Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Trip #42 to the city for healthcare

Trip # 42 review of the CT Scan and Bone Scan results, as well as the DEA and PSA tests.
It's been a journey.

Follow-up with Dr. K 

2:00 p.m. Left house, not 1:50!

They are cutting all of the poisonous wild parsnip, cow parsnip, and other weeds in the ditches. It's a darn good idea.
Saw a cool grass cutter. No photo, I was driving.
Here is one from an ad. 
They sprayed our local highway ditches, then cut the dead, wild parsnip. I think I found out why. For 2016 they are running the Perth, ON Kilt Run from Rideau Ferry to Perth next June. Probably a good idea not to have this stuff growing there, what with water stations and all.  That's about 10k. It could be because this is the 200th anniversary of the town. News about that I'm sure will be forthcoming. Maybe.

We were off to Queensway-Carleton hospital. It's all part of Ottawa-Hospital. They told us they have to send non-Ottawa residents to a hospital nearer to us. We're in the western part of the city now!
Mysterious dude in Bells Corners! "Free bike taxi!"

3:10 arrived at the hospital. Checked in at the desk. I like to dress up some. It makes me feel better. I think anyone in a hospital needs to see nice textures and colours, and people who look after their appearance.

You have to love the people who donate for these buildings to be spruced up, creating wings, or building improvements. The Stiles and Bennet Atrium is an example. The Ottawa Firefighters helped pay for the waiting room.

If you are having radiation treatments, you can sign onto the computer and complete the ESAS on-line, to have it added to your records.

The ESAS is an excellent quickie self-administered reporting form for symptoms. There are always a variety of people, some dreadfully thin, others wearing head scarves, sitting in the waiting areas.

An important part of treatments is reporting symptoms in case the efficacy of the treatment plan goes awry.

I recommend this form for my clients, too. That and the PPS. It helps families to keep track when reporting back to physicians.

 Patients can report their ESAS scores electronically at many regional cancer centres using ISAAC. Find out more about ISAAC (Interactive Symptom Assessment and Collection)

3:32 We were taken into the room, not bad for a 3:30 appointment! Lee-ann, our nurse, checked the files to ensure that the test reports were in the hard copy of the file. We still have an issue locating the colonoscopy report done at the Ottawa Gastrointestinal Institute clinic.

The mistake with this particular test: it was done in a separate clinic last February, and the report was not faxed to our two doctors: the urologist, and our GP (Dr. KR) or to the wrong place.
In addition, post-procedure, the doctor who performed the colonoscopy (Dr. B) spoke to hubby in the recovery room, WITHOUT ME THERE, while JB was coming out of the anesthetic. That really peeved me off. Dr. B gave some verbal directions, which didn't make it to our urologist.

There is a lot of psychosocial and educational (e.g., nutritional) support for those confronting cancer. It's good to know people are talking about this.

3:50 in came our Dr. K. Hubby's gown says, "Please wash your hands" but our doctor says it's subliminal for him, he doesn't even see the message any more. He did wash his hands, though!

I had a bit of fatigue, I was thirsty and suddenly had some dizziness. Thankfully, I had my Stewart Park Festival mug with me and grabbed a spot of water from the tap. It's a light plastic, and really handy! We used it at the park with the girls last week!

Time for a peek. The doctor pulled the curtain, as if I hadn't seen any of this before!!! (Trip #42, right?!)
the curtain in iPad photo mode

After, we had a long sit with the physician, to determine treatment plans, options, and side effects. Another mistake: the colonoscopy report is still missing. We went to our GP after our last visit, two weeks ago, and asked the clerk to fax them to the urologist (Dr. C), and our radiation oncologist (this guy, Dr. K). Dr. K is going to demand a consult with the clinic's doctor who did the procedure. The system isn't broken, it just has a few cracks. In this case, blame a clerk, methinks.


The tests do not indicate that there is spread outside of the two lymph nodes. This is good. It's a matter of time, and then we'll do some anti-hormone therapy, which will slow it down.
The PSA test is down slightly. This is good, too.
Hubby's PSA test results
We asked the doctor for copies of the most recent tests: CT Scan, Bone scan, CEA, PSA. He said to go upstairs to medical records and ask for them, then they will print them. We would have to pay a fee. We'll just go back to the GP and get them. And we tracked down the mysterious colonoscopy report, two days later. It was negative for colon cancer. More good news.

4:23 we were done, the doctor spent a half hour with us. I could tell he was getting a bit antsy, but there were questions asked and answered! There is much to learn.
 We paid our $11 parking fee. Very few cars left in the parking lot. It was closing time!

5:30 at the pub for dinner. One seldom feels like cooking after these marathons. Home again to sleepy cats.


Nancy J said...

The PSA chart looks as though those levels are OK, but, like you, I want to know all the facts.. like hen's teeth, not everyone knows everything. Take care, dear friend, we are going home today, it will be a long trip, stopping every 30 minutes for a get out and stretch your legs... Take care. hugs and moreXX

Kay said...

Wow! What an exhausting day. It's hard when the doctors don't all have the same information. I guess they have to get their technology team coordinated so everyone is connected and can access information quickly. Thank goodness the colonoscopy report came out negative. That's a relief!

William Kendall said...

At least it's productive, this trip.

The cats woke up long enough to ask, "did you bring us anything?"

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
The usual tiring sojourn; but lots of positives here; glad the colon report turned up AND was negative. On an entirely superfluous note - love your scarf toggle! YAM xx

Red said...

This is a full time job. You have to be on these guys all the time. I feel sorry for the little old granny who's on her own. She doesn't stand a chance to get proper treatment. Communication doesn't register with me either when I'm coming out of anesthetic. I tell them make sure my wife is here when you talk to me. I wouldn't know if somebody talked to me at all. Keep fighting.

DeniseinVA said...

Big thumb's up to you both for a day like that. Please give each other a big hug from this blogging pal in Virginia.

Olga Hebert said...

That is such a long day.
A friend of mine somehow got the poison parsnip oil on her face--nasty stuff!!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I am glad you got your questions answered and glad things were not all bad. Very stressful though for you both.