Saturday, July 15, 2006

2 Week Post Chemo Update

July 12, 2006, I had an appointment with my oncologist for my 2 week post chemo check. They took lots of blood and then I waited to see him. He said everything was fine and I looked great (he doesnt see me in the morning!). He told me to see a GI specialist for my stomach problem (which I thought he would say). I also requested a MRI of my head and he said he would do it after my surgery was complete. I have to have my port flushed in 2 weeks and then I dont have to see him for 3 months. That would be in October sometime. He'll probably order a PET scan along with the MRI to see if I am cancer free. I spoke to the GI Dr when I got home and he wants me to wait to see if it will heal (he thinks its an ulcer/erosion) on its own and would rather wait to do an endoscopy because he would be treating me the same as he is now. So we will wait and I'll buy stock in Gaviscon!

After the oncologist I went across the street to the hospital to see my OT. She FINALLY got the sleeve in!! BUT not the glove, which I need more than the sleeve because my hand is always swollen. I havent been able to wear my wedding band in months and it bothers me. Right now I should be wearing my sleeve but it makes my hand swell more if I dont wear it with the glove. So now we go back to waiting for the glove! What a joke. Lets hope I have everything before my surgery. I dont have to see the OT until she gets the glove in so I am awaiting the phone call from her on that. I am typing on my home computer, not my laptop and its so uncomfortable! I am so spoiled with my iBook.

My husband and I had our 3rd appointment with the therapist this morning while the kids were at camp. It was a much better session than the previous two and I didnt get upset. Things are looking up lately. I hope they continue to improve. I still find myself doing most of the talking and I wish my husband would talk more. I said that to the therapist in front of him and he thinks that he is talking alot and getting his emotions out. Its funny how men look at things differently than women.

When we got home I opened my mail and there was a check from my health insurance company that has to be signed over to the plastic surgeon so I called his office to let them know I had it. The person who picked up just happened to be the billing person/office manager and she said that I owed them more than what the check was made out for. Something like $275 more!!! That was for a consult mind you and they charged the insurance company $400!! Thats crazy, just to talk to a plastic surgeon. She said that he was out of my network and I had a certain percentage to pay. When I was there she never said that to me. Now, all the Dr's I have been seeing are out of my network (who the heck knows why when the insurance is thru my husband's job which is the hospital all these Dr's work out of!!) and they have just been taking what the insurance gives them and eating the rest out of courtesy for my husband who works at the hospital. I have not received a bill from any of the Dr's so far and only have to pay a co-pay with the pain specialist I see. So this office manager (I should call her a bitch but I'll call her B instead), B, tells me to mail the money to her. I said I dont have that money and I wont have it so I cant do a payment plan, thats how broke I am. I just paid my 2 car payments which were both 22 days late! I asked to speak to the Dr and she refused. As soon as I told her that my husband worked at the hospital she should have thought in her tiny brain that MAYBE the surgeon knows him and wants to work something out with the way its going to be handled but NO she didnt. She should have taken my number and had the Dr call me back when he had time, like all my other Dr's do. I was crying so much that I dropped the phone and was sobbing uncontrollably, my husband had to pick it up to talk to her. He explained how all the other DR's were eating the deductables and accepting what the insurance is giving them and there is no way we could pay a percentage of what the plastic surgeons bill was going to be for breast reconstruction. 20% of $20,000 (just a guess its probably much more) is a lot of money we dont have and I refuse to pay anything for because I didnt ask to get breast cancer and I am not electing to have a boob job so my insurance should pay. DH said that there is some state or federal law about that. He told B to find out from the insurance company EXACTLY what they were going to cover and how much it would be and call us back. Apparently she had no clue as to what was going to be covered or not which she should have known, thats her damn job. After he hung up with B he called my breast surgeon (she is a saint) Dr Ward and left a message with the receptionist to have her call because I was very upset over a situation with the plastic surgeon. They work together ALL the time. She called back in 15 minutes and I told her what was happening. She also doesnt take my insurance but she just accepts what the insurance company gives her. She is the definition of a beautiful, caring doctor with a wonderful bedside manner. More Dr's should be like her. She said that B had no right to tell me what the Dr would or would not do because he has worked it out with patients before, as all plastic surgeons do in cases like this, and she would personally call him and speak to him on my behalf. I cant go to another hospital because she is my breast surgeon and she is doing the mastectomy portion of the surgery. He is the only plastic surgeon that does recon at the hospital at this time. The other one that was there had privilages taken away for coming into the hospital drunk or high or something like that. Yeah, I would want him to operate on me! Anyway, Dr Ward told me that these billing people dont care who they upset, they just want to make the office the most money because it makes them look good, so they think. When B was on the phone with hubby and I was sobbing in the backround she said, "I know how difficult this must be." My husband said outright, "NO YOU DONT SO PLEASE DONT SAY YOU DO". You go hubby!!

