So here's the deal.
I'm definitely recurring - my CA-125 is up to 231. Way outside of normal range. Ascites is developing pretty severely. Yesterday I had 3 liters drained off of my abdomen. I am averaging about 90 mls a day in what we drain out of the space around my left lung.
Yet I have not yet started chemo. Because of my insurance.
Look - I know they have to run a business. And part of that is to have doctors on staff to review things like requests for approval for chemo regimens. But they need to have doctors that are actually up on the latest developments in the various cancer treatments, and they sure as hell shouldn't be second-guessing on of the top researchers in the field.
They certainly shouldn't take nine days to deny that regimen. And if they are going to deny that regimen, then they shouldn't take another week to approve the same regimen I was on the first time I had chemo - or request further clinical information. Honestly folks - my doctor isn't requesting more chemo so that I can lose weight. It's because my cancer is returning.
That's where we are. As of today, my insurance company still has not approved carbo/taxol for my treatment. My CA-125 has been rising since September, and on October 2nd, nodules were felt during an exam. Cancer is happily growing inside of me for going on two months now, and because of some random doctor at the insurance company, I don't know how much longer it will continue to run rampant. My fear is that my most recent CT scan still didn't show any tumors, but just the ascites building, and that they will try to use that as an excuse to delay treatment. My oncology nurse says I'm scheduled for chemo on Thursday. I hope they approve it by then. If it hasn't been approved by the end of business today, tomorrow I will get the name of the person they are dealing with and start calling every hour asking them what the hold up is. Because folks - this is my life we're talking about here.
Now - before anyone tries to use this as a political issue - stop right now. This is a health care issue, and there is no doubt in my mind that I would have had this same thing come up 6 months ago. This is what happens when a business - such as insurance companies - decide to make health care decisions. While I understand that they feel they are trying to control costs, they are doing so the wrong way. I am convinced that these types of decisions cost LIVES. There are people who will not fight with the insurance companies when this happens - I'm not one of them. But how many people die because some general doctor makes this type of decision? Health care decisions should be between the patient and doctor. No one else. NO ONE ELSE.
It boggles my mind that this is my life now. That I am literally going to be fighting an insurance company for my life. How the hell did this happen? This isn't the life I was supposed to have. I'm supposed to be enjoying working my last four and a half years before I can retire from my job and start enjoying grandbabies. I'm supposed to be getting my garden and flower beds ready for winter, not making sure that I'm walking around enough to prevent blood clots, and getting fluid drained off of my abdomen. I should be still trying to convince my husband we should take a trip to Cancun, not hoping that I'll be able to go in the early spring depending on where I am with chemo treatment!
Seriously y'all - I've been had.
I can't change it. Yet sometimes it still seems surreal. It's hard to accept at times that I have cancer. Cancer! Yet I do. Hmph.
So. That's where we are. I'm feeling much better since they drained the ascites off yesterday, a little sore (because ow - having a needle stuck in your side to drain fluid is ouchy even with lidocaine!). I'm trying to not be too scared, and I'm relieved that nothing yet is showing on the scan. But it's only a matter of time, so we need to get this show on the road. Again - any thoughts, prayers, good vibes, etc are appreciated. Y'all have no idea how much your love and support means to me.
(And no - I haven't gotten any more senior citizen discounts. Heh)