Monday, April 21, 2008

Say you love me (long, emotional post)

The shit sort of feels like it’s hitting the fan today. I went to meet with the radiologist who threw a lot of confusing information at me in regards to what the hell is actually wrong with me and how that relates to my treatment. She began by saying that my case could just as easily be treated/called a Lymphoma (a treatment schedule that would shave chemo by about EIGHTEEN MONTHS) because of the lack of cancer in my blood/marrow. Then she dropped the bomb that she was still deciding whether she would just radiate my tumor and its lymph node (what I was expecting) or give me full cranial (brain) radiation as prophylaxis against the cancer spreading to my spinal fluid. The full cranial has all sorts of scary possible side effects and it seems like my chemo ALREADY errs heavily on the conservative side (the detriment of my quality of life) and I just sort of had this breaking moment where I was like “no more way too conservative courses of treatment! I have another 70 years to live—do NOT fuck with my short term memory or ability to multitask…”

Here is the deal:
I had a tumor—it had malignant white cells
I have no cancer in my blood
I have no cancer in my bone marrow
I have no cancer in my spinal fluid
I have no other tumors

Apparently, I could just as easily be on a treatment course for Lymphoblastic Lymphoma as Lymphoblastic (same as Lymphocytic) Leukemia. What the fucking hell.

If you didn’t know, I hate that I have cancer. I hate chemotherapy and what it’s doing to my body and lately, my metabolism. There is nothing in my life so far that I would do over, or have be different—except this.

The good thing about this radiologist (who said a bunch of scary radiation stuff) was that she was super excited about my prognosis. She was like “wow! This is great! It’s amazing that your blood, bone marrow and spinal fluid are all normal! You are going to be fine!”

I am also feeling incredibly surly at work. I am beginning to hate it. But I have nothing else structured going on and I’m terrified of free time after the hospital. I have a few legitimate things to be angry about (same old, same old) but a lot of the nastiness I’m spewing is pure spite and frustration and it’s unfair and I NEED to stop talking shit.

The weather is so cold. Our house is freezing. It’s going to rain all next week. Fuck you, climate change.

And bills! This winter it cost a bitch and a half to heat the Mansion. However, at least these large bills are split 7 ways. You know what isn’t split 7 ways? My cancer-y bills. I’m sure they add up to less than 1% of what my treatment is costing, but that’s still a lot for me. A pathology test here, a non-network infectious disease specialist (who I was too delirious to have any control over) there… My entire tax refund is gone. And here the major stress: the billing dept for my primary care doc, my insurance and I have all been going back and forth since December over a series of charges that insurance should cover—as long as PacMed (the clinic) bills them correctly. Every time PacMed would send me a bill, I would patiently call and explain to them what they needed to do to get paid and every time they said “Oh, we’ll send this to the insurance specialist and get back to you…” So I’m on top of things and I am waiting for them to “get back to me” but instead they SEND MY BILL TO COLLECTIONS. WHAT THE FUCK.

Never go to Pacific Medical Centers—they are a bunch of unprofessional, cheating, lazy, careless ASS HOLES.

So once the bill is in collections you have no choice but to pay. Pay now. Or they take a big dump on your credit report and also charge you 12% a year on the bill. So that was $500 down the drain. It’s up to me now to wade through insurance BS to reclaim this money. Do I have the time and emotional energy and guts to call my insurance company? No. I’m scared. I don’t want them to look at my file. I’ve wracked up about 130K in bills so far and I’m terrified that someday, for some reason, they will just stop paying. So I try not to interact with them at all. I realize this is stupid.

And those are most of the reasons that I am feeling a little overwhelmed tonight.

1 comment:

Antonia said...

i love you.
and i have a big box of not-yet-released books for you and your roomies at the mansion. a smattering from the serious to the trashy that were sent to work for us to preview.
can i come by this afternoon/evening to drop them by?
call or email to let me know directions.
(541) 908-1709