Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Well, we had a busy day of tests and who knew that the most stressful appointment of the day would be with the social worker?
Dr. Barlogie, the head doctor in charge of the Myeloma Clinic and all the research performed here over the last twenty years, is the doctor who will be seeing us on Friday afternoon. He will give us all the information from the many tests done this week and their recommended treatment plan. His RN took us over to see the social worker today and she told us that she doesn't know for sure what Dr. Barlogie's plans are but that she feels fairly sure that he will want to start treatment on Tanner this Saturday. Tanner asked her if we couldn't go home at least over the weekend to get some clothes and she told him that she didn't think so.
When they arranged the appointments for us to come down this week, they told us they would need us initially five days - and now it looks like they will want us to stay here a minimum of three months - with him only going home for short periods of time even then.
We asked about them setting Tanner up with a treatment plan here and letting us go home and have it implemented in Fort Worth with return trips to Little Rock to be monitored. She said no - not for many months because Dr. Barlogie will want to do two stem cell procedures on Tanner and he will have to stay here without leaving for at least three months. She even went on to say that the time could go on anywhere from six months to a year.
Somehow Tanner seems to think they said he might get to go home for a week in about a month but I remember her as saying he wouldnt be able to go anywhere for three months. This example of us us all remembering conversations differently has resulted in his dad and step mom going tonight to buy a tape recorder.
Anyway, the social worked asked us what our greatest concerns were and I told her, of course, my greatest concern is getting Tanner the treatment he needs and then the next concern was going to be how we were going to survive in Little Rock and not lose everything we've got back home. She talked to us about finding different grants available to cancer patients - and then she talked to me about job opportunities in Arkansas. She asked if some of us could eventually take shifts up here in Arkansas so that not just one of us will have to be here with Tanner all of the time. I told her that I was sure that myself, step-mom, and granny could all take turns staying here but that I just couldn't bring myself to leave Tanner right here at first until I see what treatments are being set up and how he handles them - and I definitely will want to be with him when they do the stem cell treatments. That's just the mom in me.
Tanner is worried about what this will do to our jobs and our lives at home - but I tell him our number one priority is his health. Of course, when I talked with Bruce, he tells me not to worry and that we will work this out and that they will see what they can do to set me up with a "remote" office. I don't know what I would do without my PIE family and at this point, I'm just going to trust that this will all work out.
The social worker has given us paperwork about different grants and we are about to get started with that process. I was also told that Gibson's, the general store that Tanner use to work for, is setting up collection jars in their store in Weatherford. Many of our family and friends have been so generous to us with hotel points, food, funds, and support - I can't even begin to express our gratitude.
At first, all we could worry about was Tanner's health and now the reality of insurance and where and how we are going to live has also been introduced into the picture. I have an aunt who lives here in Benton, about thirty minutes from the hospital, and she has offered me the use of her home until we see what housing we qualify for near the hospital. I have to trust that this will all work out. If there's one thing I've learned over they years, "things" seem to work out. We just have to focus on the goal of getting Tanner well. He's my sweet baby boy.