Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lanai; My Status; Insurance in that order.....

Lanai and Maui were awesome!  What a way to spend a 20 anniversary!  Grant and I both feel in love with Lanai.  It is quiet, very slow and everyone is so nice.  The fish is FRESH.  I ate poke everyday.  We will be back.  Two of the funniest things that happened were....

Lanai has not much in the paved road allotment, so you rent 4x4.  We rented from "a guy".  I am so glad that I had Mexico in my life because this is normal in Mexico.  For example, when I made reservations are this only hotel that is not a Four Season on Lanai I said, "I want to rent a Jeep."  He said, "Well, you can call Budget or I rent them."  I responded with, "Well, I am talking to you, I will rent from you."  Then he said, "I see that you are flying to the island.  May I suggest the ferry.  It is way more reliable."  I said, "Okay, but how do I get from the airport to the ferry dock."  His response, "I know a lady....."  So, between the guy and the lady, we got everywhere with efficiency you normally do not see in Hawaii.  Just sayin' - go with the "guy".  So, on our first outing, it was Grant and I against the biggest mud puddle I had every seen.  First, we threw rocks in it to see how deep it was, then we walked around it to see how bad the road was, and then we determined we shouldn't do it.  At that moment, a Jeep past us and went right through it with not so much as a pause.  We just looked at each other like, we SUCK.  By the end of the day, we were on fire!  One road we were going on was on the side of a mountain and Grant said, "I think I see a cement truck."  After 20 years of marriage, I blew him off like, whatever.  We made the next turn and, sure enough, there is the ready mix truck.  I was like, "I thought you nuts."  And he looked at me like, "Yeah, I make that crap up."  This road was NOT meant for a ready mix truck.  Needless to say, we got out of its way.  Second thing.....I swam with dolphins.  Not like on a tour, but like 300 spinner dolphins on every side of me, under me, so close I could touch them.  Spinning and splashing for like 20 - 25 mins.  I had always wanted to swim with dolphins.  I never have.  I even almost went on a tour to be with a dolphin, but it was $400 and I was like, "Wha?!?!?!?!  I can get over it!"  The funny part was Grant did not realize that I wanted to so badly.  We got to the bay, I saw a fin, and fling, fling of the cover up, out with the flippers and into the water!  Grant was like, "Those are mighty big waves....they are kinda out there......uh, you go ahead......"  I was already gone.  He took pictures.  (smile)

My status - I get how easy it is to not make that appointment after you have had enough freedom to actually forget.  I used to be all judgey (sp) and say that people should always keep up on their cancer care and that it is selfish to not do so.  Now, I get it.  My heart started to race every time I picked up the phone.  I would wait until 5pm and say, "Opps.  Missed it again."  But I finally did it and went.  My Mom came with and the boys too.  I was glad for her because I could not have managed both my nerves and their needs.  Hank enjoyed seeing them, I got a clean bill of health, and then the conversation started.....

A - "I assume I need a scan, yes?"
H - "Yes, but just a CT."
A - "Heck I can do that tomorrow!  When do you want the PET??"  SIDE NOTE:  The CT is an X-ray that can show masses of cancer.  The PET is the one that shows cancer cell activity.  The PET is how they originally found the cancer in my lungs.  Remember, my blood work and lymph nodes always have appeared normal - even when I was at death door.  Those indicator are useless for me.
H - "Well, since you have been away, all the insurance companies in the US have limited everyone to four PET scans in one person life." (I am in the 20s for PET scans.)
A - "So, without blood work indicators and lymph node indicators, we just have the CT to see masses - not cells.  That is a bit scary for me."
H - "Yes, everyone thinks so, but I think you will be okay with a CT for now.  We have a lot of data on you and if you really need it, I can fight for a PET."
A - "Can I self pay?""
H - "If you have an extra $5000 around."
A - "I can get it.....what is a retirement fund if there is no retirement?!?!"
H - "Okay, let's not go down this road.  You are going to be fine for now and if I think you need one, I will get you one."
A - "By talking for hours on the phone with insurance companies?  That is not the best use of your time."
H - "That is medicine today.  You will be fine with a CT for now."
A - "And you are a very convincing liar."
H  - "Yes, I am, but I am not lying right now."
A - "Okay, liar."
H - hug - "You are going to be fine.  I love you kid."
A - face buried in his jacket to dry the tears - "I love you too."

A HUGE tool in my toolbox is gone.  I am probably six times over the lifetime limit for PET scans.  Will I miss the prep for them?  No.  Will I miss their accuracy for someone that has so few indicators?  Yes, that is why I did the prep for them, drank the yummy yummy juice, and took the radioactive shots.....

CT is next month.  So, onward with the game of "Insurance", where they are playing with my life.

Feeling sorry for myself today.  I will be better tomorrow.


Unknown said...

(Dang...looks like my post didn't go!) Sounds like a wonderful time in Hawaii filled with great adventures and fantastic memories. Hoping you can circumnavigate around your @$&$! insurance company easily...would love to meet up for lunch or coffee if you're up for it. Xoxo

Laurie said...

I would like to dump your insurance company in a big mud puddle.

Vicki Olafson said...

Hugs my friend. Glad you got that trip in..sounds lovely. Day by day! Love you

Lori said...

New reader here and have already read every single one of your blog entries! You are one STRONG and COURAGEOUS lady!! Cancer runs in my family (not rectal or colon cancer however) and today I had to consult with a doctor to have a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. This is because I have to have various tests done before having weight loss surgery. I am older than you so have had a colonoscopy four years ago but due to recent symptoms where I had an episode of minor pain and a very small amount of blood on the tissue they feel I need to be checked out. I feel like a wimp for being nervous--especially given all YOU have been through and your positive attitude! I am praying for you and your family! Lori

Unknown said...

Hi Angie! It is human to feel sorry for one's self. As having cancer means to deal with the pain and expenses, long talks about insurance and losing time getting well that could have been time being productive and such. But you should never lose hope. You should focus your energy on getting strong and feeling the love your family and friend are giving you. Take care!

Steven Keltsch @ Allied Insurance Managers