Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blue Cross Blue Idiots

Last week I went in for a checkup with my oncologist, and he was fairly happy with the progress.   Then came the evening out with Mindy and Dave, which led to two days of suck.    (suck = losing 4 more pounds in a hurry)    So I went back into my oncologist on Friday, and was given a big bag of fluids.   That seemed to help, and gave me some strength to make it to Campbell's soccer game on Saturday, and to do some yard work (with the help of Dasha and her dad) on Sunday.  

But I have a comical approach to my Sylatron script that BCBS offered up last week.    Dr. Perez gave me a script for 5 additional shots.    I had taken 3, and left 5 to get me through the 8 week full dosage part of the plan.    So, my oncologist sends my script off to QVL Pharmacy in Plano, and they order the 5 shots.   BCBS calls the next day and says "We aren't going to pay for that, you need to switch to our national pharmacy".    Okie dokie......I call QVL, and they already have the 5 shots, at a grand cost of $68k.   (NOT returnable!!!!!!!)    I really feel bad for QVL, as they just ordered the script and have been great, but the pharmacist explained that it has happened before, and to do what I needed to do to make BCBS happy.        So, back to a phone call with BCBS........the "expert" tells me "since the cost of the script went up, they have to send it back in front of a review panel and it could be a week or so"........a week?????   really?    Yo Sparky, I need it by this Friday, and there isn't another option, why do you think the cost has gone up?     "well sir, your Dr. ordered 5 shots, and last time we approved only 3, so the cost is because of the additional shots".      I say "the cost is the same, just additional shots"......she says "we view it as a whole, and the cost has gone up"......so I say...."if you buy 3 apples for .75, and then buy 5 apples, it's going to cost you $1.25, but the apples still only cost .25 each, do you not see that???"    The apple example somehow confused the lady on the phone, so I just asked for ONE dosage (just one apple) to be overnighted to me.....and that went through.   So last Friday Dasha stared out the window waiting for the UPS truck, then went with me to the Dr. to get my fluids, and our sweet neighbor Kelly waited for the big brown truck.    One brown box was delivered, and I get to have another conversation with BCBS this week, going through the entire thing again, to get one more "apple" delivered this week!

This week I've felt fairly good, just really tired and worn down.   I'm not sure if it's a culumative effect of the drugs, or just trying to work through this is catching up to me.    But I'm half way through with the full dosage part, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  

I have had multiple people as about the anatomy of the actual shot, and what I do, so this week I'll document the entire process, with pictures!!!!!!   I know the suspense might be too much to take!   Have a great week everyone!!!!!!!     


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Twin Powers Unite

The impossible finally happened....we surprised Mike! Mindy, his sweet twin sister and her husband, talked to me about a month ago about coming in town for their birthday (which is today). She expected that he would be taking his shot today and wanted to come in and go to dinner and spend the night the night before. Somehow we managed to pull it off and he was actually surprised. We had a great dinner with them at Craft in the W Hotel- one of our favorite restaurants. Mike was a trooper as usual...nothing sounded good on the menu nor tasted good, but it was so much fun to spend time with Mike's sweet twin sister and Dave.  I poke fun at her alot about how close she and Mike are, but I am so blessed to have inherited her and my three other sweet sister in laws. There in times, especially during Mike's treatment when he "chooses" not to listen to my advance and I have to 'call in the twin' for some help...he seems to love her dearly and listen to her advice and wisdom and take it to heart. I'm so thankful for her.

Mike had a rough night after dinner and the exciting day seemed too much for him and he was exhausted and weak this morning. He has spent his birthday at home in bed resting. 

Mike, I know it isn't the birthday you thought you'd be having in 2012, but I'm so thankful we could celebrate last night a little bit. I'm most thankful for the many people praying for you and the doctors taking care of you. I love you so much... Dasha
P.S. Gig Em Aggies

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Update on 3 week checkup

Tuesday started as any other day, I got up and drove down the tollway in a driving rainstorm and by the time I made it to the office I was already dragging.   Sitting on the 39th floor, staring at 4 computer screens was not helping and I struggled to stay awake.   At one point I got up to get some water, and was really dizzy and was going downhill fast..........it was the first time that I really felt like I was going fall if I tried to walk.   Damon, a great friend and co-worker said "I'll walk you to the parking garage and I'll take my keys in case I need to drive you."    Amazingly, another friend and mentor, Ken Sheppard, had just arrived in the lobby of our office to say "hi" as he was downtown for a meeting, and Damon asked if he could give me a ride home.   Ken and I talked on the way home about how he hasn't been downtown for a meeting in a couple of years, amazing how God puts people in places, knowing there is a need or a challenge.    I was very thankful for the ride, as I was still really uneasy and shaky for a couple of hours.

At 3:00 we had our three week follow up appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Perez.   I'm officially down 16 pounds in three weeks, but that trend has slowed a bit after the first 10 days.   Dr. Perez is the same oncologist that treated me with Interferon, so he is pretty happy with the Sylatron results so far, as he remembers how miserable I was during the treatment 4 years ago.    3 weeks down of the full dosage, 5 to go!

Sorry Thumper there wasn't any comedy in this post.....I'll try harder next time.......and I didn't cuss either!

I'll leave you with this............Campbell scored a goal in her soccer game and got "Player of the game".    She was so proud.    And Avery had an "Aggie Hat Trick".       Two goals for her team, and one for the other!  haha    Sorry Dasha, it's not a post without some mild Aggie humor.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sylatron and a prayer...

