Monday, June 22, 2009


We had a great experience at UCLA today! After stopping in Santa Monica to pick up Michael's sister and have some breakfast, we headed over to UCLA to meet with Dr. P. He took Michael's health history and we gave him all the pertinent medical records. The only thing we hadn't taken with us were the biopsy specimens, but we stopped by Cedars-Sinai later in the day and brought them back to UCLA.

Anyway, Dr. P. thinks the first step is to surgically remove the cancerous kidney. Once they have done so, they will have more material to analyze, and therefore will hopefully be able to determine the cell type. Then again, Dr. P. is having his pathology department look at Michael's previous biopsies, and they may be able to tell more than the other pathology departments have already.

So, we expect to hear back from Dr. P. late this week or early next week with the findings from his pathology department. Then, he will try to get Blue Cross to approve a surgical date for Michael, and he said that shouldn't be anymore than a few weeks from now. After that, once Michael has recovered from surgery, then he would begin medical treatment for the cancer. We really like Dr. P., and we feel that his approach is right for us based on the research we've done about kidney cancer and the various ways it is treated.

We seem to have made some progress with the insurance situation, too. My school district requested that Blue Cross make an exception for us and let us change Michael's medical group prior to open enrollment. Today we received two phone calls from Blue Cross letting us know that our request has been sent to their expedited grievance department, and that they are obligated by law to let us know their decision in 72 hours. So, we will hear back from them on Thursday. Please pray that our request is granted.

Having faith that our request will find favor, we can then focus our efforts on preparing for the surgery and medical treatments to come.


Alex and Jill said...

I'm so glad that you had a good visit with the doctor and they have a plan for Michael's treatment. I'll be praying that insurance grants your request, so that you can proceed quickly!!


Sara said...

Thank God. Sounds like you have an action plan now, which must make you both feel better. Get that yicky kidney out of there!

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

I am so glad you are feeling convident. I am sure that is half the battle. Thinking of you lots Joannah.


Shannon said...

Positive news. Keep it comin'! You and M. are in my thoughts and prayers.

AprilMay said...

This is terrific news! I am so glad you seem to be on a productive path that God is on with you! ;)

jeri lynne said...

Dear Michael and Joannah,
Thank you for the update of the progress. I am praying for you both and for the strength and courage it will take to come through this. We must all remain tight and strong as a community of angels in upholding each others hearts and beings in our collective hands. We are all in this together....
Keep your heart and mind open to receive the best of care.
May God's grace bless the skillful hands of the surgeon to guide you back to a place of "whole".
Sending lots of love and hugs to you!
Blessings, Jeri Lynne

mekate said...

I can't help but think you are in very good hands-- that they will do everything possible to help Michael heal, and I so much wish for you a speedy return to normalcy.

Thinking of you and sending hugs,