September 25th, 11am: I sat in my doctor's office at UCSF waiting for the results of my MRI. I've been in this same office numerous times with a picture of mountains hanging on its sterile white walls. Even as a medical student, I wonder why we design doctors' offices this way. If you're going to make it all white, keep it all white without putting up a picture of a place patients would rather be. Otherwise, and preferably, make the room more warm, welcoming...human.
Warning: This post is long! This is not the usual post where I dive into the emotional aspects of my experience. Rather, this is a pretty cut and dry description of my three weeks of meetings and calls to develop a treatment plan. During my 2014 recurrence, I wrote a similar (...yet less detailed) post about treatment decisions. I received a lot of messages from patients and family members of patients who found that post helpful. This is for that audience. My hope is that this very detailed explanation of my treatment meetings may shed some light on how much information is involved in informing a treatment plan. While I share a lot of detail, I want to note that this is my experience. Every individual's situation and decisions will be unique to them.