The Slacker is Back
Well, I am really slacking at this blogging stuff. Life has just been too busy lately. Yeah, yeah, I know that I am supposed to be resting and recuperating but what can you do when you have to fight with the phone company over your DSL being down, you have to fight with Social Security to get your disability settled and various other things I don't even want to mention here.
Last week, I had the pleasure of going to the Social Security office, not once, but twice as things started to get settled. A decision was finally made on my case on Tuesday and it was an approval. Phew! Now, I can get my COBRA renewed (I hope) and complete my treatments. After getting the approval from SS, I immediately called the COBRA people to see what needed to be done for my health insurance. Well, guess what? COBRA is also a federal program and I have now been informed that I need my letter from SS (which I do not have yet but should have tomorrow) and that it then takes them 10 working days to decide if indeed I can continue my COBRA coverage. Argh! Apparently, even with the SS letter in hand it is not a given that approval will come through. And then to top it off, there is this thing called Cal-COBRA which nobody had said anything to me about until a friend mentioned it and I called the COBRA folks and they said, "Oh yeah, you are in California. Talk to Kaiser about that". And then there is the HIPPA plan. I am so confused now. Tomorrow, I will be over at Kaiser trying to figure it all out. It is nice to have choices but very confusing and, if you choose the wrong one, you can never go back and make it right.
Tomorrow, heralds both the end of my "official" revovery period from my surgery and also my 15th Herceptin infusion. Yes, I am still in treatment for my cancer and will continue to be for another 2 months (or so). Every 3 weeks, I visit the infusion center where I am hooked up to the machines and bags to have the Herceptin dripped into my veins in the hopes of killing any little rogue cancer cells that may be swimming around out there. I have Genentech to thank for this so any of you out there reading this that may work at Genentech or may know anyone that works for Genentech, please tell them "Thank You" from me.
Although my official recovery is over and I can begin to resume some of my normal activities, the actual recovery continues. It will be another few months before all of the swelling goes down and I can return to my doctor to determine if I need an "adjustment" surgery to fix any unacceptable parts of my new anatomical unit. About 60% of reconstructions require this and it looks as if mine will also. After that is done, it will be about another 4 - 5 months for the new swelling to subside and then I can have a nipple put on and should be done with the whole process (sometime next year). For the time being, I am just reveling in being able to wear all of my tops and blouses again now that I have a somewhat normal body part and not a prosthesis that falls forward allowing everyone to look right down my tops.
I must say that it has also been fun shopping with my new, flatter stomach. I am still the same size but everything seems to fit so much better. Now, if I could just find some money so that I could buy something......hmmmmmm.......
As I near the end of my treatments, I am feeling a bit strange. This life has so consumed me over the past 17 months as I worked at getting treated that it will be strange to not have to think about it any more. I will miss all of my Oncology nurses who welcome me so cheerily every 3 weeks and have taken such good, kind care of me. They have almost become like family- always asking about how my father is doing (they miss him since he doesn't need to come in with me any more) and wanting to know what is happening with me.
It is like leaving one job to go to another. I am happy about it but also feel sad to be saying goodbye. 2 more months......