Faith and Hope - But No Charity
Tuesday 28th January
Faith and Hope but as yet no Charity...The picture above was taken in the restroom at the Hope Radiation Cancer Center.
One step forward but many questions remain.
We saw the Oncologist this morning and although I guess I knew what the treatment would be, neither Linda nor myself were prepared for the graphic detail.
The good news is that the cancer is still a primary cancer meaning that it hasn’t spread to my lymph nodes or anywhere else.
The treatment options are still as they were before and will be surgery (maybe), chemo and/or radiation.
We will know more when we see Dr Beggs tomorrow.
If Dr Beggs wants to cut the lump out then chemo/rad won’t start until 4 weeks afterwards to allow my throat to heal.
Irrespective of surgery I am going to need a port fitted near my neck to push the chemo into me and also a PEG tube fitted because when the radiation treatment start I may not be able to eat or drink. The PEG tube is a feeding tube that goes straight into my stomach....
Also, before chemo/radiation I am going to need all my teeth either fixed or extracted and in my case it will probably mean extracted. Joy oh joy….So I guess no hair, no teeth, can things possibly get worse? Well, yeah but we don’t want to go there.
On top of all this I cannot get chemo/rad in Panama City as I am ‘self pay’. The nearest cancer center that accepts self pay is in San Destin about 40 minutes down the road.
I’m being evaluated by a Panama City Charity (Bay Cares) to see if they can help me with all this and I should know more hopefully before the end of the week.
I’m starting to focus a bit more now. Today at the appointment I was in shock. Poor Linda was in tears.
The Doc agreed to craft a letter saying that my condition had deteriorated in the weeks (months) since the CT scan was misread. Once I have that I will be seeking legal advice for a malpractice lawsuit. I don’t agree with suing medical institutions as a rule but in this case they are trying to charge me over $3000 for a misread Cat scan and I also spent nearly a further thousand dollars in other medical visits/tests as a result.
As I say, I will know more tomorrow - at least I will know whether surgery is on the cards or not.
Also, I am waiting to hear back from Bay Cares as to whether they can help me with dealing and paying for all this. I hate waiting…..
Last night neither of us got much sleep and today has been an exhausting and draining day. We both went into shock when the doc started telling us everything that needed to be done prior to treatment.
All this may have been easier to take but all I could think about was firstly the horror of this feeding tube and secondly the cost of two surgical procedures and one more CT scan needed before radiation treatment.
Where I come from, you get sick, you go to the doctor, doctor arranges treatment, you get treated.
In theory the same applies here, if you have insurance to pay for it.
On top of being diagnosed with cancer, on top of the surgery, chemo and radiation, is the added burden of who pays for it. It is beyond our means - beyond most people’s means come to that and as of today I don’t know if anyone will agree to treat me.
People say to me, “Don’t worry about the money” and “it can be fixed”, but as of right now I don’t have any visible way to cover the costs of all this and neither do I have anyone who has agreed to treat me. It is a horrible situation to be in.
I have looked at Medicaid but don’t think we qualify. A confirmed diagnosis of cancer may change that but I have yet to find out.
I suppose I will take some Tramadol and zone out for a while.
I do feel a lot better than I did this morning but that isn’t saying all that much.
Tomorrow will bring some answers or more questions, some hope or more despair, some progress or more waiting about.
Probably a mixture of all of them.
Faith and Hope....
We shall see……