Thursday, December 6, 2007

Trying to decide on treatment location

Hi everyone,

It's been crazy busy here, between doctor appointments and the move.

I'm trying to quiet myself but wanted to send this out and get any thoughts you may have.

My next step is to decide where to go for treatment. I've narrowed it to MGH and Dana Farber.

Here are my thoughts and what I think I know about each place:

Chemo itself:
The cocktail itself is the same at both places.
DFCI: 2 months chemo, 2 months radiation w/chemo pump infusion 7 days a week, 2 months chemo
MGH: 2 months chemo, 2 months radiation w/chemo pump infusion 5 days a week, 4 months chemo

Radiation oncologist:
Both places, the guys are really nice and top notch. The one at MGH actually calmed me down about radiation (though, the risks are the same). Also, both places made it my choice to have the radiation.

For me, DFCI parking is better

Infusion room:
DFCI: Some private rooms, otherwise, one communal room with curtains (which isn't bad at all).
MGH: Mostly private rooms with TVs (we could party!), one small communal room

Alternative care:
DFCI: Extensive
MGH: Not so extensive, but can bring in therapists during chemo if you want

Doctors (get this one):
DFCI: Doctor is leaving in the spring for another job, so I won't have the same one all the way through
MGH: Doctor is leaving in the spring for maternity leave, so I won't have the same one all the way through.

I had back-to-back meetings at DFCI and MGH on Wed and each doctor told me they were leaving. Wild coincidence, but good to know!

Overall ambiance:
DFCI: More comfy, but less personal treatment. Feels a bit more like you are part of the machine. A good machine, though!
MGH: Not as comfy (facilities are new, but the fluorescent lights seem more glaring), but they have a wonderful nurse contact person who has been a great go-to gal and makes it feel like they are catering to you.

Okay, writing that actually helped me to clarify my thoughts on the differences. Now I just have to get quiet and try to hear what comes.

Let me know if you have any thoughts / read anything into this. I need to decide by tomorrow because I really should have started chemo this week, so I have to get moving.

Love, Me

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