Shortly following the oncology meeting, I met with a pain management practitioner who suggested a plan slightly different from my current, self-prescribed, "avoid all pain killers until the last minute" plan. He recommended I take on a proactive approach and commit to a regular schedule throughout the day, which could actually have me be pain-free every day. He also recommended I retire my sacred donut pillow. He shared a few rather unpleasant scenarios/problems the "out dated donut pillow" can cause. After he was done, I decided its time to upgrade to a Tempur-pedic form fitting pillow. He believes I could actually be sitting in a chair with no pain should I follow his two recommendations. At first I was a little skeptical about this meeting. However, I have to say it sounds like a plan worthy of my investment.
The most important part of our day - the part that had the two fo us laughing and joking as we took the shuttle ride home - was my final meeting with the surgeon. We left feeling hopeful. The surgeon believes it is a possibility for me to have resection surgery if the chemotherapy and radiation treatments shrink the tumor and create the necessary two centimeter gap between it and the sphincter muscle. To know the possibility is still present? It brought tears to my eyes. It's a possibility that inspires me a great deal.
As Daniela & I discussed this wonderful possibilty, we at organic curry tofu and vegan bean thread rolls (which were surprisingly absolutely delicious). For lunch we had fresh carrot juice (note: we scored more carrot juice in the late afternoon!), vegan organic lentil soup, organic vegetable sushi, organic fresh steamed broccoli and organic fresh-lemon snap peas. Delicious, vegan, organic and no out of pocket expense. It's all a part of being a patient. When ever my care-taker and I are in the hospital we pay nothing for fresh, delicious, organic food. Yeah, you can tell - I'm very impressed. And yes, they have organic meat & cheese for those who are interested.
Another perk for patients at the Easterrn Regional Medical Center is the free flights when I ever I have an appointment at the hospital. No that is not a type-o. And if that's not enough, they provide shuttle transportation to and from the airport, to your hotel and/or patient apartment (rented through the hosital) as well as the supermarket. Heck, they even provide evening driving tours of Philadelphia.
Fly me in, drive me to and fro, grace me with extraordinary service and then feed me all the organic food I care to eat??? This place seems almost unreal. Did I mention they have homeopathic practitioners who provide remedies to reduce radiaton and chemotherapy side effects? Yeah. And minus the reduced cost-apartment rental ($30/day) or hotel costs ($45/day), my insurance covers everything. [HUGE EXHALE] Let this be the final stage of my healing process. That would be a beautiful thing.
And why is all of this available?
When I first arrived this mornig, I was looking for the catch. Could it really be this good? Now the day is complete and I am truy moved by the commiment of this organization. Outstanding.