For the past month I have been working on my Medicare plans. Deciding what part D plan and medigap plan to choose. It’s incredibly frustrating because no one and their information is on the same page. The left hand doesn’t know what the rigt hand is doing. First I am told I qualify for a medigap plan F, the best one for cancer treatment but then I am told Nevada doesn’t sell those plans to people under 65 so I have to choose a Medicare Advantage plan. But not all of my doctors accept Medicare Advantage Plans. What I do know is my insurance costs will be about $450 a month, and that doesn’t include deductibles, or co-pays. Needless to say I have been really stressed out on top of getting chemo every other week.
I was interviewed by USA Today for an article on medical debt. NPAF asked me to do it and since I advocate about changing how medical debt is defined I happily agreed. It came out the other day so check it out here:
I have scans all this coming week. A brain MRI on Tuesday, PET/CT on Wednesday and Abdomen CT on Thursday. My pain has been coming and going with my low back and pelvis acting up more. We’ve increased my Oxycontin to 30mgs twice a day with the 5mgs of Oxycodone for breakthrough which I still take roughly 3-4 a day. My tumor markers are up again. Closer to 50’s now, still low in the tumor marker spectrum but higher for me. My cell counts are slow to rebound more and more after chemo. It’s taking longer so I have on occasion gotten a Neupogen shot kick-starting my immune system to get it ready for chemo again every other Tuesday.
The most significant thing that has happened in the past month was my 5 year cancerversary came and went. I don’t know if cancerversary is the right term to use as generally it’s a term used to represent a good thing but I don’t know what else to call it… either way 5 years ago on September 22nd 2011 I was diagnosed with a Stage III Breast Cancer. I laid in bed all day on the 22nd and cried. It sucks. This sucks. I hate it. I miss my life before cancer. I hate being sick. I hate being tired. I hate that I can’t run anymore. I hate not having energy. I miss my life before cancer. I hate having to take a handful of drugs just so I can get out of bed and walk. I hate having to figure out my insurance coverage and how much less I’ll get of my measly $1600 a month in disablilty. I hate being on disability. I hate being breathless from a simple flight of stairs. I miss my life before cancer. I hate not being able to work. I hate that I sleep 12 plus hours a day. I hate having weekly blood tests and doctors appointments. I hate that I don’t know how long I’ll have hair. I hate this feeling that something other than me is controlling my life. I miss my life before cancer. I hate getting scanned every 3 months. I hate having to make life and death decisions everyday. I hate that I don’t have the self esteem anymore to date. I hate my new body shape. I hate my new normal which is never normal because I change chemotherapy treatments like the seasons change. I miss my life before cancer. I simply hate cancer.
I did manage to do something fun the beginning of September though. Oyster Time! It was our annual oyster weekend in Dillon Beach/Marshall, CA. and we had so much fun! There were 12 of us this year, my besties, and we rented a huge house in Dillon Beach. We had a pool table, foosball table, hot tub, beautiful kitchen, gorgeous views of the beach. Fabulous day at Nick’s Cove, a restaraunt in Marshall, Ca where we sat outside on the docks eating ourselves stupid on Bacon Braised Oysters and Raw Blue Points (my favorite)! We had amazing wine too cuz that’s what you do when you have ordered 4 rounds of 32 oyster platters! and we still wanted more! That night at the house, we had marinated for 2 days tri-tip and crab legs, salad and baked potatoe salad. Lots of wine and cheesecake after! We went exploring and hit the beach daily. The weather was perfect, foggy in the morning and then it burned off by afternoon but still chilly. I loved it! I love my friends and already can’t wait till next year!