Friday, November 27, 2009


I knew it would be a roller coaster...
For several days, I was feeling GREAT - I had calmed down and adjusted to the diagnosis, and had returned to my usual daily routines, was having a wonderful time with friends and family, feeling so positive and optimistic about everything, etc.

And now, I am feeling so much anxiety and stress I resorted to taking a half dose of Benadryl in hopes that it will knock me out for the night quickly. :( I am here waiting for it to kick in. I have not taken a sleep aid since the biopsy, and I was proud of myself for getting through all of these nights with alternate methods - breathing exercises, prayers, Tao te Ching, reading, etc. - but tonight, dammit, I am just so overtired but now so stressed because I just got a huge bill in the mail from Dartmouth Hitchcock - AND I HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN THERE YET, DAMMIT. The charges are for, I think, having my tissue samples from the biopsy re-tested by DH's pathologists. And the bill is so large because they did not yet have my insurance information, I don't think. So probably Monday morning I can call DH and give them that info and get everything straightened out. And my mom sent me a helpful, reassuring email about all the possible solutions and assurance that it will all work out, and logically I know it will, but at the moment I just can't help stressing out over this huge bill that I have to stare at all weekend until I can make those calls. And I took the half dose of Benadryl because otherwise I would be lying awake in the dark with those huge numbers going through my head. :(

Other BC survivors have told me that these first few weeks after diagnosis are, in some ways, the worst - because everything's confusing and there's so much information being fired at you, and so much you have to learn and research, so many phone calls and so much paperwork, and so many plans to be made... but it gets easier once you get organized and have a plan in place. And yeah, that's what I'm feeling now - overwhelmed by everything. Many of you know about my lifelong fear & loathing of the telephone. That's making things extra hard for me. Calling strangers, especially strangers at institutions like hospitals and insurance companies, is something I have always been horrible at and have hated. But now I have to get used to it.

To-do list, mostly for my own reference because I'm so disorganized and don't yet have the 3-ring binder that other BC survivors keep recommending:

* make a list of questions to ask the BC team at the DH hospital when I go for my consultation next week.
* finish the Sojourns intake paperwork.
* call DH and give them my insurance info.
* call Dr. R's office again and ask again for a copy of my pathology report, because I asked over a week ago for them to mail it to me and I haven't received it yet.
* call SOMEONE to find out the results of my MRI, because it was a whole 8 days ago and I'm irritated that no one has gotten in touch with me yet about that - but I don't know WHO has the results, the hospital it was done at, or Dr. R.'s office, or DH.
* go somewhere to print out a few pictures of me on the trapeze, to bring with me to my DH appointment (i.e. "I don't care what my breast looks like after all of this, as long as I can be BACK ON THE BAR")

I'll write about happier things later. I do have happy things to say. But at the moment, I am just feeling pissed off about the whole BC thing. This stupid 8 millimeter blob that has so rudely been growing inside me uninvited, and will be appallingly expensive to remove.


  1. whoa, breathe! your insurance will hopefully cover a large chunk of everything. & whatever they won't cover will get figured out. either you will be a hospital charity case because of your low income, or the people who love you will help you out with benefits & stuff. YOU WILL NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE FROM THIS!

    seriously, breathe.
    i love you!

  2. G receives full coverage for her eye exams at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene because of my low income. We both have health insurance through the State of Vermont, but that doesn't cover her exams in N.H. from the opthamologist she's been seeing since she was 2. I had a huge bill, & it had not been covered by G's insurance she had through my last job, so I asked about assistance. They collected the details and now she's all set--bill erased, free care until May 31! Cathryn

  3. I have actually stopped opening "suspicious" mail delivered on Fridays and Saturdays, because those letters that require a phone call to straighten out always come those days. I'm responsible for all the medical paperwork and banking and stuff for all us plus Michael's mom. I put on my secretary voice and pretend I'm making someone else's calls, sometimes, when it's too much. Hugs and encouraging thoughts from way over here!

  4. Guh, insurance. I feel for ya... I had to fight the insurance company for a fucking ultrasound once. Did you know an ultrasound is $500? Yeesh.

    Anyways. Don't worry about it. What are you going to do, NOT get your cancer treatment? Baloney. Insurance will cover a lot of it. And whatever doesn't get covered... will get paid for somehow, even if it means sending them $20 a week or something. What are they gonna do, reposess your boob?


    (srsly though, your health comes first. and you will not be on the streets because of your boob. your friends and family will not let that happen.)