Orcas island getaway before treatments begin, April 2019.

Debbie Onishi

First post: Mar 30, 2019 Latest post: Jul 29, 2019
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On March 11, 2019, after a number of visits to the doctor about a persistent headache and sinus pressure, we found ourselves at Kaiser Permanente Urgent Care Bellevue.  After several hours of questions and tests, which included CT and MRI scans, the doctor came and shared the news that they had found a tumor in the back of Debbie's head. The doctor that viewed the scans was concerned enough that he immediately contacted Swedish Medical Center, Cherry Hill, with the hope of being admitted quickly. Unfortunately, space at Swedish was non existent and there were already a couple of patients in line in front of Debbie, also waiting for space at Swedish. In an effort to make sure that she was seen as soon as possible, Debbie was transferred from Kaiser Bellevue, to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. This was Debbie's first ambulance ride and enjoyed the ambulance crew that was both kind and pretty entertaining. After spending the majority of the day at Kaiser Bellevue, Debbie was moved by ambulance to Harborview around 6 p.m.  Debbie was taken to the Emergency room at Harborview where she was admitted to the hospital. We spent the remainder of that night waiting for a room to open at Harborview. At least we had hours of entertainment in the trauma emergency room at Harborview.  Right around 2 a.m., Debbie was moved from the emergency room to the neurosurgery floor at Harborview. We finally had a room.  For several days, Debbie made the room on the 7th floor at Harborview her new home. We met some wonderful nurses, PAs, doctors and quite a few visiting med students, during our Harborview stay. On March 13th, we were told surgery was scheduled for March 14th, to remove the tumor from Debbie's head. On that same day, Harborview received a call from Kaiser Permanente asking that Debbie be moved from Harborview, to Swedish Hospital at Cherry Hill for surgery. Cue Debbie's second ambulance ride. We waited all Wednesday, then most of Thursday, waiting to hear about when we would be moved. Again, we were told we were waiting on a room at Swedish. In the mid afternoon on Thursday, March 14th, we were told that surgery had been delayed at Swedish, moved to Friday, March 15th. Late in the afternoon, Debbie took her 2nd ambulance ride, this time a short ride from Harborview to Swedish Cherry Hill. By 7 p.m. on March, 14th, Debbie began to settle in to her new surroundings, the 5th floor neurosurgery at Swedish. Next stop, surgery. 

March 15th, surgery day. It was a beautiful sunny day, and Debbie headed to the operating room at noon. The surgery was expected to take 3-5 hours, including surgery prep. By 3:45, Debbie was out of surgery and headed to a recovery room. Around 5 p.m., she was headed to the room she would occupy until her release from Swedish Cherry Hill on March 18th. Wow, what a week. 

To learn more about what Debbie is fighting, for this link about GBM cancer. https://www.abta.org/tumor_types/glioblastoma-gbm/

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