Friday, August 27, 2010

Smooth lately

Things are going pretty good for Tanner right now.  He's actually out at the river with friends today. As always, he's not much letting the brace and crutches slow him down.

He's been losing weight and this past week he told the doctor at Cook's that it wasn't even so much that he's nauseated anymore (he's been taking his stomach acid medicine first thing every morning for the last couple of weeks), he just doesn't have much of an appetite right now.

He also hasn't been sleeping much, but I don't know how much of that is possible side effects of the drugs, and how much is just being 18 years old.

I don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but a month or so ago our back door was kicked in and the X-box 360 was stolen.  They didn't take anything else, just the X-Box system.  Since then, Tanner hasn't spent a lot of time at home.  He seems to be on the go all the time.

He went to TCC this past week and talked to a counselor and she gave him some information about grants and things and next week he's going to go back and take his placement test. She told him he could start online courses at any time but he would rather have the experience of going to the campus so he's going to wait and see if Dr. Nicholas says he has to have surgery on the broken leg or not when we got back at the end of September.

I'm picking up my granddaughter this afternoon and will have both grandkids tomorrow so I'd better close this out and run to the grocery store.

MawMaw needs to pick up some food for the babies!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Trevor

It's my oldest son Trevor's 23rd birthday today!

I'm taking him, Kelsey, BB, and Tanner all out to dinner tonight to celebrate. My little family; I'm thankful for them all. I love them so!

Trevor wants to have friends over Saturday to celebrate so I'm considering a road trip.

I think I'm going to go down to Clarksville and put flowers out on the graves of my mom, dad, and two brothers.  It's been a long time since I've been there and I promised my mom I would make sure they had flowers. I'm falling behind on my promise.

That will give Trevor some time with his friends, fulfill a promise I made to mom, and I'll see what kind of gas mileage my little FIT gets on the highway. LOL!

Happy Birthday Trevor!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bad days

I'm sorry for the delay - once again - in posting.

Tanner hasn't been feeling very well. In one week he's lost six pounds.  The doctors want him to start taking his stomach medicine every day instead of waiting until he has a problem with nausea.

He said that for about three days, he hasn't been able to eat anything except bread. Since he's started the nausea and stomach acid medicine every day, things seems to have gotten a little better and he's eating better.

I received another letter from the insurance company stating that since the error they made in paying for Tanner's maintenance chemo treatments in Fort Worth since December is their fault, they wouldn't ask for their money back.

It's so sad, I have to laugh or I couldn't stop crying.

I'm really having a lot of personal problems with some of the people in my life whom I thought I was closest to and it's hard for me to just go on right now.

I'm sorry if the blog isn't more informative. I just don't have it in me right now.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ridiculous Insurance

Well, our Case Manager Cindy called me Thursday and told me that they have decided to not cover Tanner's chemo in Fort Worth either. They have deemed it "experimental" just as they have the chemotherapy that was performed in Arkansas all last year.

I wrote to the Department of Insurance appealing their decision and US Health and Life responded to them and said that they had made many exceptions in Tanner's case (one being assigning us a "Case Manager") and that even though their "experts" had decided that Tanner's chemo was experimental, they (US Health) had covered the chemotherapy treatments -- they just didn't cover the drugs used.

What?? What in the world did they cover?

I guess the insurance company decided since the DOI determined they couldn't help us with the chemo situation in Arkansas, they would go ahead and deny service in Fort Worth too (even though, from what we can determine, they have been covering these treatments for months now). I asked Cindy (the case manager) if this meant they aren't going to cover any of the maintenance chemo treatments he's been receiving since December and she said that was correct, they have deemed it all "experimental".

Also, they said they covered one stem cell transplant but when we go through all the EOB's, we can't find anywhere that a transplant was paid for.  Around the time that the first transplant was performed, there is a charge for around $43,000 and the insurance company only paid approximately $900 on those charges. If this is what they are talking about, I don't think that is anywhere near "covering one stem cell transplant'.

I called our case manager on Friday morning asking her to please call me back and tell me when and what they paid on the transplant. She hasn't responded yet.

When I received the call informing me that they have decided not to cover the maintenance chemo either, I just broke down at work. Afterwards, I called my mother-in-law and she told me that getting upset didn't help, but sometimes I just have to cry.

I cry, get it out of my system, and then move on and function again - but occasionally I just have to to let the tears come for a while. I've found that while I'm dealing with Tanner's illness and all that that entails, I have so much less patience for all the other areas of my life. I am so easily upset and end up with bruised feelings.

Sometimes I just have to hurt.

Tomorrow, I'll move on and deal with everything and we'll get it all sorted out.

"When you're dreaming with a broken heart
Then waking up is the hardest part
You roll outta bed and down on your knees
And for a moment you can hardly breathe"                             

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Doctor

Tanner drove himself to the chemo appointment today (he is making himself a necklace in this picture here from last week's appt.). I guess if all goes well, I will start letting him drive himself to the "fast track" appointments and I will only go with him once a month to the "doctor" appointment.

Last week was the appointment where we actually saw a doctor and when we got there, we found out Dr. Davis had "resigned". It was all very sudden with no warning at all and the vibe about his "resignation" wasn't very positive at all. I'm not sure what exactly happened but Tanner was assigned a new doctor that we both really liked.

Her name is Dr. Allbritten and she works a lot with young adults in Tanner's age range. She is very active in getting teenagers with cancer across the Metroplex together in support groups. She explained to Tanner that while most practices in the area don't have a whole lot of teenagers his age, if you combine their access to each other from practices across the Metroplex, then the group gets quite large. She said they recently got together and had an "Iron Chef" type cook off and that when his leg heals, they have adventure excursions that they take (like kayaking). Tanner was very open to the idea.

He has been spending a lot of time with his friends lately but he and I had some quality one on one time with each other this weekend. Saturday we went to On the Border (of course) for lunch, stopped and bought him some new tennis shoes (so that he doesn't always have to wear houseshoes), and then went to the movies to see The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

It gave us an opportunity to talk about his future. I told him that I understood that he wanted to "chill" for a while after all of his treatment this last year and finishing high school, but that he's been in remission since December and I think it's time for him to find something productive to do with his time.

He said that he agreed and has found that he's getting tired of "just hanging out". Dr. Allbritten said there are all kinds of scholorships for children who have had cancer so we are going to have her gather some information for Tanner. He's going to go this week and take his placement test so he will be ready to start school as soon as we find out when/if he is going to have surgery on his leg or not.

He has been having problems with a lot of nausea lately and he said his bones ache. I asked Dr. Allbritten if the aching could have something to do with the Zometa (the bone strengthener) that he is taking now and she said that could very well be the case. I need to do some research and see what I can find on the side effects of this medicine and how long they usually last.

The Social Workers at Cook Children's Hospital have applied for Tanner to see if he qualifies for any assistance and we have an appointment with the Social Security office on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how that meeting goes.

I don't know how much longer he will have Cobra since he's been on the policy for over a year now. Hopefully, he will qualify for Medicaid which would be very helpful with all of these very expensive medicines he has to take.

We discussed his applying at some of the establishments where he could possibly get a job using his wheelchair but I told him he might as well wait until we go back to Arkansas at the end of September to see about his leg before he starts to seriously look for employment.
It seems that a lot is in limbo at this point until we see if surgery is going to be necessary.