Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The New Dana-Farber

So I am sitting in the waiting room at the new Yawkey Building at Dana-Farber for my 6 month visit. It is already an incredibly different experience and more reminiscent of my experiences at Oregon Health and Sciences University. First, the parking lot was much larger and there were plenty of spots. I am sure that arriving at 7:30 AM helped with this. I then went to the laboratory on the second floor. That is all that was there. It was quick, clean, and efficient. I also noticed that privacy was much more of a factor. They called patients by their first name and last initial rather than their full names which had always bothered me in the past.

After my blood work was done, I went up to the 8th floor where there was a leukemia and lymphoma clinic. It was not crowded, wide open with plenty of seating. There was even a "nourishment" stand where I was able to get a nice tea. There is even a nice monitor with announcements for the hospital. One notice just said that if you have time, you can borrow an ipad to keep busy. A man even came around offering me a newspaper which I gladly accepted.

I was quickly taken into have my vital signs done as well. This was efficient and a much nicer set up.Then things started to get messy. The power went out in the whole building and the staff had to scramble to figure out what to do. Since all the records, lab results, and scheduling are computer-based, they were pretty much helpless. I ended up being taken to see my doctor about 45 minutes late and he had no information about me other than my name. I had to give him a brief synopsis. He was able to find my lab results which were normal. I am waiting for my PCR results which take about 2 weeks. No significant changes.

As I was about to leave, the power went back on. Despite the technical difficulties, it was still a much more pleasant experience than what I was used to at Dana-Farber. I happened to stop on the 3rd floor where I found the healing garden and the dining pavilion. Not bad.


Dan Sloan said...

Hi Jon,

My name is Dan and I was diagnosed with chronic-phase CML on March 26, 2011. I am 42yr old and live in Atlanta with my wife and three kids (9, 7, and 5). I found your blog on Saturday Apr 9th and took time to read through the majority of your story. I am waiting for my first dose of Gleevec to be started next week, so reading through your story has prepared me in a major way for what lies ahead - thank you for making it public! My initial diagnosis unfolded in an almost identical fashion as yours, but rather than bringing home Chinese food for the family, I had just finished running a school-sponsored 5K race with two of my kids in the morning and was wrapping up some early afternoon errands when my wife called my mobile with the info from my doctor and told me to report immediately to the ER - I could not believe it. Anyway, reading your first couple of weeks of postings in 2006 (so far) has been like reading my OWN blog, so I am interested in continuing to follow your incredible and inspiring efforts, as well as your selfless fundraising efforts. You are made of some amazing stuff, Jon. And congratulations on reaching a solid 5 year milestone!

Jon Gershon said...


Thanks for writing. Please email me back channel so we can chat some more.