Today was a good day. It all started this morning on the train ride into Philadelphia. I realized that I had done the calculations incorrectly yesterday. I forgot that I did not work last Friday, so my hundredth hour was going to happen this morning. This reinvigorated me and gave me a mission to start the day off with. I was going to contact all of the organizations that I had applied to the previous week to find out if my patients had been approved for their grants. Unfortunately, most of the places that I called were not open at 8 am so my calls went straight to voicemail. Then Trish arrived and told me to contact the Hope Lodge, a facility that houses patients that to come to the hospital regularly and live far away. I was able to help extend a patient’s stay for 51 days. The approximate cost to stay at the lodge is $190 per night. But the patients don’t have to pay, so we saved her $9,690 in total. Within minutes after I found this out, Trish told me that another patient that I spoke to yesterday would be approved for his respite vacation. This is a $5,000, week-long, all-expense paid DisneyWorld vacation for him and his family. His two children have never gone on a real vacation before and this will be there chance. Our hope is that this will give his children a happy memory of their father before he passes away. I am extremely excited to tell them this news on Friday, when the decision becomes official. This raised my grand total to $22,000 in 100 hours, which is twice my initial goal for the entire project. My next goal is to earn an additional $10,000 during my last week. This is very likely to happen because my other patients will most likely receive the two $5,000 respite vacations and the two $6,700 chemotherapy co-pay assistance grants that I have applied for.
This afternoon while I was looking at the list of patients that were in the clinic, I noticed a familiar name. I had gotten this elderly patient free Philadelphia Phillies tickets this past summer. I was thrilled to know that he was still alive as most of the patients that I saw during the summer had passed away. When I went to his room, he and his wife immediately recognized me and thanked me for the baseball tickets. They told me that he had received proton therapy and was now completely cancer-free. It is amazing to know that the new advancements of medicine are actually elongating patient’s lives and helping to eradicate cancer. This visit only made my day better, it was the icing on the cake. After work, I decided to treat myself to some well deserved ice cream. Today was not a good day; today was a great day.