January 4, 2020

September 2019 - Oncology Appt, Half Way There

Oncology Appt.

The doctor was late because she had been at the hospital all night.  Her assistant asked if I wanted to meet with her instead of the doctor.  From my last experience I politely as I could indicated that I would wait for the doctor and it was a GOOD thing that I did.

I lucked up on the Oncologist, she is great! We talked about not being able to feel the mass any more, she asked about my side effects and the worse is now that my feet are numb....called neuropothy.  My hands are not bad that came and went, but I can't feel my feet anymore.

She made a note and then decided that there is no efficacy in continuing the next two Taxol treatments.  Most people only make 9 -10 treatments and I've had 10 treatments so she cancelled the last two treatments.  

Then she looked at her notes to confirm I had not started with the other drugs and advised I still need to do the two new drugs because they don't have any clinical trails that indicate you can just do Taxol/Carbo to get cure...BUT...there is a slight break between the new drugs to build your body back up.

She did indicate that with the new drugs I'll be more tired and nauseated so it's every other week.  The body can't take weekly.

During the 2-3 week break she ordered chest scan and blood work.  I asked if the new drugs caused neuropothy and she said it is not typical.  Hopefully my feet start to come back because sleeping at night is unbearable.  During the day I'm moving around so they get stimulated, but at night forget it, it's like a toothache in your feet.

During the Chemo Free Break...

  • I feel like I can think clearer.  
  • I can walk up the stairs without getting winded. 
  • It doesn't feel like someone is sitting on my chest. 
  • Tiny bits of hair is growing back on my head. 
  • My feet are still numb but it feels like portions of the nerves are coming back to life. 
  • My son said my color is coming back (what??? he said that I looked pale before but now he can tell the difference in my skin tone...interesting). 
  • My hands don't look like they are the hands of a 100 year old. 

I'm just thinking that I should enjoy feeling half-way normal.  Honestly I'd forgotten what that felt like. I didn't even realize I didn't feel like normal as I was just pushing through the pain.

Medical Bills 

I can see the light at the end of that tunnel too.

We are at $150,000 in claims and I've reached my $10,000 max.

I'm paying the bills as they come in and learning during the process. I've now paid $2,000 in medical bills and trust me I've learned they only bill you ONE time then they bill you a SECOND and FINAL time before they threaten for you to get in touch with them to set up a payment plan OR face a collection agency. 

Learning about the medical "system" and seeing how it could ruin your credit and force people to go bankrupt. It's unreasonable to think people HAVE THOUSANDS of dollars to pay for a service that is:

  • Overpriced
  • Not negotiable
  • Not known before the service is rendered
It is unreasonable.  I'm now interested in this topic...insurance, health care, medicare, etc. This isn't going anywhere and the older a person gets the worse it could get if you need medical care.

Sentara $5K Bill

I got a REQUEST FOR PAYMENT statement for the $5,158.44 and no phone call from the supervisor who should have been looking for this bill.

Okay so now I have to do the accounting for myself and uncovered errors on the Hospital part and the Insurance part.  I did a spreadsheet and came up with the number it looks like I owe. $2,468.21 (me) vs. 3,506.31 (Insurance)  vs. 5,158.44 (hospital).  Actually it was like forensic accounting and I ENJOYED doing it.  

I was just sitting there as I was working on it thinking how many elderly people might just sent a check for $5k without having anyone to help them.  I think there is a business opportunity in this.  I looked it up and there is it is called "Daily Money Management/Paperwork Management"...hmmm...something to consider. 

 I can especially see this working with medical bills because in this case there is a difference of $2,600!  It all just took me back to my first job as a bookkeeper....something to consider for the future.

Oncology Bill

They are far far behind in their billing...and at $10K for a chemo treatment I can see that they could afford to be...especially when folks have insurance.  So, I'm paying them as they bill me and that's months behind.  I just need to pay it before the end of the year for tax purposes.

Talk to Navigator

I thanked her for all her help especially setting up the appointments with the surgeon and oncologist.  Best medical team I could have asked for.