Posted tagged ‘Kaiser-Permanente’

The Cancer Bus

July 8, 2018

This past Friday I finished my last radiation treatment at Kaiser in Hollywood. I know that most people relate Hollywood to the movie and TV industry, but there is a lot more to the city than that.

So for the past seven weeks or so, I rode the Kaiser bus every day from Harbor City (south of LA) up to the Kaiser Radiation Oncology facility in Hollywood. Bus leaves at about 11 AM and arrives in Hollywood at about Noon. Everyone piles out of the bus checks in and head down in the basement where all of the X-Ray machines are located.

When the last patient boards the bus at about 1 PM, we head back south to Harbor City. Nobody gets left behind. The driver has a count of the people on board. Sometimes patients are delayed by doctor visits or additional X-rays that are required.

For example, today I had to see the doctor and I was delayed. I finally board the bus at about 1:30 PM. No one complains. They have all been in that situation at some time or other.

So over my seven weeks I got to meet many people all of who are suffering from cancer of some sort or another. Some will survive and some will not. One lady told me that she was taking the bus a few years ago and the bus was much fuller than. Less people on the bus means people are surviving longer. A good sign.

A lot of people wear hats. Once Desmond took his hat off to show a nasty carcinoma on the top of his head. He finished his treatments a couple of weeks ago. Hope he does well.

2018-07-03 10.52.00So the group tends to be an unofficial support group. We tended to chat on the benches by the bus stop. It is good to get it out. It’s a bit tough to talk on the bus due to road noise.

I listened to the biography of Ulysses S Grant by Ron Chernow. I still  have a few hours to go. In seven weeks, I have learned more about the Civil War and Reconstruction than I ever knew.

2018-07-03 20.43.48Also, it seems that the length of treatment varies for each person. Some folks are up for only 5 treatments. Some like me are in for the long hall at 30.

So for now, I am done.  I have a follow-up scheduled for the end of August. For now, I am waiting for my wounds on my neck to heal and get my sense of taste back.

I hope to never have to ride the Cancer Bus ever again.

TTFN

Joe

Kaiser Permanente

September 17, 2015

Warning – Rant ahead

So last week I send an email to my Personal Care Doc at Kaiser. (For folks who don’t live in CA, Kaiser is a large HMO in CA). My request was for my doctor to help me get in touch with the Kaiser Sleep Study people in Bellflower, CA.

You see I have sleep apnea and I use a BiPAP to help me sleep. Last week my BiPAP died. Without my BiPAP I don’t sleep so well. I means that I wake up a lot during the night. It makes me just a tad bit grumpy.

So my Doctor (generally a good guy) gives me a phone number and tells me since I did a sleep study two years ago that they should replace it without any problem.

Okay, so far so good. So this morning, I call the number. I get a recording. Recording says “This phone number is no longer in use. Call 562-xxx-yyyy.

Okay I can handle that. I call the new number and punch the appropriate buttons. 1 for English, 2 for Espanol, etc. So in english, I get the message “Mailbox Full, for assistance stay on the line, blah, blah, blah”

So I am getting even more grumpy. Mailbox Full? Are you kidding me? Has anyone at Kaiser have any clue about customer service? No apparently not. By the way, staying on the line just gets into a loop repeating the message.

Here’s the good news. We are coming up on October which means that I can change health plans. I am oh so close to just logging into Amazon and buying a new BiPAP from them. All I want is a good night’s sleep. Is that too much to ask?