What, How, When, Why, Who

We came back from North Hills Hospital on Fri Mar 25th evening with the mindset that we’ll walk in to Texas Health HEB on Monday to start Rachana’s chemo. Rachana and I were pretty confident in Dr. Turner’s abilities and particularly impressed with his demeanor and how much time he was taking to explain things to us patiently. We put a lot of weight into this aspect thinking that if the treatment is pretty standard, as Dr. Turner said, the approachability of the primary physician is very important. Thankfully we had a lot of family around. Rajeev (my brother-in-law) was quite adamant from the beginning that we should rather go to a larger facility. He, Didi and Alaap spent a lot of time looking at all possible information, ratings, etc to zero in on UT Southwestern as the premier cancer center in the DFW area. There were still too many questions. Are we taking too much risk by not starting treatment on Monday and processing a transfer. If the treatment is the same why are we moving to UTSW. Dr. Tuner is good, are we making a mistake leaving him. Dr. Turner has told us that it’s 6-8 cycles of treatment and each cycle is 4 days inpatient and 3 weeks rest at home. So this was a 6-8 month process. Dallas is not very far but still a 30-40 min drive; what if we have to go there with some urgency. But after a bit of of discussion, weighing all pros and cons, we decided that we’ll move to UTSW. One of key factors was their high ratings and particularly the 10/10 rating for survival rate while HEB’s ratings were 3/10.

On Sunday (Mar 27) I made a call to Dr. Turner’s office and spoke with the Dr. Arora who was filling in for Dr. Turner for the weekend about our preference to move to UTSW. He said he’ll pass on the message and the process will start on Monday. I also said that if UTSW is taking time, we do not want to delay the process and get the treatment started in HEB and move to UTSW later. Rajeev, Alaap and I also drove to UTSW just to see the facility and if we could talk to anyone to move things along faster. We could not find anyone. I also checked with my insurance to make sure things were squared on that front. Overall we were feeling blessed that at least we don’t have to worry about the quality of care and the financial impact of such first class care.

On Monday (Mar 28) the first call was to Dr. Turner office, who acknowledged that they will start the transfer request. After 1-2 hrs we got a call from Debbie from UTSW that Dr. Turner has spoken with Dr. Prapti Patel and they are getting the paper work done to get Rachana in today. A few hrs passed with no updates and I started calling a emailing them. Finally Dr. Patel called me around 5 pm say that she wants us to come in tomorrow. I requested we get in tonight to avoid any paperwork and processing delays the next morning. She agreed and said someone will call back soon. We got a call back in a few mins and were told to go to ER registration and that they will be expecting us.

We had overwhelming support from family and friends. Throughout the weekend EVERYONE we knew dropped by. We took our time to leave that night. The kids and parents left with Rajeev to Alaap’s house. We packed up a few clothes, prayed and started a pretty big chapter of our lives.

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