My Life With Cancer Part 21
When doctors want something they are relentless, especially when it comes to money and insurance. OK, maybe not the doctors themselves so much as the administration of the hospital. My refusing Chemo was costing the hospital anywhere from twenty to one hundred thousand dollars; it's big business. So I know my doctor was getting called on the carpet as to why I wasn't following his suggestions.
That's where the next tactic came in, get me to agree to a second opinion. After getting hounded I finally agreed, on one condition, I didn't have to pay for it since I didn't want it. It was agreed on then. I would fly to Seattle, go to the great big Cancer Alliance Center and meet with world renowned Dr. John Pagel. I figured with his background maybe he would have some idea why my tumors aren't really acting like Lymphoma or Hodgkin's.
It was just a few days before my birthday. Brenda and I did our morning show together, then she dropped me off at the airport. I would spend the day in Seattle, see Dr Pagel, get his wise words of wisdom, and come back late ready to share everything with my doctors.
I arrived in Seattle where this volunteer who had to be at least 305 picked me up to take me across town to the cancer center. No really, she was so old she had shrunk to the size of a hobbit. She actually drove with her hand on the top of the steering wheel and looked through it to see. Thank goodness we never went over 50 the whole time we were on the highway, or on the side streets, and on 300 feet of sidewalk. Now that I think about it, her cruise control may have been on the whole time until she hit the brakes just before the door.
I got out, kissed the ground and thanked her for getting me there safely. She offered to pick me up when I was done, but I told her not to worry, I had a ride back. I went to check in and it reminded me of checking in for a sea cruise, except everyone spoke in soft hushed tones, like if they spoke up the cancer would suddenly find you, kind of like a zombie.
My appointment was for two and it was just now noon, so no problem, I can kill a couple hours on the internet. About a quarter until two I went to my floor on the slowest elevator in the world. Not sure, but maybe cancer likes fast elevators too. I got to like the sixth or seventh or seventy fifth floor, I'm not sure 'cause I nodded off at least three times getting there. Checked in with yet another desk, handed them my special card that said I was a first time cruiser, and got myself an apple juice. See, I told you it was like being on a cruise.
The person at the desk told me to have a seat, that it would be just a few. Just a few in medical terms must have a different meaning than just a few in mine, because it would be nearly 5 pm before I would see anyone that even resembled a doctor. Thank goodness I had the coolest view of the bay you could imagine and a whole host of people to talk to.
Remember the waiting room for radiation, this was even better and it was more quiet than a Sunday silent prayer.