Well, they’re off. My lung and kidney biopsy slides were sent to the specialist in Vancouver yesterday afternoon. And what a process for that to happen.

My kidney biopsy was at the U of A hospital. And that process was pretty straightforward. I just needed to enter an eerie, restricted access area, sign some forms, and take the slides. Although I was transferred about 5 times before I was ever connected with the correct department when I first called. But finally I was, and the girl there was a great help. I asked how long they would keep my slides for, once I returned them, and she thought it was 25 years. I set myself a reminder, for in 24 years to call and get my slides!

My lung biopsy was stored at DynaLife. I learned that the U of A is the only hospital that keeps their own samples, otherwise they are stored at DynaLife. And because my surgery was done at the Royal Alex, my slides were stored elsewhere, even though I was treated at the U of A. At first the process of getting them from DynaLife seemed to be quite daunting, but once I spoke with the correct person, it was smooth sailing. Their staff were really helpful and guided me along the way. Again more paperwork and signatures. They even offered to pop in my kidney slides for me to send all as one package…with a cost. DynaLife does charge for all of this. $90 for the pathologist to review and approve the release of the slides, then another $44 for the FedEx charges. I asked how long they store the samples for – 99 years. I didn’t make a calendar reminder for that one.

But again, it was like an undercover mission for me to get the slides. I had to “wait near the taxi door” and then call to let them know I was there. Then the dude came down to meet me and escort me up through the parkade, through a hallway, and finally to cheery reception. He also told me that they could have requested my kidney slides from the U of A and I didn’t need to go there myself. And I replied, “Huh. Well, no one told me that.” Between you and me, it was kinda neat to go to the Twilight Zone part of the U of A hospital.

The dude at DynaLife mentioned that they send samples to this specialist, “All the time.” So I thought that was encouraging. He also said that normally the specialist will send their findings report back with the samples, and also to the original pathologist. But because I was initiating this myself for a second opinion, the doctor may send me the report too. Because I have been in direct contact with him, I am hoping that is the case.

I did ask if I could keep my slides myself. Not that I necessarily want them on my person, but just to avoid needing to spend another $90 in the future if I want someone else to look at them. He said he would ask. Sometimes they can make copies of the slides…but again, at a cost.

The specialist in Vancouver should have the samples by Monday. I have no idea how long it will take for him to review my information, but it feels really good to have that all done. Information has been sent (what a headache for it all), and now I wait.

I also sent the Mayo Clinic my request to review my file, as well as all my medical records. No response yet.

And still no word back from my rheumatologist about me not starting the Imuran. So I have no idea if she even knows that for the past two weeks, I haven’t been taking the medication she prescribed. I also haven’t been doing the bloodwork she requested, as it was linked to the new medication. I am going to call again today.

I am looking forward to seeing my lung specialist at the end of next week. We can do a lung test and if it has positive results, I can feel better about us tapering the prednisone without symptoms returning. And maybe he can help get a response from my rheumatologist. Doh.