• Anyone have experience with M. D. Anderson? I'm going there in April and want to know what to expect.

    Asked by Steph921 on Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Anyone have experience with M. D. Anderson? I'm going there in April and want to know what to expect.

    Hi, I'm going to M.D. Anderson in April as recommended by my onc since my breast cancer has spread and is uncurable. I'm just wondering what to expect on a first appointment. I understand that they rerun all the scans, etc. and have been told to plan to be there 5-7 business days. That seems like a long time to me. Has anyone gone there? How long were you there? I'm still working full time and don't want to use all my vacation days at once (especially since it doesn't sound like much of a vacay! Lol!). I would love to hear from anyone who's been there! Thanks!!

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar

      I have not personally gone but i know several people who have. They are the best but they handle alot of cases so if its not as personal as you might hope it is one of the best Cancer centers in the world and this can be a slight trade off in the cutting edge care you will get.

      I was set up at MD when I was first DX'd but so far have not chosen to go. If I have a recurrance I will be there as fast as I can get there for a second opinion.

      Make a booklet to keep the results of all of your testing and to keep organized all of your past testing and the results. Take a good look around about.com and do a few google scolar searchs for "Questions to ask an Oncologist" etc. and highlight those that you want to ask.

      This is what I want you to know: There are survivors-cured from every type and stage of cancers. Every single year 10% of all people with cancer,who are told there is no more hope leave the major cancer centers and are alive 5 years later.

      90% of advance stage Breast cancer folks are alive 5 years from now. I only wish I had those stats on my side. I can only pray that all cancers get that type of stat soon.

      I have had some of the most distinguished cancer experts say in front of me that they think and hope we will have a cure for cancer in the next 5-10 years.

      You will hold on...O.K....you will hold on and make it to that cure.

      over 7 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Steph, When patients come to places like MD Anderson fro a distance as you are doing tyhey will try and get all of the diagnostic tests and then the visits with all of the specalists DRs done as quickly as possible and in one visit. This is the reason for the 5 to 7 business days. This is so you don't have to travel again and again. I assume that they will develop a treatment plan for you and have most of it adminestered at your local hospital with the MD Anderson Drs monitoring things for Houston. MD Anderson is supposed to be the best so they are used to having patients travel there for consultation and know how to get it done in the most efficient manner. Good Luck

      over 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I have not been to M.D. Anderson, but I wish you the best of luck, I am sending you healing vibes and prayers. I don't know how far your caner has spread, but I am being treated for Metastasized breast and kidney cancer. Both are responding and are stable. (I had scans just over a week ago to confirm where I'm at) Can you use sick leave instead of Vacay? I'm sure you can get a doctor's note since you will be there for almost 2 business weeks

      Keep us posted -

      over 7 years ago
    • SMT4's Avatar

      I have not been there, but would like to respond to the time off portion of your questions. See if you can apply for temp or short-term disability and get those papers from your HR and have your primary doctor who reffered you to M.D. Anderson feel those out. That way you can have a little bit of a stress reduction knowing you don't have to loose pay. I know it is different for different states but you might want to check with your HR and seek out possible financial assistance where available.

      Wishing you the best of travels and care. Sending you good thoughts and blessings. :o)

      over 7 years ago
    • raven's Avatar

      I have been to MD Anderson for 2nd opinion. While there I developed pnemonia and was in their intensive care for 9 days. Later returned for mastectomy and radiation, then again for follow-up visits. I am very favorably impressed. The level of medical knowledge and expertise, the caring 'bed-side' manner of all medical staff, the fact that it is a huge enormous facility with great signage to direct you - non-the-less, every time I have stood still looking for a a sign or landmark within moments someone has stopped and asked how they could help. I did have a less then positive experience with clerical help - but that was an exception and a short blip. They will schedule everything as quickly as they can. They are very busy and you may end up waiting in the waiting room for long stretches - they almost always have jigsaw puzzles going, some magazines, coffee and water. Most nearby hotels offer discounts for patients and run shuttles to the hospital. They offer free classes - yoga, Ti Chi, teas, laughter yoga, etc. ask about how to find that schedule. They were a real sanity saver for me. There is a great, but expensive, hotel across the street from MD A that is also a very caring place to stay. Their restaurant has good meal specials - like lunch seafood buffets. Feel free to get back to me with any questions you still may have.

