Abe and I had a long talk about the hospital question, and made a decision. We decided to go to Mayo. We have friends and family in Minnesota, which is great. Also, the Mayo Clinic is one of the best hospitals in the world, and may be the best in the U.S. With Mayo, we’ll always be able to feel confident that we made the best decision we could.

Grand Rounds has suggested a physician there, and I have an appointment with her on April 30th. Her name is Dr. Michelle J. Clarke. She specializes in removing spine and spinal cord tumors.

It’s all very exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. They’ll almost certainly need to bring on an otolaryngologist, a neuro-oncologist, and a radiologist, but I don’t know how they would choose that team, whether their proton beam treatment center will be running by then, or whether I’ll have an opportunity to speak with Dr. Clarke before we travel to Minnesota for the first appointment (I hope so). Will the first appointment just be a visit, or is it the pre-surgery appointment?

I hope to have more answers today. My parents scheduled their travel to Washington when we set up the Virginia Mason surgery date, and I took vacation from work starting Monday 4/13. This change of plans will require replanning the logistics and filling out new FMLA and disability insurance paperwork as soon as possible. I’m hesitant to cancel the current surgery date or change everything before speaking with Dr. Clarke and getting some idea of what this will look like.

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