Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OK, HELLO? Been at MDA for 5 years....STILL uncovering resources I never knew existed. ASK! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER...ASK PEOPLE!

      I have now been an MD Anderson Patient since 2006 and the funny; or sad thing, is I feel REALLY comfortable there.  Kind of like a second home.  WIERD, I know it's just that I'm there so much that I have learned to make my visits more of an adventure rather than a drag.  There is so much to learn and keep learning and so so many resources.  My eyes are finally open to receiving it all as when I first became a patient EVERYTHING so overwhelming. I didn't understand the process and ALWAYS GOT LOST.  Nick, one of my fellow warriors calls MD Anderson "Most of the Day" Anderson and that unfortunately is the case.  I've learned to realize this and make my visits more fun by anticipating that I'm going to "Most of the Day" Anderson, rather than just a Dr. appt. at MDA....Really helpful to the psyche.  Nick, I LOVE IT...Considered it borrowed.  

      Taking a detour which "JEN" frequently does, I promise I will get to yesterday's appt and Head and Neck, but I forgot to post how excited I was to find more resources I never knew existed for over 5 years of going to this place.....5 YEARS!  5 YEARS I never knew "The Levit Family...The Learning Center" even existed.  Picture BELOW:

     It is located in the Mays Clinic.  I think our doctors just assume we know all this stuff because they are around it all day long.  I had this epiphany when I started feeling like my language seemed "Normal" jibber jabber to all my friends and it hit me too that all of a sudden I was becoming fluent in MD Melanoma Anderson speak as well....eek!  I've never been "normal", but I've always been able to relate...especially to people... but MD Anderson and melanoma language is so fluid for me, I started not being able to relate to normal life things.  

      I felt isolated with my friends and my family and MD Anderson felt "Normal".  Kind of when I felt the need to educate.  Anyway, back to this Learning Center I discovered after speaking with my Pychologist through Psychiatric Oncology.  Btw, didn't know about this in 2006 either....Oh my gosh, these people "get it" and instead of just going and talking to Just someone they are actually "really helpful"  What a concept huh?  HELPFUL...GRIN...It's helped just me, Jeff and I and I'm so grateful to that dept.  I didn't find it because I waited for my dr. to tell me I needed it, but Jen actually listened to herself.  My doctors would prob. never diagnose me with depression or anything like that because I'm so energetic, full of silly, and that upbeat kind of person....It's ok to say it....kind of annoying at times, but that is me.  I'm happy.  Even happy people fall down and I've learned to know my body and I knew that I needed to talk to someone. It's important to know yourself.  I essentially got the referral for myself.  I started going and my psychiatrist took me over to this library place and I was in awe as to all the resources...The internal dork in me exposed once again.

     If you are an MD Anderson patient, please go!  They have information on caregiving, free really well written pamphlets to take, computers.  You can check out videos, books.....ALL FOR FREE...I mean, we are really paying for it and if we don't know about it we won't use it.  It was like my new Disneyland of knowledge.  I learned how to download videos on MY MDAnderson login and just such a wealth of free help at your finger tips.  HIGHLY REC. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT!

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