The Switch to Community Care
published: Sep 17, 2022 | last modified: Sep 17, 2022
estimated reading time 2 minutes

Julie and I decided to switch to community care for my cancer treatments.

The Portland VA Medical Center has done a wonderful job of treating me with respect and my cancer with swords and pitchforks. The chemo suite there was comfortable and the staff kind of became extended family after five years. But with inflation, and we are just simply getting too old for travel every other week, Julie and I decided to try community care. This will save a day as it was an all day affair to travel to Portland, receive treatment, and drive back to Eugene. And the last few times it was a day and a half as we began going up the day before and staying the night to try and ease some of the stress of the day. And with the price of gas we were at one time dropping $75 every two weeks just on gas to get to Portland and back, not to mention the wear-and-tear on the car.

So, community care.

The VA has referred us to the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute (WVCI). Julie and I had been there before in 2018 receiving a second opinion on the treatment the VA was giving me at the time. Coincidentally our oncologist is the same Dr we saw back then, and he rememberd us. He said he was also pleasently surprised that I was still kicking around as when we last met I had been given the terminal diagnosis of 3-5 years and all we can do now is try and extend with treatment.

The Dr also mentioned that since I was doing so well, history shows that I will most likely continue doing well for quite a while. Just seems my body is able to take the abuse of chemo and surgery pretty well, and therefore we can do more of this to hopefully give me decades.

So after a single meeting with the Dr I have an XRay of my port to get on Monday, labs on Thursday, and my first infusion on the following Monday. Picking up where the VA left off without missing a beat. The Dr also mentioned that a set of imaging will probably happen in October.

So far, at least with the setup, the transition to community care has been smooth.

This is a post in the "path to cancer free" series.
Other posts in this series:

series:  path to cancer free