      over 7 years ago
    • CathyMarine1's Avatar

      I was and still am a patient of MD Anderson and I can't thank them enough for what they did. After three failed attempts here in PHX to clear margins I went to MDA and had the best surgeon Dr. Lucci who got rid of all the cancer. They are the best in the world.
      My first appt I was there for a week, stayed at the Rotary House connected to the hospital. They run all their own tests which is fair as they have the best, most up-to-date equipment in the world (thus why they are the best cancer hospital in America).
      I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to go there. It's been three years now and I feel great. Good luck to you.

      over 7 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      I also have Stage 4 breast cancer that is incurable. That was a year ago. I have treatment every 3 weeks. I have 5 years or better estimate from my doctor. although she says she is not God and doesn't have a crystal ball. I am now on chemo break and other than getting tired easy I am doing fine.
      Hope you do as well as I am.

      over 7 years ago
    • MillieS's Avatar

      I have just returned from there. Like you, I have stage 4 BC. I have been on aremidex since Jan. we were told the same as you , 5to7business days. We sent everything the asked for weeks in advance. We arrived there the day before, driving 6 1/2 hours. That morning we got there , was taken to registered , then triaged. My doctor swooped in gave 15 minutes of his precious time, offered a trial that his friend was conducting . Sent in the research nurses who explained the test. It involved infusing with cytoxin , a lite dose, followed by a vaccine. The kicker is, it is a phase 2 which means a double blind study. I would have one chance in 3 of getting a placebo. Not good odds at my age, 70. They left the room and we sat there for about 20 min waiting. Finally my husband went and got someone to send the dr's nurse back in. I asked when should we come back. She said we were through.....WHAT. That was it. We drove all that , got reservations for a week, for that. Funny thing, 2 weeks later we receive d in the mail a tine in April for us to come back for blood test and X-rays. This doctor had not even looked at anything we had sent him although we had already received a bill from the path dept there. I am not going back there and give them money to abuse me like that. I hope you have better luck. Better ask them a lot go questions before you go. Hugs and prayers

      over 7 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I went to Texas Oncology but had a friend go through treatment at MD Anderson. You'll be in the hands of some of the best Oncologist in the country. Good Luck and Keep Up Posted!!

      over 7 years ago
    • jenniferk's Avatar

      I have been treated for cervical cancer and triple neg breast cancer at MD Anderson. It is a very large hospital but very easy to navigate. They did not repeat all of my diagnostic tests. I found that they were very open to working with my doctors closer to home. They come up with the plan and then relayed it to my doctor closer to home or you can do your treatment in HOuston. I had my hysterectomy there and my primary care doctor removed urinary catheter and sutures. They had me doing pap smears every 3 months. 1 at home next one would be at MD ANderson. I had my chemo and pelvic radiation in Houston. All the nurses and doctors I've had were good. None of the reception type staff are worth a flip. If you call none of the messages ever seem to get to the doctor and they have a i could careless attitude. It is very stressful doing your treatment away from home and leaving your family. I had 2 kids at home, age 12 and 14. It was very hard to be away from them for all that time. Just go and be prepared to hurry up and wait. You hurry to 1 appointment them sit and wait for 1-2 hours past your scheduled time. By the time you are seen your late for at least 1 other appointment possibly late for more. They do get in quickly for what ever testing needs to be done and you dont wait long for results and a plan. There are lots of tables with puzzles in the waiting rooms. You have lots of time to kill and just when you think you are about to reach a sense of accomplishment you find out 1-2 pieces are missing. I found that flying in for checkups was very easy. When I was staying for treatment I stayed at the Mainstay suite close by. I cant remember the address but they have a shuttle that runs all day long to and from the hospital. They also take you to shopping malls, restaurants, etc.. Great place to stay. Most people staying there are cancer patients so you feel right at home and staff is wonderful. I can not say enough great things about this Mainstay Suite. They also will take you to and from the Hobby Airport. During the check up process after treatment if you will only have 1-2 appointments in 1 day and then get to go back home you can get a cab from Hobby Airport for about $20. Southwest Airlines is great for working with MD Anderson patients. I would fly in on a really early flight and schedule a late flight home. That way if doctor was way behind or needed to do anything extra they had time. If I got through early i would get cab and head back to the airport. You just go to the Southwest counter and show them your medical braclet or receipt and they will put you on the next earlier flight that has available seats. There was never a time that I did not get on an earlier flight. The 1-800 southwest phone number is no help what so ever. You have to go to airport to get anything done. They don't charge any fees for this. My gynecologist from MD A nderson moved to another one of there branches farther from my location so now all my doctors are closer to home. I think you will be pleased but just take lots of patience with you. If you think of any other questions please ask. Good luck they do some great work.

      over 7 years ago

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