Friday, June 24, 2011

So, the colonoscopy didn't show anything earth shattering, and you would think that was good news, right?  But cancer is tricky.  It hides.  It sneaks around and lulls you to sleep while it lurks and stalks and waits to intrude on your life and make you sick.  We found this out the first time Mark had cancer.  He was all aboard the colonoscopy train.  Took the prostate blood test.  Nada.  Then he had appendicitis.  It was biopsied with one little cancer cell that blocked the tube  and caused the appendicitis.  Turns out the sneaky little marble-sized tumor hid up just past where the colon turns and the scope can't quite reach.  It had shot off a couple of friendly cells just to make its presence known.  They gave him a PET scan, and saw two hot areas, but they thought one of them was just a cluster of blood vessels.

Then they took the little tumor out, told him they thought they got it all, and gave Mark 13-weeks of chemo, that made his hair look like baby bird feathers.  He got pissed and shaved it.  Chemo made him so nauseated he dropped pound after pound.  He got thrush in his mouth and throat that hurt and made him give up chilies, a serious dietary change for someone who used Tabasco like others use ketchup.  It softened and mutilated his fingernails so that he couldn't even crack a pop top.  To celebrate his completion they repeated the PET scan.  There was still a tiny hot area.

Then he felt the lump.  It felt like a hernia or something like that, but of course, it was exactly the same place as the hot spot on the scan.  Another surgery.  More chemo.  No more hair.  More nausea and all the rest.  Another PET scan, no hot spots.  Another year, another scan, another and another, all ok.

And now a blood test with an out-of-whack marker.  The CT scans are negative.  The colonoscopy looks, on the surface, ok.  No biopsy results yet, but the pesky marker is still there.  So, it's off to another oncologist (we moved from Dallas to Phoenix two years ago.)  Guess we will see what the new PET scan will show.  If we can get Medicare to cover it.  If not, we wait until we can pay for it, and hope the little cancer cells move slowly.

The cancer insurance is all used up.  I am now disabled with a lung disease from hell and I dropped COBRA when we got Medicare because COBRA doubles in price at some point, and then if you get another extension, it goes up almost double again.  It would have taken more than Mark's total Social Security Disability monthly check to continue it.

It makes me so angry!  Mark and I have worked for many years.  Paid into the system.  Then some politicians get up and start yelling about cutting Medicare "and other entitlements,"  while they have Cadillac medical insurance for life.  You are the jerks who broke faith with us, you spent the money that we PAID for our Social Security and Medicare, for years and years.  How dare you imply that you are letting us subsist at barely over poverty level with no cost-of-living increase because of some entitlements!  I only wish that you could have to pay our medical and prescription bills and try to pay for everything else.  I wish you could walk a mile in our shoes, but then again, I wouldn't wish that on anyone else.

I guess I will never run for political office.

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