Well, I promised I would "report back" once I visited MDACC in Houston and saw Dr. Cortes. A one-word description of the whole experience could be nothing else but "WOW" or maybe "UNBELIEVABLE" or maybe AMAZING.............I could go on forever. I live in an area that has some very state-of-the-art hospitals and cancer/research centers, and my husband has visited some of the top in the world with family/friends over the years. We both concluded there was not even a remote comparison to MD Anderson. The people, the facility, the volunteers, the services, the lodging available, you name it ---------- everything was top-notch! (and then some)
My appointment with Dr. Cortes was extremely satisfying and most helpful. He and his PA, together and separately, spent plenty of time going through my case (dx in Sept. 2008); my records had arrived earlier so he had reviewed those, and he listened attentively and answered all the questions I could think of at the time. Same for questions that my husband had for him. I had a full day of tests, xrays, and a BMB - took from about 9:00 a.m. until about 2:30 (including my time with him, his nurse, and his PA). He totally changed the direction of my treatment, although he said he considers my response to be "excellent" at this point. He is far more worried about the pleural effusions which have been present for about a year now, but never too debilitating. He considers them dangerous and wants to deal with them quickly.
Since my return I have both faxed reports to him and mailed films; he has responded promptly, giving further direction. His accessibility is everything I've read it to be --- but nevertheless hard to believe. In addition, the center has a website on which you, as the patient, can access any and all of your reports, results, and even your doctor's clinic notes and those of others you deal with, such as the PAs. How much better does it get than to eliminate all that waiting (other than the actual time required for the tests to come back)? And how many of us now know enough about the tests to understand at least when something is not looking right in terms of counts, etc.? It makes the whole process participatory. For me, that's invaluable.
I will stop now, lest I bore the entire discussion board community and get banned from ever posting again!!!!!!!!!!! I will just conclude by saying, I am a convert and plan to follow along this year and return to see Dr. Cortes in person next January as he proposed. In the meantime, I hope to stay well and hope the same for all of us CMLers who seem to travel so many different paths.