Thursday, May 11, 2006

Surprise! I have my surgery date.

I was surprised to get a call from Jessica at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance today. I wasn't expecting them to call until tomorrow.

Here's the skinny - I have three pre-op appointments, all in Seattle - first one - a med appointment on Wed. 17th at 10:45 in the a.m. and the other two - the meeting with my surgeon, Dr. Gray, Thursday at 2:30 and an appointment with the anesthesiologist, Thursday at 4:00. My surgery is scheduled for Monday, May 22. They didn't seem to have set the time for the surgery yet - it apparently hinged on the anesthesiologist. So there you have it.

It seems real now.

I have "lived" with cancer most of my life. My mother had cervical cancer when I was about 5 or 6. I remember going with mom and dad on the trips to Wenatchee for her radiation treatments. My dad would take the movie camera along to take pictures of the wildflowers along the Columbia River. They gave such heavy doses of radiation at that time, I know that the radiation was the cause of a lot of the health problems that she had later in life.

She lived to be 58 and died of complications of liver cancer. We held her memorial service on Valentines Day 1978.

I don't remember how old I was when Daddy had the cancerous spot removed from his mouth. Pre-teen, I think. - I don't remember his treatment - maybe that was the summer they shipped me over to the coast to stay with my sister and her family...

In May 1978, at the age of 60, my Dad died of complication from cancer around the lining of his heart and lungs. Only three months after my mom died. 1978 was one bitch of a year. I was 26 years old. My three sisters and I were orphans.
Oh, and yes, my parents had both smoked for about 40+ years...

This picture was taken last month at a family reunion. I'm the one in the red jacket, Merrill in black, Wisten in orange and Nance in the pastels. I love these three women more than anyone in the world. (Well, maybe except for John - but that's different.) My husband is an "only" - he has had a real hard time understanding the sister dynamics - we may snipe at each other, but boy, don't you be going after one of us - the wrath of the goddess will come down on your head! He calls us "The Sisterhood" - I think it's more like the Mud Springs Mafia. Ha, Ha...

I said yesterday that I would tell you about AFLAC - 6 years ago, we had an AFLAC rep come to our office - we had just had an employee hurt badly in an after-work accident and even with our good health insurance, his finances were "severely damaged". Someone suggested that we look into AFLAC supplemental insurance for our employees - you know the kind that pays you so it doesn't hurt to miss work even when you have to miss work?

At the time we had a ram on our farm who had tried several times to take John out at the knees (through the fence) - so I took out the accident policy on both of us, an intensive care policy and with my family history, a cancer care policy.

The accident policy helped to pay our bills when John was injured in a hit and run accident three years ago. I hoped that I'd never need to use the Cancer policy.

When I got my diagnosis, I called our AFLAC rep. She came to my office the next day with a claim form and explained to me the benefits that I would be receiving. My health insurance deductible and out of pocket will total about $4500 - my AFLAC cancer policy will pay me a first occurance benefit of about $4500. (boy they nailed that one on the nose) Plus they will pay mileage to Seattle, a little bit on hotel rooms - and additonal benefits for the surgery and so much for each night in the hospital, and so on. It makes me feel like I can focus on getting well, rather than trying to figure out how we were going to pay for all of it. I feel like I could do one of their commercials...

Speaking of focus - I've had a bit of a problem focusing on the job at hand at work - I think I'll "hit the hay" so I can put in a little more work tomorrow - now that things are more settled.

P.S. - input from my sisters reminded me I had errors on my mom & dad's ages so I have edited this post. Thanks Merrill - T.

No comments: