While it's only been one day here, Nashville certainly has a culture all its own. They love them some rhinestones here. Also, everyone has a guitar. You get one at birth with your rhinestone onesie. We made it to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center way ahead of schedule. It's right next to Vanderbilt University but on a pretty run down street. There is a giant Parthenon across the street, though, so there is that.
While we waited, we were treated to homemade breads from a woman who apparently is there daily passing out treats to patients and their families. She was super sweet.
Rich had some blood drawn and then we went to an exam room. We then were visited by the Charlie's Angels of medical team. Jan came in wearing shoes I would never dare try to walk in to go over Rich's history. Next came Dr. Bendell herself in an alarmingly short skirt and quite the silver chain around her neck. Then came Donna in her leopard print shirt with rhinestones to have us sign the case study paperwork. And finally we met Andi (with an i) in fishnet stockings to explain how she was our direct contact for everything. When she left, Rich surmised it's either Ladies Night at the Research Institute or they're shooting a tawdry film in another room.
Everyone was super nice and they move at a very quick pace. Dr. Bendell said that they want to test Rich's tissue using their panel of tests that covers 35 different types of malignancies (versus the K-RAS test we could never get done that only covered one or a few malignancies). She felt confidant that the test would give us the information we need to target Rich's treatment for the malignant cells that are there. She also mentioned that no one else in the country has the same level of testing except for MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. We noted that Southwest flies to Nashville direct so we're good with Sarah Cannon.
Bendell offered that we could stay over tonight and have the biopsy to extract more tissue Friday morning but we are completely unprepared seeing as we have no luggage, no medications, no clean underwear and no backup plan for all our other commitments this week. So we opted for a biopsy on Thursday the 14th. Rich will fly in Wednesday the 13th for a pre-op appointment with Dr. Geer (his name is Richard Geer, I am not even kidding) and I'll fly direct to Nashville from my University of South Florida site visit. He'll have the biopsy done Thursday morning and we'll fly home that night. The biopsy is laparoscopic where they fill you full of air to see better and then harvest a bunch of tissue. Since the sample they had in Baltimore wasn't enough for even a K-RAS test, Dr. Bendell suspects they'll need their own sample anyways so we're going that route.
Once the sample is retrieved, they should have results in one to two weeks. And then from that we should know what treatment options we have. Everyone was very positive and upbeat. I feel good about the plan.
Rich got a little bit of the puffed out upper lip for a bit (which makes him look just like his father) as he pondered all the negative ways to digest the plan. But I won't have any of that and the facial expression passed. I wore my slime shirt special for this trip.
As we waited for someone to come back to the exam room, we could hear this dude out in the hall talk about the treatments he's been getting. They are injecting molecular radiation into his arteries to attack the tumor in his liver. It was working like a charm and he said it didn't even hurt. We are living in the future.
Also, Andi (with an i) gave us her cell phone number and I spent the afternoon texting back and forth with her arranging our trip for next week. She is my new BFF and I have her on speed dial. Again, how did we treat illnesses before smart phones? Got cancer? There's an app for that.