I am so upset over this entire thing you should see what a mess I was before. I couldnt stop crying and was almost vomiting I was so upset. I am going to try and calm down because Dr Ward is doing all she can to help me.

Last week I came across a website that gives out free hats to people undergoing chemo. I think its I told them it was for me and that I like the color pink. Within 5 days I received a big box with 4 hats and 2 bandanas in it! Nice ones too! One was a pink baseball hat the other was one with the pink ribbon on it & 2 were floppy Ralph Lauren hats. One bandana was a bright green with Hawaiian flowers and the other had the breast cancer ribbons on it. It was such a nice thing to do I was so happy. I have to send them a thank you note.

Tomorrow my hubby and I plan to go out after he gets out of work. Hopefully we can get something to eat and go see Pirates of the Carribbean with Johnny Depp. I want to see that movie so bad. It all depends on what time he gets home and if we can get into a place to eat. We will never get into the Japanese Restaurant that we both love because you need a reservation and I dont know when he is going to be home. My sister is actually coming up tomorrow afternoon to hang out and watch the kids after camp. My Mom is going to take over for her in the evening when we go out. They are going to either collapse from exhaustion or get their second wind and make my Mom collapse!

Saturday, DH's nurse manager (who is leaving) is having a going away party at her house. She lives down the block from us. They have a pool and lots of stuff to do so we are going to go for a few hours. The kids are going to love playing in the pool especially since we didnt open our pool this year. Its supposed to be in the 90's so I better find my bathing suit!


July 15,2006~The situation with the plastic surgeon has been resolved and the B woman called my DH at work to apologize. To little to late B. Anyway, its one less thing to stress over.

My bloods came back normal. What a relief. The only thing that was off was my TSH and Free T4 so the Dr adjusted my synthroid dosage. Hopefully it will return to more normal numbers in 4 weeks when he wants it checked again.

My husband and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean last night. It was good but the story doesnt end at the end of the movie. They leave it as a "to be continued" when the third one comes out. It was a lot scarier than the 1st one and definitely not for the kids. Well, kids that are 6 and 3 that is.

We went to the party that my husband's ex-nurse manager had today and ended up staying longer than we had planned. The kids were in the pool most of the time that we were there and both DH and I were in there with them. I had a good time even though I didnt feel to great wearing my bathing suit. I barely made it into it due to the weight I gained during chemo. Most of the people DH works with are nice but there is one particular person that we avoided and I wont mention names here. She is the new Nurse Manager and I waiting for her do screw up because its only a matter of time. Its a long story about her and I dont feel like going through it but believe me she is not a nice person.

My stomach is still bothering me and I stopped taking the Zegerid and started back on the Protonix. I'll see if I notice a difference in how I feel. I dont want to have an endoscopy so anything to avoid it would be nice.

Tomorrow we are going to my Mom's for dinner because she is going away for a few weeks and my Grandmother is going to the shore with my Great Aunt. I am a little nervous because I am going to be doing things for the 1st time without some help and I am expecting to be totally wiped out. I know I can do it though because I did it after I had back surgery 3 years ago. The difference is that my son wasnt as active three years ago!

Time to work on some easy crosswords.

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