It's Thursday again, and that means one thing......it's time to administer the shot of Sylatron and wait to see what side effects are coming.   But today I'm distracted.   Distracted by the fact that Dasha is taking the girls to A&M for a tour.   Oh dear God in heaven, I have but a few requests......

1)  That the girls get some type of mild food poisoning at the Dixie Chicken that ruins them on it forever.
2)  That the girls ask what the Confederate Flags on the wall of the Dixie Chicken mean, and someone really tells them what they stand for.  
3)  The girls try to walk or play on the grass anywhere on campus, and an energetic 19 year old corp kid draws his sword on them because they are not showing the respect to the grass that the grass is owed.
4)  That the girls ask for a cheerleader uniform, and someone at the Co-Op shows them a Sherwin Williams white coverall and tells them that only boys get to be "yell leaders" here, and they are dissappointed to the point of putting the stuffed border collie back on the shelf.
5)  That the girls ask someone "Is that the biggest tree on campus, isn't that just a big bush???"
6)  That the girls ask someone "Are you going to the SEC to escape being Texas' bit$%?"    (yes girls, in this context it's ok to use that word)

I do hope the girls have a safe and fun time in College Station, and remember, if you want to go to A&M I will still love you, I just won't pay for it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Random Thoughts...

In honor of my blogging mentor and wife of my BFF from Victory Tavern Fight Club, I have some quick hit random thoughts for this Wednesday...

How do dogs know something is wrong.   I mean really!   Our Jack Russells have not left my side when I've been home in the last two weeks.   Constantly staring at me as if to ask "you ok buddy boy?"

How many more levels of sainthood can my mom get?   She showed up with a car full of groceries.....not your normal groceries, but things she had researched online that would taste good to me, or add calories to my diet.    Then when I got home from work yesterday, there was a note on the counter explaining that there was a salad in the fridge, and what to do to make my dinner.   And she made this water concoction from fresh mint and ginger that she grated into the water.    She is amazing...

Jillian and Bob should add Sylatron to the Biggest Losers on the show!   I've lost 14 pounds in the first two weeks, and that is with trying to keep weight on.    I am able to slow the weight loss a bit this week, but it's still a trend that needs to stop.

Why does coffee not taste good?   Of all things to have affected by the metalic taste in my mouth......coffee, my beloved coffee!?!?!?!?!   NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.......

We are having Pei Wei for lunch.    I'm not sure why I think Pei Wei will taste good, but I do have a strawberry/banana smoothy on order (thanks Robin) and a stack of crackers ready to go.

Why does the new Baylor football stadium look like a toilet bowl, and something out of the English Premier League?  I guess the 28,000 crazed fans that attend the games didn't get a vote on the design.

My Junior Trader resigned yesterday to explore another opportunity.    Hey Sparky, nice timing on your part..........no, there isn't anything going on where you might be needed in the office in the next six weeks!! 

I'm taking Vegas odds on Rob getting hurt while skiing.    He has already knocked himself silly with an accident on day one, now I'm just waiting for the call to fly to Colorado and help strap him to the roof, then help drive the HUGE family home........it's a matter of time.     Have fun Jules!!

That is all for now......I hope my girls are having fun in Houston at the rodeo!!!!! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Friday Can Be Deceiving...

Thursday night came and went, and I felt pretty good.......I had a fairly significant headache on Friday, but nothing I couldn't deal with.   "Better than last week" I thought, this Sylatron is nothing!!!!!!!   But as I learned with Interferon, each day can bring new challenges, and just as I think there is a pattern developing to the side effects, something new pops up.   Saturday I felt good enough to help my brother-in-law Mike help us with putting down hardwood floors in our kitchen.......but after wrapping up and heading to Rudy's BBQ to meet the family, my evening went downhill in a hurry.  Three bites of BBQ and some bread was all I could eat, and I was home in bed by 7:30.   And it didn't help that the Daytona Supercross was a mud race for that ages........in fact, I'll blame Saturday night and Sunday on the rain at Daytona.

Sunday came and I made it from bed to the couch, then back to bed, then the couch, then back to bed......see a pattern here?    Luckily the PGA Tour was playing at the Blue Monster at Doral in Miami, a course I've played 5 times and love, so I watched that most of the day and fought off throwing up.    Sergio Garcia also was fighting throwing up, after taking a smooth 12 on #3.......heck, my quad there last year looks pretty good now!      Now......a side note on throwing up.........I have not yacked in 20+ years.   An impressive streak that I intend to keep in tact........if I have another weekend like I had, the streak may be in jeapordy. 
Two pieces of toast for dinner and I was back in bed for the evening.     Let's hope for a better Monday and a good week (or at least a couple of days) before we spin the "Side Effects Roulette Wheel" again!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's Friday morning. We held our breath all night and felt the prayers of so many who prayed for us yesterday as Mike took his shot. His sweet parents came to stay with us last night and we sat for four hours staring at him, waiting for the symptoms to hit like last week. It was like the Verizon commercial "Can you hear me now?"...there was a lot of "How do you feel now?....how about now? what about now?" He took the shot at 3:30 and seven hours later when we headed to bed at 10:30 there still weren't severe symptoms. He didn't feel 100%, but it wasn't anything like last week. He slept good and woke up with a pretty bad headache but he is sitting here watching Sports Center. I know the day is still young but we are so thankful he had a restful night's sleep. Thank you for your prayers for our family.    -Dasha