We discussed the options for treatment and I expressed my desire to not have surgery but to start with chemo and radiation. He stated that he wants to start with a PET Scan to which I agreed. He wants to consult with the Oral Surgeon Dr. Sall, Radiation Oncologist Dr. Long, as well as my ENT Dr. Beyer. They will decide what course of treatment I will have after reviewing the PET Scan.
He does not feel that I am a candidate for surgery. He also does not feel that I am in Stage 4. We will soon find out.
He told me that there is a chance that my Humana insurance may not pay for the PET scan. If they do not pay then I will have to have a full body CT Scan instead.
I then had a meeting with the Patient Navigator Vickie Boudreaux - LPN. Walked me through the resources available to me and gave me a packet of information. I asked for her assistance in getting a home health worker, a volunteer to drive me to and from my treatments, and Meals on Wheels. These will be welcomed as I enter the final stage of treatment. I explained that I live alone.
Had some blood work done and then went home.
Here is my team.
Dr. McGaw - Medical Oncologist
Dr. Long - Radiation Oncologist
Dr. Beyer - ENT
Vickie Boudreaux - LPN - Patient Navigator
Everyone was nice and pleasant and the facility is fairly new, only 6 years old.
Cancer fighting technology available at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center includes the Elekta linear accelerator, for fast, more accurate diagnosis; advanced intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment capability; imageguided radiation therapy (IGRT) treatment capability; positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) capabilities.
This is not the scary part. The mask is the scary part.