One of the things that has struck the female Dual G (gimpy and grumpy) every since the male DG was diagnosed with glioma (the most common kind of brain tumor in adults) almost three years ago was how exhausting it is to navigate the health care system – whether that means just wading through the bureaucracy or actually being a patient. It was a bit of both for the male DG today, with the female DG scooting along at his side (not always heroically).
They headed up to UCSF for three back to back appointments. The male DG had volunteered to have an MRI of his brain in Mission Bay’s 7 Tesla machine, which he explains in advance on gulker.com. This is a HUGE machine and an incredible undertaking for someone who was very claustrophobic [only] 30 plus MRIs ago. That’s how they began their day. Then it was on for an appointment with neuro-oncologist Dr. Susan Chang for a in depth look at the results of his August 7 MRI that showed pronounced edema, which is thought to be the culprit in his markedly decreased left-side functionality. And finally, it was over to the Mt. Zion infusion center were he was treated with the VEGF inhibitor drug Avastin to combat the edema and tumor. Clock that almost 12 hours from departure to return – a long day for healthy people.
Amidst that long day arrived an angel by the name of Lina Gomez (pictured with the male DG) who is part of the UCSF neuro-oncology team. Lina is not a new angel but a long standing example in the DG’s lives of how health care works – when it works. Appointments get made, follow through happens, coordination is assured – all with graciousness, respect and a smiling face.