Tuesday, April 14, 2009

City of Hope

City of Hope.... Even the name makes you feel hopeful right?
What do you see when you think of it? I imagine a white castle like building surrounded with lush green forests and plump clouds, angels flying about and greeting you with harp music by a large golden gate which leads you into a magical world, where miracles happen ....umm.....ya! Not quite.

As we drove up to the main entrance, with the large water fountain, which is nicer then other hospitals, the rest of the building looked like any other medical facility. You've seen one hospital... you've seen them all, right? And we have seen quite a few in the past year or so. We were greeted by a little old man, a volunteer who was cute as ever, and I'm sure is someones lovable grandpa. He walked us down the hallway to meet with the doctor, and on the way we passed by the Pediatric Treatment Center... oh boy! Now that's a depressing thought, right? I can't even imagine little kids going through all this pain, and fighting this giant war with their little lives, armed to their smiling teeth. I couldn't help but fill up with anger, and the dreaded questions started popping up in my mind... Why? What did these innocent, sweet children do to deserve this? Why them? Who knows? Is it Karma of lives past that haunts us? Is it God's greater plan? Who are we to question it? And yet, every day we search for the answers to these countless questions, and are left unsatisfied with any given explanation. But, that's a whole another blog entree or a few...

So, as we waited for the doctor in a usual looking patient room, with the typical wall paper and pictures on the walls, both Gagik and I looked very skeptical, both of us thinking... here we go again.... another doctor is going to come in the room, ask the endless questions, prescribe some pills, assign a treatment course and basically give us a "number". But, as nurses and practitioners came in and out, getting his vital signs and asking detailed questions, and awaiting patiently for the answers, checking and rechecking Gagiks explanations of what he was feeling and where exactly was he feeling them, and after examining him very thoroughly, we were stunned, both of us with a dumb founded look on our faces, thinking wow, these people actually care! They seem genuinely concerned with helping the patient, and mind you this is all before we even met the doctor. She by the way, took some time coming into the room, and explained afterwards, that she was consulting her little army's findings of Gagik before she came in and talked to us.... wow!

Long story short... Gag will now be getting his treatment there, after a few more tests in the next few days, and a review of his case by the other specialist at a conference on Thursday, he will start his new chemo session at the City of Hope. Needless to say, we walked away today, for the fist time not feeling like a statistic, or just a diagnosis on a paper, but someone with an illness for which there is hope. It felt like a small ray of sunshine, that has peeked through a small opening in the dark and gloomy sky, was shining on us. Giving us some hope, a glance at a small light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Did I mention that parking is free?

1 comment:

  1. Well you know what they say, Hope is the last to go.. So I think that is why they named it City of hope, though they could do a better job with the city part. As for the experience, I am so overjoyed to hear that you and Gag had a positive experience there. Its tough enough to endure the hardships of difficult illnesses, but to do it with the typical nonchalant approach of most doctors today is excruciating. I mean whatever happened to bed side manners.
    By the way, I know the anger you felt when you walked by the Pediatric ward. It tears into you like a serrated knife. I hope that City of HOPE lives up to its name for you. You guys deserve it.