Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Are you Sure?

It is so funny how pieces of life randomly collide. I got a call from my old social worker yesterday morning (old as in, was my social worker 20 years ago when I had cancer). He had seen my testimony on TV and couldn't stop talking about it! Not only that, but he shared it with my pediatric oncologist and all of my old nurses, one of whom is apparently in charge of the statewide association for pediatric oncology nurses. Besides all of this being very sweet and surprising and flattering, he extended an invitation to come speak to the nurses association - about my current line of work and also about survivor issues.

Are you sure? I said. Because I have a lot to say.

This same social worker couldn't remember that the last time we talked was back in March when we were looking for recommendations for egg donation programs. In fact, he sounded surprised and pretty fascinated when I gave him a quick update of where we were in the process. I am sure it was probably too much information for him, but hey, I wanted to give him a preview of my talk with the ladies.

So, a completely unrelated incident that just happened to be televised has just opened the door for me to work with pediatric oncology nurses to help them try to understand some pretty serious issues facing childhood cancer survivors - infertility being #1 on the list. I am pretty stoked about that.

Re: dinners, I will be hosting one tonight at our house. It's my dad's birthday and my parents are in town after a brief stint at the hospital for dad. Pneumonia. Perhaps I haven't mentioned but my parents' health is not great. Dad's lungs are absolutely shot after 4 decades of chain smoking. Frankly, I was shocked that he made it through all of this moving business without ending up in the hospital. This bout struck while he was in Delaware, moving some stuff into storage down there and relaxing for a few days in their temporary home. My last call to him interrupted him flirting with the nurses at his favorite clinic. Reason #33 for them to move to Delaware. Apparently, the hospital food isn't too shabby in this clinic either. Anyways, his birthday gives us a nice reason to get together while they're in town. And I prefer to control the menu. My place it is.

Lastly, got a random call from a doctor from our clinic last night. One that we hadn't worked with before. Apparently, she is part of the "committee" that met yesterday to discuss our decision to move forward with our donor after a failed stimulation attempt. She wanted to hear again our reasons for doing so, so I gave her the run down - the same one you've read here. Perhaps I came across as defensive, but I wanted her to be clear that we were clear. We understood the risks and appreciated their desire to be sure that we were sure. I asked her if the committee had reservations or if they as medical professionals had information or knowledge that we didn't. Basically, I asked, did they see this as a fool's errand?

She said emphatically not and the committee was surprised that the previous cycle hadn't worked since the donor is otherwise healthy and the mother of two healthy children. After we talked, she said she was glad we had the conversation and that they had worked out a new protocol for our donor, one that would let them (and us) know almost immediately whether a stimulation would be successful or not. I am expecting a call from Nurse this afternoon to review the new protocol and schedule, which, of course, I will post as soon as I know.

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