Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A celebration

We had Tanner's high school graduation party this Sunday and everything went great! I'm so grateful to those family and friends who took time out of their schedules to attend. I know that it meant the world to Tanner.

His dad took him to his weekly maintenance chemo appointment this morning and Tanner tells me that everything is moving along as normal.

I wrote a letter to the Department of Insurance asking for their assistance in getting the insurance company to reconsider their decision to deny coverage for Tanner's chemo treatments and when I sent it out, I copied several politicians on the packet.

I have received two letters from Congressman Joe Barton's office and they are interceding on Tanner's behalf with the DOI. I haven't personally received any replies from the Dept of Insurance but Congressman Barton's office has copied me on the replies that they have received so far.

Hopefully, with the congressman's help, we will finally get some coverage for Tanner's treatment. I can only hope.

Again, thanks to all of you who came to Tanner's celebration. It was very much appreciated!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Celebration

Do you know how proud I am of my youngest son?

He isn’t going to get to walk across a stage and have a big ceremony celebrating the fact that he earned his diploma but he did it! After the heartache of finding out that he has cancer and months of chemotherapy and tandem stem cell transplants, he came home and finished high school!

After everything he’s gone through this last year, he hasn’t given up. He’s forged on and is making a future for himself. I, for one, am ready to celebrate my son and all he’s accomplished.

I just can’t find words adequate to express my pride in him.

Tanner, you did it! You went through the unimaginable and then finished high school!

You are, and always will be, my hero (and I know you're Trevor's hero too)!

I love you son of mine...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I thought I had better update the blog since I will most likely be busy the next couple of days. I'm going to take Thursday and Friday off work and am going to try and have some "relaxing" time off since most of my time away from work this past year has been going through Tanner's treatments in Little Rock.

Tanner's Fort Worth Oncologist had asked us if we wanted to try coming in on Tuesday instead of Monday since Mondays are usually really busy. Granny Jane took Tanner to his first Tuesday appointment this week. I'm so grateful for her willingness to help out and take him to some of his appointments when she has time in her schedule so that I don't have to take off half a day every week. Her help is very much appreciated!! She loves her "Tannerboy".

The appointment still took over three hours so, in regards to waiting time, it didn't help much at all but Tanner said he met a few teenagers so he wants to continue to go on Tuesday so that maybe he can get to know some other young people who are also dealing with cancer.

All in all, things seem to be progressing well. Tanner's maintenance chemo is going smoothly and he isn't having any side effects.

Our grant assisting us with the cost of the Revlimid has run out this month so now I have to figure out how we will come up with the over $2000 a month co-pay. From what I've read, the Revlimid is very important in maintaining remission in Multiple Myeloma. We've put in a call to our liason, Cindy, with the insurance company and are going to see if she has any ideas of where we might be able to obtain more assistance. She's been very helpful so I have to trust that things will work 0ut.

I sent off the appeal packet to the Department of Insurance asking for their assistance in helping to get US Health & Life Insurance to rescind their decision to deny coverage for the chemotherapy that was used to save Tanner's life.

I copied several politicians on the information sent to the DOI, and today I got a reply from Representative Joe Barton that he has written a couple of letters on Tanner's behalf and that he will be in touch with me in the near future. I'm trusting that we will get the denial turned around. I just can't see how the insurance company can deny coverage for treatment that was used to save the life of a seventeen year old with a cancer that usually hits people in their 60's and 70's. The fact that it's so rare in someone his age that a study can't even be undertaken to determine what the best treatment should be should speak for itself. How can an insurance company determine the treatment wasn't standard?

I started off the day just fine but by this evening, I was in the worst mood. I came home and went to my room and just cried for a while. I don't know what's wrong. I have a long weekend ahead of me and am hoping to just relax and enjoy myself. I don't know why I'm crying...

I'm sure it will be all better tomorrow. It usually always is...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I'm a bad, bad blogger! I'm sorry I've let so much time go between updates. Every time I do this, I tell myself I won't wait so long to update again and the next thing I know another week has gone by. Oh well...

We are just clicking along and everything seems to be going fine. Tanner has been feeling good and is spending lots of time with his friends.

We go every week for his maintenance chemo and it's usually a 3-4 hour appointment with most of the time spent waiting. They don't order the chemo meds until they see the labwork reports so we wait on the results of the lab tests, then they order the medicines, then we wait for them to mix the medications, and then finally they push them through the IV (which actually takes about 10 minutes).

Oh well, if nothing else this past year has taught us patience.

Tanner has another new girlfriend. Last night he went to her house for a while and I texted just to check on him (a mother's duty I would think?) and he answered me and told me everything was "all good" and then he went on to tell me "I really like this girl mom". (It's a good thing he doesn't read this blog - LOL! He would kill me!!).

Those sorts of comments affect my heart on so many levels. I'm so glad he's having an opportunity to meet girls and socialize. When we first got the news that he had cancer last year, for a while there it didn't look like he was going to have many chances to date.

Now, after a year of treatment in Little Rock, he has an unlimited future to meet the girl of his dreams.

Now, he's 18 years old and to tell you the truth, he's been acting like one! He and I had a serious talk this week about the fact that I know that he wants to be just like all the other teenagers but how he has a serious disease and has to take care of himself. How he needs to be responsible for taking his medications like he should - and occasionally getting some sleep! We discussed how "communication" is vital in him being allowed to have the freedom he desires.

Last night he told me he knew he could be a "good and better person" and that he just got "a lil off track with being 18".

From all of that, you can probably ascertain that we've had a few issues lately. After turning 18, for a while there, he thought he could come and go as he saw fit without discussing things with his mom. Now I think we are back on track. The boy definitely knows how to talk to his mom and tell me what I need to hear. LOL!

Truly though, he's a good sweet young man and I couldn't be more proud of him. The reason I even mention the "18 year old" issues is that I'm glad we are back to dealing with normal "teenage" stuff rather than cancer, chemo, and stem cell transplants.

I'm glad he's having fun and meeting new people, but on the other hand, I worry about him getting his heart broken. I'm not so old I can't remember the angst and heartache of young love. I just watch my "kids" and wish I could spare them from any pain.

I know, I know! Heartache is part of life, part of growing and maturing, but I'm a mom. What can I say? It's my job to worry about my children.

I love my boys and am so thankful that they seem to be on the right track at this time in their lives.

Motherhood! Who knew when I had those sweet baby boys all those years ago how much pride, pain, fun, heartache, joy, worry, laughter, tears, excitement, sleepless nights, and love they would bring into my life??