Monday, June 21, 2010

Thanks be for rollover minutes.

I don't use my phone as an actually phone much these days, but since I got the diagnosis last Friday my phone has been in use nearly constantly. I'm burning through my AT&T rollover minutes in a hurry. I still have a bunch left, but still.

Today I've been feeling the push-pull of different people who want me to make decisions, ASAP -- and balancing that with lack of information. I finally talked to Mayo directly and am making progress towards getting in to the the guy that I want to see.

It appears that if I stay with Healthpartners, they wouldn't cover any of the cost of mayo -- 100% out of pocket. But apparently UCare would cover Mayo fully with only a miniscule copay -- including hospitalizations, etc. I missed the window to talk to the MinnesotaCare colks today to see about changing my provider. I feel that they might make me wait until the end of the month for it to be effective, or perhaps longer. The good news is that UCare also covers my primary care physician (Dr. Larry) and the original Urologist, Dr. Ungawa (not his real name), who h is apparently one of the top men in his field, but definitely lack some in the communicating-with-patients department.

Tomorrow I go back for another day of teaching at Big Box Driving School. I taught today and I love the curriculum, the students, my new boss is great and very understanding. It keeps me focused and from feeling useless, which otherwise I'm sure I would do. Too much time off, as I know well, can be very toxic.

I was reflecting today that this is not my first major life changing medical event. My motorcycle crashes in 1991 and 2005 were significant. My diverticulosis episode is still a recent memory. So While some may say that I have a grey cloud hanging over my head or 10d6 of Unluck, at least I'm better than most (I flatter myself) at dealing with catastrophes. I'm good at compartmentalizing things, mentally shelving things until the next day and taking it -- to use a well-worn phrase -- one day at a time.

I've had so much support from family and friends that I am feeling that I may never be able to repay this debt of gratitude. Everyone has been hugely helpful, most noteworthy my mother and brother, R, J, G, the McMasterson's.

I really appreciate all the little notes too. It means a huge amount just to get the texts and FB notes that say "hang in there" or what have you. Its easy to feel alone in this time and everyone has been very good at keeping in touch and distracting me.


Access said...

You are not in debt to me at all, my brother. You have had an amazing impact on my life, you have inspired me for many years, and one of the reasons I'm the musician I've become, so I think it may be the other way around. I'm looking forward to kicking this thing's ass with you. And very heartening about UCare - I work with them at the newspaper, and I'm always impressed by their administrators.

Raymond (aka R)

RKooyer said...

Distractions are an incredible way of balance in the whole yin-yang of engagement. A mutual fan and acquaintance who has been fighting cancer for a while has had similar experiences with continual support through dialogs with friends and family. There is a place for solace yet another for the deluge of connections and interwoven relationships that you have garnered over the years.

Another witness that I have to you, whether it is a consequence to the other events in your life, is the dramatic loss of weight. I knew you in your Gallowglass days and you were great in stature. Now you are powerful in ways that I can comprehend in different ways. Your determination will help you now when you need it most.

Yes, one day at a time is certain. This a a certain aspect that we must all remember on our new journeys and it well be key when we look back to see how far we've come.

Rachael said...

I feel like Dr. Ungawa is my Dad's urologist, I will check in with him. My Dad knows urologists! That sounds terrible doesn't it? Christina may have mentioned, but book club stands ready to help in any way we can, cleaning, cooking, dog walking/sitting, what have you. And remember that I have the summer off so it really is no trouble at all. Rachael

llochen said...

You know, the nice thing about friends is they always seem to be ready to help in bad times. It's never a bother to offer help and it is gratifying to be able to help if needed. So often we go around in our lives not being REALLY needed. Sometimes a person just feels grateful to be able to help. As Rachael said, we are all standing at the ready. We do a lot of dog sitting in the Lochen household, so any of that works for us. Laura

Eclector2 said...

You are doing a wonderful job of sorting through all of this. I admire you and your way of handling us all. This blog is a great way to keep us all informed without driving you crazy with questions and phone calls. I know I have to resist calling you every hour of the day, but if you need me I am there in a minute. Love, Mom.

Wendy said...

So now the offers have been made - we are ready and waiting to be there for whatever you may need. Your job now is to fight and beat cancer. My job is to support you. The hard part for you might be to ask. The hard part for me will be not bugging you about what you need. So let's try and create something like a safe word that will mean: "just come, I need people around/near me" and then we will come and your worries will be less.

What do you think? Love, Wendy

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