...and Radar has a date with a hair dryer...

I feel like my life is replicating this episode of M*A*S*H. http://www.tv.com/shows/mash/for-want-of-a-boot-43240/

They will surely award me some new graduate degree in Advanced Medical Travel Coordination if I can pull off this feat.

  • Lorelei needs an allogenic bone marrow transplant. (It will require living in Houston for four months.)
  • She can't have that transplant until 6 months have passed from her previous autologous transplant which happened on October 24, 2012. That means the earliest date will be April 24. 
  • In order to do that we need to get her donor's stem cells collected.
  • Her donor (sister Hannah) lives in St. Louis and has teaching responsibilities there at WashU.
  • Hannah's spring break is March 11 to 15. Would be great to collect then. But MD Anderson has to do tests on Hannah before that and they always begin stem cell collections on a Monday after the donor has received neupogen shots over the weekend. So, Hannah must be seen at MD Anderson on March 7. She'll have to miss a couple of days of work/school but it's doable.
  • But it's not two weeks in advance.
  • Flights out of St. Louis to Houston are expensive if not booked far in advance. 
  • There may be a voucher for a one way flight available from MD Anderson but you have to be there physically in person to get the voucher. The logic here dumfounds me. If Hannah could be in Houston to pick up the voucher she wouldn't need the voucher because she'd already be there!  Apparently the voucher system is set up to avoid the appearance of financial impropriety since MD Anderson is a state run school (University of Texas) and they don't want to be accused of paying or offering perks to people to become patients. Ugh.
  • So, I called Southwest Airlines customer service wondering if anyone there could help me to get Hannah to Houston affordably and they referred me to their charitable giving department
  • I called the number to the Southwest charitable giving department and the recording said to check out their website at southwest.com/medicalgrant. I navigated to the Texas section of the site and found MD Anderson and clicked there and it took me straight back to MD Anderson's home page. A perfect circle.
  • And once I'm able to get Hannah to Houston I need to get myself there too. (Thank God I don't have a real job.) Maybe I'll drive so we won't have to rent a car.
  • My '02 Taurus has almost 200,000 miles on it and yet I suppose I could venture the trip. Maybe my roadside assistance service (TVC) would pay for a rental car if the Taurus dies?   
  • Assuming we could fly instead of drive, we wouldn't have to rent a car in Houston if we were able to stay anywhere close enough to the medical center to use their public transportation system, but all the close hotels are booked up because of the Houston Rodeo. I've spent hours on my cell phone begging for an opening at the Ronald McDonald House or the Rotary House.
  • And AT&T just sent me a message saying I've used up all my 850 allotted minutes this month and now have been billed through the nose for overages. (Wish I hadn't canceled my home phone to save money!)
  • And Lorelei still needs to get that second dose of Brentuximab that she was unable to get last week when we were in Houston because her counts were too low. 
  • She could have her blood retested and do it tomorrow at Integris Cancer Institute of Oklahoma But we are in a blizzard. So I don't know exactly when she will receive that treatment. 
  • But as soon as she does, I need to schedule her PET scan in Houston for 3 weeks after that so we'll know if the monoclonal antibody treatment is working. 
  • Cuz if it's not working we may need to go straight into radiation even before the transplant. 
  • The kink in the plan for setting up travel arrangements for the PET scan is that it will fall on Brad's spring break week and Lorelei would really like to spend time with him. To avoid lodging expenses we'd like to do the PET and her 3rd Brentuximab treatment all in one day and then fly her and Brad back to OKC. 
  • So, I could put on my "Carnac the Magnificent" turban and see into the future to book a flight on SW Airlines right now since that is 3 weeks away but the likelihood that it would be for the correct day is low. So then I'll need to spend time and money and phone minutes to get it changed to the correct day.
  • And lodging, don't even get me started on that! Assuming we can get everyone to Houston who needs to be there when they need to be there and assuming we figure out the ground transportation issue, we still have to find a place to lay our heads. Several have kindly offered to let us stay in their guest bedrooms but you have no idea how difficult that is. And we certainly couldn't impose on anyone for the four month stay. Maybe I should just rent an apartment in Houston right now. Anyone know of any close to the medical center?
  • But...what if I had a fifth wheel travel trailer or motor home?…

If you watch the M*A*S*H episode you'll understand exactly how I feel.

Nevertheless, I am choosing to rest in the fact that our God will provide. I'd just like for Him to submit to me the itinerary so I'll know what he has planned!

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Tiffany Jones wrote:
ATT may be able to refund your overages if you change your plan to accommodate your need. I've had to plea to them with data overages on the teenager, but they've always come through. I'll also see if my connections in that area have any ideas. Or maybe I could take a travel assignment there from mid may-mid August. Then you guys could stay with me or at least you'd be able to stay with me :) Something to think about?

Mon, February 25, 2013 @ 6:51 PM

2. Meredith Foster wrote:
Andrea, you don't know me but my husband, Rodney met Lorelei at Super summer last summer. PLease call me asap at 249-6337. We live in Midwest City and may be able to help you out with some arrangements! I keep up with you all and am so amazed at your courage.

Tue, February 26, 2013 @ 8:56 PM

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