Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007 - Good News!

Hiya Bloggy,

Well, I have some good news to report!! As of yesterday (Friday), the Pacific Blue Cross dispute is now over! I had sent an email to my contact, Angie, at the Public Service Agency in Victoria. She was an angel when it came to the kajillion forms that had to be filled out for the Long Term Disability application when I was still in the hospital. So I asked her if there was someone I could talk to or who could find out why I couldn't get past the switchboard with Pacific Blue Cross and all that was happening was that I was getting more and more stressed and frustrated, meanwhile nothing was happening with the "review" of the rejection of the claim for my oral chemo meds.

Well, bless her heart! She got right on it in the morning and talked to Karen who is a manager with the Benefit Programs. She, in turn, got in touch with management with Pacific Blue Cross on my behalf. Within hours, my claim was reviewed and approved. To expediate matters, I have been given the name and address of the manager at Pacific Blue Cross and I'm to send my claim form and the receipt for the Capecitabine (oral chemo) directly to her and the reimbursement will be fast-tracked. Karen worked miracles.

It still annoys me that the individual can't get through the beaurocracy... heck, can't even get through to talk to someone and this seems to be totally natural for insurance companies. Meanwhile, I don't have the energy to fight with them on a daily basis. But get the big guns involved and all of a sudden the insurance company listens. I feel so sorry for the individual who pays their monthly premiums, then when something like this happens, it's only them against the insurance company because they don't have any big guns to act on their behalf :/

BUT... the good news is that I am no longer stressed over this and Friday night I slept like a rock (if rocks sleep, then I was a sleeping rock ). I'm still a little concerned that the treatment was delayed a week, but I don't think this is going to be a big deal in the long run because had I reacted to the Radiation, we would have had to delay the chemo. Whether there would have been any impact, I guess we'll never know.

And then... some more good news (it just doesn't stop!!). Friday night I met Dad, Pat, and sister, Erin at the River Rock Casino. I was feeling on top of the world with the news about the chemo now being approved for payment. So time to have a good time... and did I ever! I only took a few dollars to gamble at the slot machines... after all, I am on a reduced income and all. Well, I was on a lucky streak... the long and short of it, I came home with $750! Enough to subsidize next month's reduced income so it's almost the same as working full time when I add it to my Disability pension. :) So a good time was had by all... especially me!!

Hahahaha... of course, you know there had to be payback time... and that was today :) I woke up this morning and it's like being in a fog! Chemo fatigue hit today and it didn't surprise me one little bit. One can't have that much excitement, then get to bed late and not expect there to be some ramifications. So today was very unproductive... and the fatigue was such that poor Bridget didn't get to go on her longer walks today. Just going around the block was a huge ordeal!

It also seems that one of the symptoms of this chemo (it's either the chemo or the radiation, but I think it's the chemo) is it is really affecting both the heels of my feet. There is a hand/foot symptom where you can break out in blisters or a skin condition (dry, peeling, etc), but this is on the inside of the heels. Almost like what a torn tendon would feel like... and it is very painful. Hence, I'm not able to walk too far right now... heck, walking period is a challenge. The weird thing with this heel pain is it comes and goes. Hopefully it is just temporary and will be gone in the near future :) I still have lots of walking to do... and a little four-legged diva who insists that we go for our morning and afternoon walkies... how can I not give in to her demands??

Well, I'm watching "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" with (sigh) Johnny Depp! Man, is that guy one good lookin' dude! And soooo talented!! Since I stayed home tonight, I really thought that I would be able to catch up on some email... but alas, that was not meant to be. It's now 11:30pm so I don't think I'll start on email tonight. Hahahaha... tomorrow's another day... maybe I'll get some done then :)

Ciao for now! Johnny Depp is requiring my attention now :D


Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007 - End of Long Weekend

Hiya Bloggy,

Well, hasn't this been a very wet, gray long weekend? This is just not right for the May long weekend. Why, it seems for years it's always the Queen Vicki long weekend that the sun comes out, it's hot and this is always the first weekend I usually get a sunburn. Certainly not this year!

Actually, I had a pretty quiet weekend. I had a lot to absorb after my encounter with the insurance company rejecting the claim for the oral chemo pills I was suppose to start last Thurs. That so took me by surprise and I don't think we are finished with it yet. I can't believe that.

