Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Breast surgeon visit and scurrying to get ready for the big moves

First, an update on yesterday's breast surgeon visit...everything looks good except that I have some fluid buildup under my left arm. I have been able to feel some swelling each day as it gets later and Dr.Balanoff asked if I wanted to get it drained. I said yes, but the Radiologist can't do it until Friday afternoon, when we will be loading the trailer with mom's stuff, and I need to provide a distraction for her. I'm thinking sitting in a doctor's office is not quite the distraction I had in mind so that won't work. Then Joe and I had an "ah ha" moment and remembered that we do have a hospital five minutes from the house, associated with my hospital in Overland Park. So when Dr. Balanoff's nurse called back, I asked her to see if she can set it up at the local hospital. It's not absolutely necessary that I get this done, it will eventually be reabsorbed. But it's a nuisance and I might as well get it drained if it's possible.  Hopefully she'll call back this morning and I can just run over there in my copious free time and get it done. 

While we were at the hospital yesterday, we picked up all my medical records, films, etc. that I will need for Dana Farber. Tomorrow I'll get the Plastic Surgeon records and then I'll have almost everything related to breast cancer. Rick and I went to the PCP and picked up mom's records (I have most of my stuff) and I had an A1c test. It's the only lab that hasn't been performed at least once in the last 4 months and I figured it would be good to have a recent one done. My last one was in December.

Later in the afternoon we went back to the MO/KS state line area to pick up my car, which now has new tires, front end alignment, a new shock, and an oil change. It is ready to roll, uHaul trailer in tow.  We are leaving Sunday morning with the goal of getting to Pittsburgh on Monday night.  Rick has a customer presentation on Tuesday that he needs to do "in person."  So we need to travel a little less than 900 miles in two days, which should be doable even with mom.  We'll need to make frequent stops for stretching legs, bathroom stops, etc.  Normally Rick and I can knock out 700 miles in a day, but that won't be happening with mom and a uHaul in tow!

Last night I took an hour and cleaned out all the clothes from one of the closets upstairs. I filled one small plastic bin with "keeper" stuff, and two 30-gallon plastic bags with clothes for donation.  There is another closet in the guest room that I started last night.  I'm trying to be extremely selective with what I am keeping.  Right now, it's a little easier because everything is miles too big and I'm not feeling emotional about clothes.  I'm keeping a few things that look like they might fit once my tissue expanders have reached their capacity, but mostly if things are too big, they are going into the donation bag.

Yeah, it was an insanely busy day!

Today we are going to Mom's to finish the packing. I also need to take her to a walk-in clinic for a physical. Her new facility requires one within 30 days and I couldn't get her into her doctor here, so I'll take her to a Walgreen's Clinic. No big deal, just another hoop. And the admissions director from her new place is calling at 1:00 to interview mom. I will need to be there with her to "interpret" as she doesn't do well on the phone. After all this, I just need to scan and email the health records and she will be ready to be admitted to her new place next Friday!  How the heck did I pull this off?  Does anyone out there need a project/implementation manager, because I think I've got mad skills!

And tomorrow's agenda includes a visit to the Plastic Surgeon where I hope to finally get a fill (and a little shape), pick up those records, then stop by the Pathology Lab and sign a release and pay for shipping a tissue block to Dana Farber.  Then Rick and I will head to Brian Joseph's, a local salon run by a breast cancer survivor.  A generous friend gave me a gift certificate and I will probably purchase a wig so that I am "ready" for the inevitable chrome dome.  My son suggests I should just plan on "owning" the bald look, but I'm not sure I can handle it.  So I'll be ready for wherever my emotions take me.  To be honest, the idea of wearing a wig in the heat of summer is not that appealing.  I've never been a hat person, even in sub-zero weather, and a scarf on a bald head just screams "cancer victim" to me.  I won't know how I'll feel about this until I get day at a time.


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