Monday, August 2, 2010

New Doctor

Tanner drove himself to the chemo appointment today (he is making himself a necklace in this picture here from last week's appt.). I guess if all goes well, I will start letting him drive himself to the "fast track" appointments and I will only go with him once a month to the "doctor" appointment.

Last week was the appointment where we actually saw a doctor and when we got there, we found out Dr. Davis had "resigned". It was all very sudden with no warning at all and the vibe about his "resignation" wasn't very positive at all. I'm not sure what exactly happened but Tanner was assigned a new doctor that we both really liked.

Her name is Dr. Allbritten and she works a lot with young adults in Tanner's age range. She is very active in getting teenagers with cancer across the Metroplex together in support groups. She explained to Tanner that while most practices in the area don't have a whole lot of teenagers his age, if you combine their access to each other from practices across the Metroplex, then the group gets quite large. She said they recently got together and had an "Iron Chef" type cook off and that when his leg heals, they have adventure excursions that they take (like kayaking). Tanner was very open to the idea.

He has been spending a lot of time with his friends lately but he and I had some quality one on one time with each other this weekend. Saturday we went to On the Border (of course) for lunch, stopped and bought him some new tennis shoes (so that he doesn't always have to wear houseshoes), and then went to the movies to see The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

It gave us an opportunity to talk about his future. I told him that I understood that he wanted to "chill" for a while after all of his treatment this last year and finishing high school, but that he's been in remission since December and I think it's time for him to find something productive to do with his time.

He said that he agreed and has found that he's getting tired of "just hanging out". Dr. Allbritten said there are all kinds of scholorships for children who have had cancer so we are going to have her gather some information for Tanner. He's going to go this week and take his placement test so he will be ready to start school as soon as we find out when/if he is going to have surgery on his leg or not.

He has been having problems with a lot of nausea lately and he said his bones ache. I asked Dr. Allbritten if the aching could have something to do with the Zometa (the bone strengthener) that he is taking now and she said that could very well be the case. I need to do some research and see what I can find on the side effects of this medicine and how long they usually last.

The Social Workers at Cook Children's Hospital have applied for Tanner to see if he qualifies for any assistance and we have an appointment with the Social Security office on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how that meeting goes.

I don't know how much longer he will have Cobra since he's been on the policy for over a year now. Hopefully, he will qualify for Medicaid which would be very helpful with all of these very expensive medicines he has to take.

We discussed his applying at some of the establishments where he could possibly get a job using his wheelchair but I told him he might as well wait until we go back to Arkansas at the end of September to see about his leg before he starts to seriously look for employment.
It seems that a lot is in limbo at this point until we see if surgery is going to be necessary.