But Dad has come to my rescue. To either wait for the insurance company to make up their minds (which could take weeks or months, knowing insurance companies), or the alternative of going on the portable pump for 35 days... either of these two options are not doable. Waiting for the insurance company would only mean delaying my treatment that much longer, to the point I'll be back on the IV Chemo treatments... so I will have missed out on this chemo that is to work with the radiation. What the long term results would be if I don't do the chemo is anyone's guess and I don't want to chance that. Going on the portable pump for 35 days would not work for me because I can barely get through the 3 days I have to be on it when I do the IV treatments. For those 3 days my mobility is limited, and it really plays havoc with my mood. My emotions run all over the place and that plays havoc with my attitude, which is what is getting me through this journey. So 35 days would pretty much do me in and I can see where I would have a serious case of depression... which is not what I need to be battling at this time.

So Dad has told me to go ahead and get the oral (pill) form of the chemo so I don't need to think about/worry/stress over the chemo pump. He will pay for it while we go through the hassle with the insurance company... and we'll just have to take it a day at a time. And if, in the end, they still reject it... then Dad says not to worry.. it's more important that I am stress-free while I continue on with this journey.

I might also add here... some of you wonderful friends have also jumped in and said if the insurance company doesn't come through, that you would be more than willing to help out with the costs. I am blown away by all of you!! I'm not going to name names (grin) because I don't want to embarrass anyone and I know you offered out of pure friendship.. I love you all!! You know who you are :)

Meanwhile, this weekend has been productive on a Suzy Domestic front. On Saturday, I made a spaghetti and salad dinner... Jo, Greg and Steve S. came over to entertain me and get my mind back on fun stuff. It worked like a charm! We had a real fun evening and I could feel the tension of the last 3 days start to fade.

Ok... so on to Sunday! I can't believe it... after all these years (and we are talking decades), I decided that I need some REAL curtains for the windows in the living room and my crafts/eating nook. So Mimi and I headed to Ikea Sat morning and I picked up some great cotton fabric. They called these panels "bedspreads" but that's kind of a stretch of the imagination. They are perfect for curtains!

Here we have the ones in the craft area/kitchen table. Hahahaha... now I did say I got the curtains done on Sunday and put up, but I didn't say I actually did any housework (grin)!!! So the table is just a tad messy... and I can say that here it is Monday night and it's still messy!! Hey, let's not rush a good thing!! (chuckle).

Yes, erm, let's talk about my little helper, Miss Bridget. I had mentioned that this was a wet weekend, which meant Bridget had to go out in the rain for her morning constitution. Bridget doesn't mind the showers, especially if it is mild out, but she does not like the heavy rain that gets her all wet to the skin. Sunday morning was the heavy rain and I made her go out anyways because it didn't look like it was going to stop any time soon. So when we got back, all she wanted to do was sleep on her towels... so I got absolutely no help from her, not even to sit at my feet like a good dog does (grin).

Today, it wasn't quite as rainy, but it was cloudy. So I decided to attack my kitchen pantry shelves. These are the ones that I stored various baking ingredients... and kept adding to them to the point I didn't know what was in there anymore! What a mess!! There were bags of protein powders, gluten, flaxseed, etc. that had expired 2 years or more ago!! So it all got chucked out and the remaining things that are still good are neatly packed. That was an all afternoon job!!

Hahahaha... and then there was the Chemo Brain moment. Later in the afternoon, the sun actually came out (of course... the long weekend is over (grin)). So Bridget and I went out for our afternoon walkies sans the rain. When we got home, Nathan and Mimi were coming in at the same time. So we walked in together and were yakking. We got to my apartment door which I opened for Bridget, but continued talking to Mimi and Nathan in the hallway. We said our goodbyes and they went on to their apartment (2 floors above) and I went into mine, shut the door, took my coat off, etc. I then went into the living room and, no Bridget. She wasn't on the couch or on her Squirrel Watch chair. Hmmm... where did she go? I called her. Nothing. I checked the bedroom and bathroom. No Bridget. Now I'm getting a little concerned.. how can you lose a dog in a one bedroom apartment?? This time I said, "Bridget.. I've got pepperonis!!" (one of her favourite treats)... nothing.

Hmmm.. could she have followed Mimi and Nathan upstairs??? Naaaaa.. one of them would have brought her right back down. But, I opened the apartment door and was going to go up there because I just couldn't figure out where she would be. Well, as soon as I opened the door, there sitting in the hallway in front of the door was my little Bridget. She would have heard me calling her and saying I had pepperonis but she knows she's not allowed to bark in the common hallways, so she just sat there, waiting for me to open the door (grin). That's the first time I've lost my dog in the hallway (grin)!

Well, it's getting late so I better sign off for the night. Tomorrow is another day. I go for my radiation treatment at 11:30am and have to get my bloodwork done, either before or after. And will see if I'm meeting with Dr. Gill while I'm there, or if she will say to go ahead, pick up the prescription and start it tomorrow ... or if she has another plan in place.

Never a dull moment!! But hey, I have new curtains AND a tidy pantry!!! (grin)

Ciao for now!!