inside the Duncan Building.

12:45:  Hitting fee sky bridge over to the Main building.

12:55:  Through for sky bridge.  To elevator B to the eighth floor.

13:00:  I check in at the Stem Cell Transplant Center.  However there is a hold on my account and I will need to go down to the 6th floor and talk to the lymphoma center who needed to call the business center so that someone from the business center could talk to me before I can head back to the Stem Cell Transplant Center.

13:05:  I check in at the Lymphoma Center and they call the business center and ask me to have a seat.

13:10:  I check a voicemail I missed and it the financial pending department telling me that I am not cleared for my PET Scan because they are still waiting for insurance to approve it and for Dr. Rodriguez to call them back.

13:11:  I make a call to Emily and leave a voicemail asking her to follow up on all this as I am just relaying the info in the voicemail to her.

13:15:  Emily calls me back and tells me everything is fine, that I am part of a research study, and the study will be paying for the PET scan.  To just let them know that if they ask that I am cleared financially to do the scan because the study is coveting the scan.

13:20:  I get a phone call from Dr. Briton’s office asking me if I am keeping my appointment because they were waiting on me.  I tell the nurse that I already checked in, but because of a hold on my account, the Stem Cell Transplant Center sent me down to the Lymphoma Center to clear up a hold on my account, and then I will be heading back.

13:28:  The receptionist at the Lymphoma Center comes and tells me that she is waiting on the Business Center to get back to her.  The original person that she contacted stepped out to lunch, so I am waiting for someone else to follow up on my request.

13:55:  I get called by a Business Center person.  The hold on the account is for the Insurance Company not approving the PET scan.  I told the lady that I talked to my research nurse and that the research was going to pay for it.  She asked me my research nurse’s name and said she would email her and that the Business Center person j was wasted for wouldn’t be getting off of lunch to 14:03.  She tells me to go back to Stem Cell Transplant and explain it to them and the hold should be off sooner or later.

14:00:  I check back in with the stem cell transplant center.  She says she still can’t check me in because there is a hold on my account.  I go through the whole thing again and she gives me the paperwork to fill out and gives me my armband but still can’t check me in.

14:03:  I start filling out my paperwork.

14:15:  I get my vitals taken.

14:20:  Sitting back in the lobby.

14:50: Called to the back.  We first meet with the nurse who goes over all the basics.  Then I meet with the PA who covers the whole process of transplant.  Any transplant at MD Anderson requires a 3 – 4 month relocation to Houston.  She gives us an overview then we wait for the doctor.  Dr. Neito has three options.  A autologus stem cell transplant, a haplo transplant using my sister, or a trial transplant that MD Anderson is developing that they have done 35 transplants with so far.  The last is very promising and the results are very well especially for patients like me who are in complete remission.  The last option just might be the best for me.  The doctor is very thorough in explaining everything.  Next we meet the quardinator.  She gives me a book for things to go over also a business card plastic sheet with inserts of everyone I will be dealing with throughout the process.  Insurance companies do not allow two transplant doctors/hospitals so I need to find out where Tulane left off and coordinate the two with whomever I choose go do the transplant and move forward accordingly. I am running behind schedule because of the hold on my account.  I tell the coordinator I will review everything, find out where I left off with Tulane and make a decision on what I will do next.  I need to get to my PET scan as it was scheduled for me to check in at 15:30 and it is now 16:45.  The coordinator is fine with me getting everything straight and finding out where I left off with Tulane, make my decision and if MD Anderson is my choice then get everything from Tulane with where I left off.

14:50:  We head out of the office and head over to the hotel to check in.

14:55:  Checked in, drop everything in the room and head to the skywalk back to the May’s Clinic to elevator T.  I head up to the 6th floor to the Nuclear Medicine.

17:05:  I check in.  They ask me if I am add on or what, as they don’t see me.  I explain to them that insurance wasn’t paying for it. I had a hold but the research was paying for the scan.  They found my paperwork and processed me that way.  They gave me the paperwork to fill out.

17:10:  I am taken to the back.  Blood sugar taken, 131 it is.Injected with the radioactive sugar and left for about an hour.  I take a nap.

18:05:  I am taken from the little waiting area, bathroom break and then put into the PET scan machine.  New machine, new room, this machine takes you in slowly the whole time, it doesn’t scan in sections like the other machine does which jerks the patient for every section of scanning as needed.  You lay on a moveable table that moves you though the machine and this one just moves you slowly non stopped all the way through compared to the other which stops and jerks you for each section of the scan.

18:45:  All done with the scan.  I meet my dad in the waiting area, then down Elevator T to the 2nd floor to the skywalk to the Rotary House.  My wife is wondering the the Hospital, so I set out to help her find her way back while my mom and dad head to the restaurant.  I wonder through locked doors that need key card access.  Someone helped her through to where I started, but I couldn’t get back the short way and had to make my way through that skywalk to the main building to the skywalk to the rotary house.  We then meet my parents, but with the new construction and temporary relocation of the restaurant, they are only doing a buffet where they are eating.  I want my steak that I get after each scan.  So we go upstairs to another makeshift lounge during the construction which is normally a conference room.

20:45: All done with supper, going to head over to get some yogurt from the Fro Yo yogurt stand that closes at 21:00.  However they closed it early tonight, so no Fro Yo.  We had back to the hotel room briefly and discuss our next set of plans for the evening.  Good time for a bathroom break as well.

22:30:  My wife and I head over to the park.  At night they have different items on the menu, such as personal pizza’s and other cooked dishes for the overnight workers lunches (midnight meal).  My wife and I share a pizza or two and some tasty deserts that they have.

23:45: We walk back through the maze of hallways and skyways to our hotel room and turn in for the night.

23:59: ZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZz

© Craig