So the last month or wo I have been debating transferring my care a little closer to home. Quite honestly, the reason is money. It is expensive to travel to Nashville. I do not feel comfortable having my care only in Wichita. There are multiple reasons, but first and foremost is that my onocologist here does NOT specialize in Melanoma. He is forced to handle all different types of cancers. I dont want that. I want someone that knows MY type of cancer. I do NOT want to know more than my Dr. And I feel like that is how it is here in Wichita. No offense to my Dr, thats just how it is.
So after doing some research I decided to KU Cancer Center. When I first called to make my appt I was very clear about which Dr I wanted to see. Unfortunately that Dr was out of the state for the next month, so they put me with another Dr. I wasnt thrilled, but couldnt do anything about it. So appt was booked for me to check out the place and "interview" the Dr.
When I arrived at the Cancer Center, it was very nice and cozy. Everyone was very nice and I felt at ease. I met with the registration person and was told that I was in fact seeing the Dr I wanted to see originally! Say Whhhhaaaatttt?? Well come to find out, he heard about my case, read my file and actually requested me!:)
Because you see, I am a "medical rarity"! Since the drug I am on, Zelboraf, has only been FDA approved since August, he hasnt had anyone on this drug for more than a few months. And here I come, Ive been on this drug for almost 2 years, which is almost unheard of, with zero reoccurance and very few side effects! He was actually excited to meet ME! Crazy, right?!
The Dr and I bonded right away. He had already read most of my file. He knew exactly who my Drs were at Vanderbilt and at MD Anderson and he told me that I fascinated him and he would be happy to have me as his patient. He is very interested in Melanoma research and has been for years. He reads anything that comes out on Melanoma and Melanoma drugs and seemed to know exactly what he was talking.
One of my questions for him was, if my cancer happens to come back (which it wont!) what would he do? What would he recommend as my next step? And he passed with flying colors. He was able to give me percentages and drug names and everything. Made me feel very comfortable with putting my life in my hands. I also reassured him that if I didnt agree I would let him now. He didnt seem shocked by that...hmmmm....:)
The only thing I didnt like was he wants me to come back in 2 months instead of the 3 or 4 months like I wanted. He actually wanted me to come back every month, but I reassured him that that wouldnt be happening! Im switching to save money! I cant be driving up there every month for nothing. He is a little worried about my kidney and liver function because Zelboraf can affect those, however, after 2 years and both are fine, I am fairly certain I will be just fine!
So, overall, it was a great appt and I am pleased with my decision to switch. But, I am very sad to be leaving Vanderbilt. It was NOT an easy decision for me. And I guarantee u there will be tears when I go to Vanderbilt at the end of the month. I am very happy with my Dr there and in reality Vanderbilt has been amazing to me. It was not a decision I came to lightly and I pray I made the correct decision.