Sunday, May 18, 2008

Odds and Ends

As I was walking through the hospital after the ablation attempt with my MIL and Captain Obvious, somehow the topic of being lucky came up. As I said then, I am actually quite lucky in a lot of ways. I just happen to also be really unlucky in one key area...

I am so lucky to
- have my amazing, sweet Captain Adorable
- be able to stay home with my child
- be married to my darling Captain Obvious
- have supportive parents and parents-in-law
- have access to the wealth of information and resources online
- have excellent health insurance
- be in (mostly) good health
- have a good, reliable car
- live close to a world-class cancer treatment facility
- have been given access to higher education
- have a sewing machine
- live in a house that I own with my husband (we took it off the market, too much cancer stuff going on)
- be confident and assertive enough to protect myself and advocate for myself
- keep company with two sweet and gentle cats
- get to go out to eat Indian food fairly often :)
- get to nap with my son daily

There are so many more things I could list! I am soooooo lucky, aren't I?

There is really only one thing on my unlucky list (cancer).

Overheard in the Waiting Room
While waiting for me to emerge from Phlebotomy, (I have blood drawn pretty much every time I go to the hospital, whether I am there for treatment or just an appointment) Captain Obvious overheard the following two stories.

A man who had health insurance but it had run out because the insurance had a $40,000 cap and the hospital wanted a retainer of $60,000 to continue treatment. Can you imagine? Sheesh! Think about it this way here are some approximate costs for my treatment. The cisplatin and gemcitabine combination cost about $5-6 thousand. Just gemcitabine cost about $4 thousand. Each PET scan is about $5 thousand and each CT scan is about $1400. My lung surgery was about $15 or $20 thousand, plus we have not tracked how much all the prescriptions cost (some of the anti-nausea meds I took were $100 per pill). $60,000 would not last very long!

A young woman (obviously a breast cancer patient) emerged from her doctor's appointment to tell the man who had accompanied her (perhaps a boyfriend? you'd think a spouse would have gone into the doctor's office with her) that she was going to have to quit her job. The treatment recommended for her was radiation and it would have to be administered almost every day. I don't know how she could quit her job (what about health insurance? COBRA, maybe? but that's expensive...) and still be able to live, much less undergo cancer treatment...

Anyhow, like I said above, I have good health insurance and that is a really, really big deal. I am very lucky to have the coverage because I do not know how we would handle this, financially, otherwise.

The New Bed
We got a natural latex bed. It feels very different than regular mattresses, and I love it. My Mom said it felt too soft for her. I disagree--in my opinion it is not soft, it is springy (she said it was springy, too). I find that my body comes to an easy, cushioned rest. On a hard bed I find my body feels like it does not belong, whereas in this bed I am level and even. I can turn over and move around without effort (many people complain it is hard to move around on memory foam mattresses). Motion does not transfer, so I do not feel Captain Obvious' movements and I think this leads to deeper sleep for me! Captain Adorable seems to like it just fine. We just got a platform bed with a beautiful headboard yesterday, so we are up off the floor again and I am very pleased. Captain Obvious made me very angry because he insisted on smoking a cigar last night, so I told him he could sleep by himself (rather than breathe that nastiness all over Captain Adorable and me). This morning he told me that he did not realise that his neck does not hurt when he sleeps on the latex bed (which he was not all that enthusiastic about). Last night he slept on the conventional (very firm) mattress he has always loved so much and woke up this morning with his familiar neck ache. So, I guess he is officially converted to latex love. ;)

New Words
Captain Adorable has recently acquired two new words and he shows them off whenever he gets the opportunity. "Toes" and "flowers." It is really cute to have a 16-month-old come up to you and point at your feet and say "toes!" in his little sweet voice. Or when outside or at a garden store, he will point over to some flowering plants and announce "flowers!" (which sounds like "faa!". So sweet!

Family Visits
I am very, very pleased that my aunt (my Mom's twin sister who lives in England) will be coming to visit me this summer! WoooHOOOO! This is the first time I will get to have her as a guest at my house. I am looking forward to showing her my life on a day-to-day basis. I hope that she and Captain Adorable will get to know each other a bit.

My half-sister, who lives in Brussels, is also coming to visit (in early fall) with her boyfriend. I have not seen her in more than 10 years, and at first I was not sure I wanted her to come. Now I am really happy and anticipating having her around. I really look forward to sharing my life and my family with them both.


mamefatimdc said...

Your sweet. I love your lucky list and wish I could erase the short unlucky one.

Anonymous said...

Much love Mrs. Lady. You are beautiful. I wanted to thank you again for coming with me that day. Stay smiling and know my thoughts and prayers are with you.