Shane likes to say that UCSF and Stanford are both in the race, but Stanford has taken the lead.
I have a dear client (shout out to J!) who helped connect me with a wonderful woman at Stanford, a sort of patient concierge, and last week she helped expedite appointments with an oncologist, as well as all the necessary testing (bloodwork, biopsy, and a more detailed CT scan). I am forever grateful. Before she came on the scene things were moving too slowly for my taste. We are settling into the waiting game now but initially, it was agonizing. Last weekend we went to the UCSF ER to expedite testing (at the suggestion of a UCSF oncology nurse) and it didn't work. After attending hundreds of hospital births I'm pretty familiar with the system, but Shane is not, and the ER experience left a bad taste in his mouth. I'm really happy to have learned about advocacy from my doula work; while I might sound quiet I can be oh so fierce when I need to be.
Looks like Stanford is in the lead just by virtue of our experience there so far, though it's possible that UCSF may edge out Stanford in the end, let's see.
We rarely use our insurance, we have always had a high deductible plan, and pay cash for any medical care we choose. It's worked out very well for 18 years, until now. Stanford doesn't accept our unusual insurance, and they won't even bill the company, so we are submitting superbills and crossing our fingers for reimbursement (after meeting our deductible, of course). We get Chase debit card alerts for any purchase over $125, and it made me chuckle to see the alerts this week for Shane's biopsy and PET CT with Stanford's name on them. Let's just say they're large, very large indeed.
We're not sure what this week will bring, but we hope for a diagnosis (always better to know exactly what you're dealing with), then we plan on getting second opinions; if you know me then you know I'd never be satisfied with just one!
Meanwhile, two wonderful, intrepid friends and I are plowing our way through a 500-page manual (The Moss Report on Liver Cancer) exploring every treatment both conventional and complementary, available inside the US and outside. Shane and I are committed to finding the best treatment for his care (here or abroad) and hope to give him the very best chance for healing. I want him here to meet this baby of ours next year AND to live a long, healthy life for many years to come.