The first visit to MD Anderson showed a doctor (let's call him Dr. Andy for MD Anderson) who was willing to take my brother but was not pushing it. He kept stressing that it was a long way from Dallas, it's a big headache to drive down, the same treatments are available up there, yada yada yada. He even went so far as to say that the treatment prescribed by the Dallas oncologist was a respectable one. Really? Then why did he go further with cisplatin, docetaxel and zometa?
Fast forward a bit. At the last visit before his second round of chemo, I mentioned that my brother's white blood cell counts had rebounded quite a bit from the counts a week and a half ago. Dr. Andy's expression changed immediately. You see, he hadn't bled at MD Anderson. He had been bled up in Dallas. "Why are you getting bled." It was really a statement of disapproval rather than a question. The Dallas oncologist had bled him for a couple of different reasons and we explained that this was all part of him maintaining a relationship with a doctor up there in case of acute needs like an infection, incidently which was all urged at the behest of Dr. Andy. It was clear he wasn't happy about the bleed. "Look, you're going to be a pin cushion by the end of this and I don't want you getting bled needlessly."
I couldn't have been more pleased at that point. Dr. Andy had taken ownership of my brother's care and was no longer offering up these nonsensical platitudes that care is care no matter where one goes. He had skin in the game and didn't want things messed up by another doctor. I can relate. As a scientist, I hated it when people tried to derail my experiments by piling on pointless measurements. I'm sure I won't be that different as a doctor.