September 23rd, 2008: Within twenty hours of asking my medical sleuths to find the best sarcoma doctor, they turned in their results. Eileen was the fastest. David Ostrow went straight to the top and text messaged Don Abrams who runs the UCSF Oncology Dept. Both detectives delivered the same name: Dr. Thierry Jahan. Within minutes, I called his practice and did the work over the phone that would sign me up as one of his patients. In less than a day, my friends had located the doctor most able to manage the long term care for someone with my list of complications. What a blessing to have this difficult task accomplished so quickly!
Later in the evening, I attended the monthly board meeting of Maitri Compassionate Care. I’ve worked at Maitri as a bedside caregiver since the first days when it offered housing to one guy with HIV. After some seven years of giving emotional support to Maitri residents, I joined the board. Leaving my apartment this evening to participate in the board meeting was an important step back into the world, and evidence of how I was healing. Although I hadn’t planned on it, I took a few minutes before the meeting started to catch up all my friends on the board not only about my hip recovery but also about the cancer diagnosis. It did not feel odd to tell the governing body of an end-of-life care facility that I had a life threatening illness. The support and care from the board members and Tim, our executive director, was really gratifying. Coming out never stops, and the communal warmth of being accepted is also ongoing.