Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gearing up for Chemo…..

I haven’t written anything for a few days because there just wasn’t a lot to write about – love ordinary days!!

Guy went back to Little River to collect two boxes of mail that had accumulated over 2 months’ worth of mail.  He returned yesterday.  It took me a whole day to sort through all the bills and put them into the correct month.  I pay all my bills online, so there were just 3 or 4 stray bills that needed paying.  I haven’t had a chance to go through the fun things – magazine, etc.  I did get through several nice cards that had been sent there.  Guy had already sorted out most of the junk mail.

He got about half of the things that were on my list.  I had asked for the “green fuzzy coat.” What did he bring?  The bright pink one! 😀  We had even face-timed, and I pointed out which one in the coat closet.  smh  Oh, well, the bright pink one will do.  I wanted a crocheted hat that I had made some time ago, but never really had an opportunity to wear.  I just know I saw that when we were unpacking, but it didn’t seem to be anywhere that he could find it.  I know if I had been there I could have put my hand right on it.  He did bring a couple sweaters – I thought I had a lot more laid out, but apparently not. 

I won’t get to wear any of my Christmas shirts this year….😢

Today was a checkup with my plastic surgeon.  He said both the hand and leg were doing well.  He cauterized some on both with silver nitrate sticks.  I didn’t feel a thing since it was in the numb areas.  He said he did that because some of the scar tissue was growing faster than the normal tissue, so that would slow it down a bit and give the normal tissue time to heal in from the edges.  He said I could now remove the dressings and shower when I wanted to – just pat dry and redress.  Home health could continue to come if I needed them, but It was up to me.  He didn’t need to see me for 6 more weeks.  I talked to the home health RN after that, and we decided she would go ahead and come this Friday.  Then I would see her once a week for two weeks just for “assessment and evaluation.”  I was a little reluctant to let her go completely because I’m not used to these kinds of wounds and knowing what looks good and what doesn’t.  As far as changing the dressings, Guy can help me with what I can’t reach on my leg.

The rest of the day was spent filling out an online registration and health history in preparation for getting my port.  They called today to tell me it would be inserted Friday.  She was sorry it was not in time to give the chemo tomorrow.  I’m sorry, too!  I don’t like unnecessary needle sticks!!

Tomorrow is the big chemo day.  I’m just a little nervous about it.  One thing I’m a little nervous about is the financial counseling session.  When Guy brought back the mail, one of the things I found among the envelopes was that PEEHIP BC/BS has disenrolled me, and I had a whole new secondary health provider.  That was quite a shock!!  I had always felt very confident in my secondary picking up what Medicare didn’t.  Now here I am with a whole new provider.  And something about this new one “rang negative bells” in my head.  I called BC/BS to see why this had occurred.  He told me (in a rather disinterested voice, I thought) that all PEEHIP retirees had been turned over to United Healthcare – BC/BS no longer provided care for us.  WHAT?????  When did all this happen???? (Thank you very much, Mr. Obama for messing with a really good plan we all had!!!!)  And I’m just now finding out about it.  I know that Dec. 7 was the last day for you to make any decision about what provider you chose to go with.  Well, I sure missed THAT date!!!  I PM’d a trusted friend of mine, and she said those letters went out in August.  I’m sure that was after all this mess went down with me.  She did say that she attended several meetings, and she felt that the United Healthcare plan was the best that was made available, and she understood it was not the run-of-the-mill United plan.  They had wanted the PEEHIP customers really bad and went all out to design an attractive plan.  I felt a lot more comfortable after talking with her.  The last thing I need right now is to have to change horses in the middle of this raging stream!!!  Soooo, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow just what kind of plan it is when it comes to chemo drugs.   The new plan takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

One of the things I did right several years ago was to enroll in the PEEHIP cancer plan as one of those “extras” that were made available – like the vision and the dental.  I always hated to pay that extra, but decided I should keep it “just in case” someday.  Boy, I’m glad I did!!  The rest of the evening I spent printing out their claim forms.  Now I just have to get itemized statements from all those that treated me and from the hospital.  I’m anxious to know what they will pay.

One thing I did do today was to bake a cake!  

Haven’t felt like cooking much extra.  For one thing, Mark did not have a mixer of any kind.  Since I had two in LR, that’s one thing Guy did bring back that was on my list.  So I made a Boston Cream Cake.  It’s a regular cake mix baked in a 9x13 pan.  After it cools, you poke holes in it and poor 2 packages of instant vanilla pudding mixed with 4 cups of milk.  After cooling in the refrigerator for 2 hours, you make this chocolate ganache with hot cream poured over chocolate chips, stirred well, and then poured over the pudding.  It looks soooo delicious, but I can’t eat any tonight because chocolate eaten after 4:00 pm keeps me up all night.  I’ll have to wait until morning to have a piece.

The pastor from a nearby Nazarene church came by this afternoon.  He was a VERY nice man, and we had a great visit.  He is the pastor of the church that offers English classes that Sula has been taking.  Right now, they are on the holiday break.  She has really enjoyed them there, but had not met the pastor, so I introduced them today.  They have an immigration attorney that is a member of the church, and the pastor offered his services to Sula any time she needed them.

Oh, by the way…..I think I’ve found about 4 (total) small purple spots that have popped up on my head.  ARGH!!  Let’s just get this chemo going!!  I’m praying it KILLS every last cancer cell in my body – but does so gently – side-effects-wise.  I have a whole hour with the nurse educator before I meet with the financial counselor.  Yikes, guess I should take a pad and a pen. I’m about to find out what it’s all about!  Wish me luck and a WHOLE LOT OF PRAYERS!!!  And thanks in advance!!! 

As always, I’m in His hands….

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