Monday, March 15, 2010

My Spring Break

Here I am in a lovely hotel with every amenity you could imagine...nice restaurant and bar, snack cafe, Starbucks, free chair massages, pool, exercise center, lovely gardens, and more. Some of the people staying here are very rich and powerful. There are some sumptuous suites upstairs, or so I have heard. Yet I am paying a bargain price. And I am here with mixed feelings. I would much rather be home in my crooked little house. So where am I? Well, I am in Houston. And while I have a nice view out my window there are drawbacks. What I see is Texas Children's Hospital. And St. Luke's, and MD Anderson, Alkeck Building. So maybe you know where I am...The Rotary International Hotel at MD Anderson Cancer Center. I will be having tests tomorrow and then will see my surgeon on Wednesday and, I hope, set a date for surgery. The sooner the better. I have had the best bad news a person could want, because I have very early detection and a good prognosis. I expect to be around for a long time.

Anyway, here's the technology tie-in. MD Anderson has a killer website! Oops maybe that's a bad choice of words. It is a really great site with all kinds of services. There are step by step instructions for everything, including walking directions INSIDE buildings to help you find your way. All kinds of FAQ's...I appreciate that stuff because it is really helpful and also because I know how hard it is to do all that. We try to tell students what they need to do in our program, and yet never seem to anticipate all the questions they have. And their online social network is great. You get all your appointments there, get your forms to fill out, check on prescriptions, and access support groups. The user-friendly factor gets a 10.

So overall I am going to do my best to enjoy my stay. Unless they add to my schedule I will be free tomorrow afternoon and have promised myself a treat. maybe a museum trip or the zoo. I do like this part of Houston. And truly, MD Anderson is a hopeful place. People come here from all over the world to get the very best care. I was in the elevator with a couple from France. I parked next to an Escalade with Michigan plates. I feel lucky that all I have to do is get in my little Honda Fit and tool down the road from Huntsville. But I will close with a bit of editorializing that I cannot resist. Suppose I didn't have health insurance. Suppose I was under 65 (well I AM under 65) and I ran out of insurance. Then, I could not come to MD Anderson. I would be sent to the charity hospital, Ben Taub. Ben Taub has a great ER, but it is not the place for cancer treatment. So even though I could SEE MD Anderson from Ben Taub, I could not be treated there. People who think we don't need health insurance reform have never had to face a situation like the one I just describe, but it happens every day. Here. Today. Think about that while our "representatives" embarrass themselves and us with their childish behavior in DC this week.


  1. Hi Mary Ann,

    I'll be keeping you in my thoughts. Very best for a happy prognosis. Enjoy your "vacation"!


  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you! You are in a great place, but I still hate that you are there. Here's to good news soon!

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