Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's Up

It's just Wednesday, and it's already been quite a week.

Yesterday, being the first of September, was the day we'd been waiting for all summer - the first day of open enrollment. This meant that I could call our insurance company and request that Michael's medical group be changed from Greater Newport Physicians to UCLA Medical Group. We'd been told earlier that all I needed to do was call member services and make the request. So, I did that first thing in the morning, only to be asked why he was making a change, and when I told them (cancer treatment), I was put on hold. When the rep came back, she said that since he is "in treatment" that only my employer could make this kind of request. That ticked me off!

So, I called the insurance coordinator at the district, and she said this was news to her. She spent the day trying to get ahold of her contact there, but apparently wasn't having any luck. She talked to Michael later in the afternoon, and indicated that she was frustrated with the insurance company, and that she would be contacting the vice president the next morning. This was a bit disconcerting for us, of course.

However, Michael got a call this morning that the request had been made, and that it will be effective October 1st. Phew! This should prevent us from experiencing the kinds of delays we've experienced so far. In just a few weeks time, there will be no more going back and forth between two medical groups.

Later that day, we put a call in to our current GP and asked her to call us and go over the results of last weeks scans with us. She did so shortly thereafter, and said that the brain MRI and the full-body bone scan were clean - no evidence of cancer. But, the CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis showed that the cancer has continued to grow and spread since the last scans were done. I'm sure that is normal, but we were disappointed and all the more eager to begin the HDIL-2 treatment.

Today, Michael got a call from UCLA. They want him to come in next Thursday. Michael didn't ask why, but I'm assuming it's a pre-HDIL-2 check up and consultation. I also think they will schedule the HDIL-2 then, and I think we will get started with that the week of September 14th. I will not be going to that appointment. It will just be the second day of school, and I think I should be there. But Michael's mom and, hopefully, his sister will go with him. I will also have him record the conversation so that I can hear it all when I get home.

Tomorrow is his last prerequisite test - the pulmonary function test. I'm not concerned about him passing it. Tomorrow or Friday we should have the final authorization for him to have the HDIL-2 at UCLA. So, we're getting all our ducks in a row. Just a couple more things need to fall into place.

Today was my first official day back at work. It was good to be busy and out of the house, but I was disappointed when I got home to learn how much Michael didn't eat today. I can't tell you how overwhelming it is to be the breadwinner and the caregiver. I have to go to work, but then he's on his own and he just isn't doing a good job taking care of himself at all. I don't know what to do. And, my mom has her hands full caring for my grandmother who also has cancer. So, I just don't have the support from my side of the family like I usually do. We're all spread too thin. It's hard. Really hard. I need a caregiver!


Kayce said...

Wish I lived closer, I'd give you a hand with anything you needed. Know that you're in our constant prayers Joannah. Hug.

Michelle said...

I don't know how much of a help I could be, but you know I'm off on Wednesdays and I would be happy to help in any way.

I could take Buffy for a walk, or go to the grocery store for you, or bring Michael lunch. Anything. Please don't hesitate to let me know.

I really mean this Joannah. I wouldn't offer otherwise.

Let me know!

Alex and Jill said...

Well I'm happy to hear that the insurance stuff is falling into place. I can't imagine the burden of being the breadwinner and caregiver...I'm so sorry. I'm continuing to cover you both in prayer.


xinex said...

I am so sorry for having to tackle so much. I know God knows you can do it that is why He allows it. Glad you got the ins. taken care of. I will add you 2 in my prayers....Christine

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

Girlfriend, you are really going through it right now. Oh how I wish we lived closer I would enjoy helping you right now!!! I will continue to pray~



Calico Sky said...

I can only imagine how hard this is. You may remember from the old blog, my mum has some significant struggles so while it isn't cancer I'm very used to caregiving.

Could you make him a packed lunch M-F and tell him his 1 job is to eat it? Maybe having it all there and ready would help?