AS MOST OF YOU KNOW: My true brain tumor journey started in 1992 when my grandma was diagnosed and in 9 wks died. My grandma was my first IFONLYFORONE. More about that on my website under my story. This BLOG is about my MEDICALIFONLYFORONE. It never occurred to me to count the one who pushed for answers. The one who helped save my life. For the sake of the story a quick background. In 1997 I was experiencing a lot of symptoms for what we thought was a sinus infection, relentless headaches then visual issues. I even was diagnosed by my dentist and treated for tooth pain getting a root canal HMM? Pain didn’t go away headaches persisted. MY Medical IFONLYFORONE is Mr. Grepling who earned the nick name GREPSTER. He was my fireball. It was in the summer of 1998 that Grepster said ENOUGH! My headaches were not giving up and he didn’t believe it was stress from work or family life and treatment for sinus stuff was not making things better. Grep was creative and said let’s refer you to a neurologist and see what they can do. HMO declined the referral. Of course we had to fight the system to see the new doc. WHALLA Grep got that through the red tape and worked it out. With the new doc together they got the much needed MRI. Oh, that was only because we threatened HMO that we were going to go to the State with a complaint they were interfering with my health yadda yadda . My brain tumor journey as you know got started as soon as I got the results. My point is Grepster was my MEDICALIFONLYFORONE! He fought for me. He cared enough to deal with the bureaucracy. 17 yrs ago was the start of NATIONAL MEDICAL SYSTEM CHANGES but he cared enough to fight for me. Well Grepster was my P.A . My primary Dr. is who I usually see and during a visit a week ago or so I got wind Grep was retiring. OMG panic set in. Last year my Neuro Onc retired, 3 years before that my neurologist of 14 yrs moved on. When it came to Medical Care system challenges she was a fire ball and the community dreaded her fights. Sadly the medical system changes caused her to close her practice and she took a job at the VA, I was devastated. Now Grep???? My go to person when I need a pistol. I truly was having separation anxiety. Don’t get me wrong my primary doc is amazing I have been at this office since birth ( NO JOKE) and seen my share of changes. He has been my doc for 30 years. There is just a special connection when someone finds cancer in your body and potentially saves your life. So after hearing of the retirement it was so weird. Funny how things work I got this crazy cold and choose to scheduled an appt with Grep. Ok so really no cold I told the scheduler I would be a cash pay patient. I wanted an appointment to wish him the best . Really cool for Grep is his wife was retiring also how AWESOME. We chatted on how the medical system has changed and for him it was time it just isn’t what it was when he started. He’s retirement age yet still young , healthy and well so I say GO ENJOY LIFE & YOUR WIFE! Well I still was feeling a bit sad. It’s weird because even my Neuro Surgeon retired ( but we are friends and talk all the time) so I am ok. This was different though. I left that day was sorta weepy but happy for he and his family. That was before Christmas. Now I kept thinking wouldn’t it be cool if I showed up his last day and dropped off a gift just to say you will be missed and be one of his last patients. Then I thought ok don’t get KooKoo. After all the office is staffed with girls and girls gossip so I figured its just a chapter closed and this was #MEMORYMAKINGMOMENTS at is best. I had plenty to keep in my heart after all he was my MEDICAL ONE great story. Well the morning of the 31st I get a call from my primary docs assistant to tell me some paperwork for my insurance was complete and if I wanted I could pick it up or they could mail it. Oh my goodness I thought “ITS MEANT TO BE!” I said I would pick it up and guess what. I got to deliver that card and let GREP know that I never realized he was the first MEDICAL ” IFONLYFORONE” He made it possible for me to help families in 21 countries almost all 50 states. I shared “Don’t leave thinking it’s a system that sent you away from a field you loved.” You made a difference, you helped people in places you never dreamed. The best part of the day ” I” was the LAST ONE! The Last patient he met with before retiring. As I parted I did remind him now that he is no longer my doctor he and his wife can now attend Gray Matter Foundation events because it’s not breaking the doctor rule LOL. He retires and I don’t feel sad I am happy that he was my medical IF ONLY FOR ONE. I close with this Galations 8:9 Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.