I do know that other Stage IV patients have had surgery at other places, and I do know that not every Stage IV patient would qualify for it, and I do know that fighting Kaiser for a surgery somewhere else might take too long, but it remains to be seen. I don't want to go back to the UCLA doctor, altho he was recommended by the head oncology surgeon as the most familiar with clinical trials. I also know that the head surgeon said to start with this particular chemo and see what happens and then consider clinical trials. I also believe Kaiser may not do surgery on Stage IV because it is most generally a losing proposition and too costly. So we have to wait until this course of treatment is over and see her response.
One thing for sure, she is suffering terribly from the chemo. The pump was removed Sunday morning, and she has had 4 days of absolute misery. Last night we had to take her to the ER to be hydrated, as she has not been able to drink enough water. And she hasn't eaten either. She gets cravings for certain foods, but when put in front of her, she gags. Last night's craving was a mushroom-pasta dish from the Cheesecake Factory, which Bert ran over and picked up for her, and this morning it sits in its box in the frij. She is still hoping to eat it later today, but has already insisted I take half. She wants to be in hospital for the two/three days of next chemo so more can be done to ease the severe reaction, but I don't think that will fly with Kaiser. I think they will send her home with a hydration set-up.
Kaiser has wonderful clinics for this, that, and the other thing, to cover all bases and teach you how to take care of yourself at home so you don't have to bother them. By making the appointment at the Palliative Clinic prior to the first chemo, it's obvious they have already made up their mind about her. I'm no dummy, I read. I know what she's up against and how few survive the odds. But their anticipation at the very beginning is telling more than it should.
You ought to see the paperwork you get from every office. Reams and reams. And every paper has an emergency or night and weekend number to call for help if you need it, whether it be nurse or pharmacy. BUT IF YOU CALL, IT IS MERELY A MESSAGE CENTER. THE WAIT IS AN HOUR AND A HALF. AND YOU DON'T ALWAYS GET CALLED BACK. Thank goodness for 24 hour CVS and Rite-Aid.
I spoke to a friend yesterday, told him of my concerns with Kaiser, and disappointment with UCLA, and my conflicted feelings about returning. He said it was not the "mountain top," and thought Cedars was better. He urged me to take her there, and I will be making a call for information on their pancreatic cancer clinic. She is still so bright and beautiful, so capable and good. If we're going down, it won't be without a fight
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