My two current treatment medications, Faslodex® and Xgeva®, are on a split schedule. Because the Xgeva approval from the insurance came midcycle, it will probably be a while before the two appointments merge back into one. So today I had the Faslodex injections, one in each hip. As seems to be the usual reaction, I have some itching at the injection sites and overall fatigue. I always feel as though I can hardly keep my eyes open for the rest of the day. After I returned home, I lay down for a while but couldn’t sleep. I think it will be an early night.
The infusion center has moved temporarily from its home at the Chao cancer center to the first floor of the main hospital at UCIMC. The infusion center will be undergoing major renovation for a year or so. Unfortunately, the new temporary relocation is quite a change from its original home. I am not sure how they decided this was the right site for its temporary relocation, but it totally lacks the character and charm of the original. Where the original site has a large room for long infusions and two separate smaller rooms for shorter infusions and other brief procedures, the new home has separate module type rooms with curtains all side by side. Essentially, instead of all of us patients being in the community type rooms where we can either engage in conversation with the staff and the other patients, we are all in our own individual rooms with only the wall and curtains to keep us company. The staff come by to take our vitals and administer our medications, but other than that we are alone, waiting to see someone.
I’m not sure that the people who decided on this understand or appreciate how much of a benefit there is in the interactions between the patients with each other and with the staff. So many times you can can hear the laughter from our infusion rooms down the hall because of the conversations taking place. If you do not want to engage in conversation, it’s just as easy to lie back and relax and enjoy the comfort and security of the staff’s immediate oversight.
I hope someone who makes the decisions looks closer at this from the standpoint of the patient and considers this when renovating the original infusion center. The skill it takes to give a shot or administer the medications is only part of the benefit of an outstanding cancer center. More often, it is the security you feel from staff who are certainly competent but also generous in personal warmth. As a patient at Chao, I know I will receive more than competent care delivered with the utmost professionalism. What I remember most, though are the laughter, the readily available hugs (only if you want one, of course) and the sharing of conversation or comfortable silence together with other patients and staff.
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