We had a pretty good day today. We met with the nurse practitioner first who took Anne's history and then did a physical. We met with the gastroenterologist, Dr. Ahlquist. So far everyone here has been super nice. It is very comforting. They are very knowledgeable, and for me that is good. I obviously don't know anything about GI stuff, but I have enough knowledge to be dangerous. Anne will have a liver biopsy tomorrow and then an appointment with the oncologist Wednesday and also the colorectal surgeon. She will have a colonoscopy on Thursday. After that, only God knows.
I have been impressed with a few things here. First, everyone is very pleasant and friendly. Maybe that's just Midwest hospitality, but I really feel they care for what they do. The motto of the Mayo Clinic is: "The needs of the patient come first" and that is definitely the culture here. Second, they seem to have good efficiency. We did have to wait a bit in the exam rooms (which were very comfortable--a couch instead of chairs to sit on) but only because they were working hard on getting appointments in a timely fashion so we might not be here forever. For instance, we originally had the appointment with the oncologist a week from this coming Wednesday, but they were able to get it in this week. I think it meant putting the colonoscopy off until after that visit, but that will be OK. They're going where the money is at this point in time--the liver. Apparently treatment depends on what type of cancer there is, and it is either an adenocarcinoma from the colon or a lymphoma (which is easier to treat). Of course, the shear size of this place is also impressive. There are a ton of buildings and a whole bunch of people working here. They have shuttle busses to get you to one campus or another and underground tunnels so you don't have to go out into the crappy weather (cold and windy with a little rain tonight). They have tons of patient information, and their instructions are easy to read. If we could only all adopt these measures in our practices. The motto to me is the most important--the patient is our primary concern, and he or she needs to be treated with the utmost respect and compassion. The golden rule would say that we should treat others the way we would want to be treated, but if I really interpret what Jesus was saying, we should treat others better than how we would want to be treated. I will always remember that, and will make sure my office staff does too.
I have gotten a zillion emails and facebook hits and I thank you all for your prayers. Anne has had her ups and downs through this past two weeks, and they really help. I'm trying to answer a lot of the emails, but if I don't get to you, please don't think I'm ignoring you as I really appreciate your contact, but I'm spending as much time with Anne while I can and haven't been able to get to the computer as much as I'd like. I may get a bit more time over the next two days possibly, but who knows?