It's been a LONG day. I started about 530am. Which is a 330am Arizona time. I wasn't up but I wasn't asleep! That's the most important part of this statement! We left the hotel about 9am sharp. I mean 9am ON THE DOT, they run on a schedule around this place. Everything is done by a schedule. Which makes this girl happy considering being organized is kind of a big deal for me!
I am what they would clinically call one to be OCD. I honestly don't know how Scott lives with me. :) He has told me before I need therapy!
ANYWAYS...I wasn't to check into the hospital at "First Connection" until 11:45am. We checked in about 9:30am. It was a busy place at the 9 O'clock hour. We had shuttles, limos, cars, trucks, vans, walkers, just people EVERYWHERE. We got our badges and were told how to use them, how to get to the "Wholesome Bistro" and to be back at first connection by 11:45am. We had breakfast, which wasn't what either of us expected. It was food however. We sat and talked in the bistro for about an hour and decided to go for a walk around "town" and see what we could see. This was the view from about a block away. I can't make the photo bigger I am sorry...but the white building to the right of the photo is a small portion of the hospital.
The whole town looks like this...It's something you would see in the movies. All the roads all over town have trees lining them, I can only imagine how beautiful this place is when all the trees are in bloom. The little house to the left is a Bed and Breakfast. Cute little place really. Zion is about 45 minutes to an hour away from Chicago. We asked why they tell us the facility is in Chicago when it's not. They couldn't answer that, but said the reason for it being in Zion is because it's so spread out, room for expansion for one, Chicago is a big busy city, and stressful. Whereas Zion is very laid back and kinda peaceful. They want all their patients having a stress free atmosphere. This is everywhere in this town. They know you are from CTCA and they are just so nice and pleasant. The cab driver wouldn't even take a TIP, cuz he said "he was here to take care of us, not us take care of him".
After we got checked in we met so many people, I have business cards to prove it! I can't tell you really who they all were, what they did or why I met them. I just know I have a business card to call them day or night if I needed anything. Our first visit was with the financial services. Like Bannon said "Figures you have to hit the financial office first. America" LMAO You crack me up B! This is where she broke down my benefits with insurance and gave me a run down of what to expect. Then we met the RN. She collected my medical history. From there we were moved to a bigger room and saw the Nutritionist, this was about 5 minute visit, since I didn't have any side effects or complaints. Then she said I was doing everything she would tell me to do already so that was that. We would be in touch after treatment started.
Next they sent in the Naturopath. I can't for the life of me tell you what his name is. I have his business card though, with a picture so I can study that later. This visit was quick as well. He knew I was seeing Dr. Rubin in Scottsdale and said "Oh yeah I know Dan!!" So that's a good start. Said he would be seeing what my treatment plan was and then he would come up with his treatment plan based off what Dr. Rubin is doing in Scottsdale.
After this we sat and waited a long little bit getting anxious. Med Onc was up next. I DO however remember her name. DR. WILLIAMS. She is an older lady with gray hair, soft hands and a warm smile. She did a pelvic exam (never a fun part of these appointments). She wants to do some imaging. I am not sure exactly what imaging yet, but I know she was wanting to do another PET Scan. Since my last PET was about 2 months ago. She is going to do some brain imaging as well, since none has been done on me, and my cancer can metastasize to the brain. She is ONLY doing this as precaution to make sure we have a baseline of imaging of my brain. She doesn't suspect anything. More labs were ordered, any kinda of blood work that they can test me for they are. Liver, kidney, Cholesterol, thyroid, platelets, WBC, let's just say everything! They took about 8 vials of blood. I had an EKG done as well. These results will be back this week so I will have them before I leave town.
We were told in most cases patients come out for the consultations and then go home and return at a later date for treatment. We will still have all the results to anything they run on me while I am here before we leave. We left the facility about 5:40pm and took the shuttle to Wal-Mart. We HAD to get our own groceries. We had dinner at the hotel in our room last night. We ordered 2 Cesar salads, and artichoke dip...GRAND TOTAL WAS $50! Um...for WHAT exactly!? The salad was less than desirable. We didn't even eat half of either of them. I had disappointment written all over my face. We requested a "FRIDGE" to be brought to our room...MINI is what we got...No joke...I think it's about 2 feet tall and about 2 1/2 wide. Here is a picture of our MINI packed to the max with THE GOOD STUFF...
It's weird to think that this was such a hard lifestyle change, but as we were sitting in the bistro today we were talking and I told Scott I just want my juiced veggies, fish and some water. He looked at me like I was crazy! So now it feels a little more like home, complete with Blender! HA!
My poor Scotty. He has been having a hard time this trip. It's not so much of the little get away we were both hoping for. It's not in a town or city we could do things to enjoy ourselves. Take our minds off the days we have. He seemed so down and just blue today. I asked him how he was doing and he told me he was just emotional and tired. I just feel terrible. I know it takes a toll on all of my supporters. To you all I am sorry. I am sorry I have to put you all through this day in and day out. I wish there was a way I could take all your pain and stress away. Scott is really stressed out and worried about me doing treatment out here, and being out here alone. It's not going to be easy that's for sure. He had made a comment a few days ago about getting married and then moving to another state to start fresh. I asked him why? He said it would just be nice. Then after today he said "nope I can't do it, there is no place like home...and home will always be in Arizona". Looks like you all are stuck with us FOREVER! Haha!!!
He is passed out and I am actually shocked he made it home from CTCA, well he did fall asleep on the way to the hotel. I had to nudge him a few times. I think my steroids are taking over and I can't sleep. I got a few good hours on the plane and I haven't slept much since then. It is probably that coupled with the anxiety of this whole trip. I am sure I will zonk out as soon as I get home. Let's just hope I am home by Relay and I don't pass out mid Relay! :)
That's all for now, I will have more much more tomorrow I am sure.
I love you,