Monday, June 28, 2010

Mayo Monday, Color Rant

Its been a nice weekend off -- no phone calls or plans to make,
nothing really to be decided or planned, so I've been giving myself
permission to take it easy.

I went to benefit yesterday for Ed M, Minneapolis Irish music
forefather, who passed away unexpectedly from undiagnosed liver cancer
a few months ago. When they caught it, the docs gave him 6 months and
he lasted 30 days. It makes me glad that mine was caught as early as
it was. The benefit was held at the old Kieran's Irish Pub (A
Minneapolis Irish Music landmark for 20 years). Kieran's just recently
moved to be closer to the new baseball stadium, but the old pub is
still open under the clever name of "The Old Pub" for lunch and happy
hour. They opened on a sunday just for this, all proceeds from alcohol
and food sales was donated by Kieran (who still owns it), all
waitstaff worked for tips only, there was a very nice silent auction
and a raffle with thousands of dollars of donated prizes. Several
bands donated their time, including the new Tim Malloys, minneapolis
music legends boiled in Lead, and a Van Morrison tribute band 5-piece
called (for some reason that I've never been able to figure out) St.
Dominic's Trio. They're decent, but the problem with being an
authentic tribute band is that no one would ever buy your album if you
made one.

A and R -- Ed's widow and 8 year old son -- were also there, of
course. She has clearly lost a dangerous amount of weight but I can
tell has great support through this. She seems to be hanging in there
very well and was very glad to see the big turnout.

Among the fundraisers was a guy selling armbands. I knew that breast
cancer was yellow, but I never really realized that (someone) has
decided on a color scheme for ALL of the cancers. Lucky me, this is
the color I get:

Peach? Peach?! How about black, mofos. Or at least yellow. Breast
cancer should be pink, colon cancer should be brown, *uterine* cancer
should be yellow. Or perhaps all cancer should just be black. Other
color options I can think of: testicular cancer should be blue, bone
cancer should be white, brain cancer should be grey -- and it is,

I got one of the "Cancer Sucks" armbands in memory of Ed and also for
myself. Though the color is kelly green (liver cancer), it also makes
sense for a Irish musician who has cancer, so that's what I'm telling
myself. But I think I'll get a zillion of the black ones and give them
out. Take back black, I say. Who says the melanoma peeps get to have
all the cool stuff?

Today I head out to Mayo to see Dr. Hunter. To Review, I do have
health insurance, through HeathPartners, and I'm well covered for the
surgery and chemo, etc. But Mayo is out of network for them, so I
chose to do my second opinion with perhaps the best guy on the planet
for this exact type of cancer. His consult fee will be out of pocket
but then (assuming he gives the green light to Dr. Ungawa and his
plan) I'll be back in HealthPartners fully covered for everything else.
Another recent development speaking of insurance, though:
MinnesotaCare (which is who I get my coverage through) has slightly
changed their tune: They originally said no, there's no chance to
switch from HealthPartners to UCare until open enrollment in the fall.
Upon hearing my arguments last friday on the phone -- the Mayo
procedure will be less invasive and involve less hospital and recovery
time (read: cheaper) -- they have now said, "maybe" I can switch
before fall. This is an exciting maybe, because if so it would mean
that all of my current docs would still be covered... PLUS ALL OF MAYO
CLINIC, at 100%. UCare the is the way to go, for anyone who has the
option. So I'm hopeful.

Anyhow, Mayo today with R and G, another painful uroscopy (its a 3
foot long hose with a camera at the end and is the diameter of a
pencil, people) and then hopefully some good feedback. Once again, its
unlikely I'll be able to do the surgery with this guy, but his opinion
is worth it.

And yes, Cancer sucks. Right now I feel like I should be billing
someone for my time and the time of everyone who is helping me. If you
let me know where I can send the bill, I'd be much obliged.


Traladeda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Traladeda said...

I really hope you are able to get into UCare sooner. You've got mad persuasive skillz, d00d. But even if you can't get in with them, your family and friends will be there. Your job is to kick cancer's ass, our job is to make it easy for you to do so. Whatever it takes.

I wish there was something they could give you to lessen the pain of the uroscopy, but I'm glad the best doctor in the field will be getting his own look. Will he run his own pathology reports too?

emily said...

hey mike, i feel a little bashful telling you this, but i'm pretty sure you don't have uterine cancer, unless there's a very large chunk of your life history that i'm unaware of. please let me know if i'm mistaken, and i'll be sure and congratulate you on your ability to pass.

bladder cancer is, indeed, yellow. ew.

cmmastro said...

Michael used to be Michelle. It makes the uterine cancer support groups awkward..... ;)

emily said...

hey, brain cancer IS gray!

also, testicular cancer is orchid. this just has to be a nerd joke. derivation of the word "orchid"? from orchis, greek for testicle. awesome.

M said...

Emily you are right, it is yellow!

And yeah, I dunno what I was thinking RE: Uterine cancer. Kinda funny!

M said...

Oh and yeah, I know that breast cancer is pink. What was I thinking!?

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