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Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Looks Like It's Bye-Bye To Xarelto

Dear Diary,

Woke up feeling out of sorts today (what else is new)? Sure enough...bad news!

After my usual cup of java, I called up Wal-Mart pharmacy to check on the status of my Xarelto order only to find out that I would be responsible for a $200 co-pay for a 30 day supply!
What I had totally forgotten was that the program from Janssen Pharmaceuticals which has provided me with a year and a half of free product is no longer valid since I went on Medicare.

So...I'm sitting here, eating a bowl of soup and planning out what our next move will be if I'm to remain on anticoagulants for the rest of my life.

I've gotta call my cardio guy and see if he is ok with going back on warfarin like I was at the start of this mess. A little more trouble but dirt cheap and effective.

Back to the soup! ;)


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, February 09, 2018

Life's A Bitch...Then you Die

Dear Diary,
Woke up in a foul mood this morning after sleeping about 2 hours late. Wife's gone to work, no coffee made and my back hurts like hell
Pissing all over the floor trying to get a goddamn diaper on has gotten old long time ago!
I've got so fucking much work to do around this place that I'm totally overwhelmed
My weight is still out of control at 282 and I can't seem to do anything about that either.
I want to get mad and take out my frustrations by punching a wall but I can't even do that because I have no testosterone left.

I have no motivation to do a fucking thing.
To make matters worse, my wife has become so absorbed in her latest project that I rarely have a sounding board bounce things off from. Looks like I'm going to have to seriously look into a physical support group.
Maybe, with any luck we can find a good one and I can get her to at least occasionally go with me. Maybe that will help.

Now I find out that Medicare is going to cost me a lot more than I thought it was. It's going to be just a shade under what I'm paying for my current health insurance and there's no guarantee that it's not going to go up in price. So, if my wife should lose her job we're up shit creek without a paddle because I won't be insured at all.

I'm considering taking this diary offline because nobody reads this garbage anyway. I really don't know why I ever thought of starting it. I used to get a little feedback now and then but that stopped a long time ago.
I don't care, I really fucking don't give a flying shit!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Ramblings

Dear Diary,

So... I'm sitting here outside the grocery store on Friday night waiting for the wife to get finished working so I thought I'd use this time to catch up on a few things.

Truthfully, there really hasn't been much to blog about over the past month or so.
As I mentioned before, I'm not really big on posting content just for content's sake.

We spent part of the day yesterday at St Joseph's getting another 6-minute walk test done. My performance was even better than the last time, much to my surprise!
I was able to walk just a shade under 400 m in 6 minutes so they were pleased.
I also had another cardiac ultrasound with bubbles like I had previously. I'm really not quite sure why. Dr. O, the pulmonologist wanted to repeat that specific test as the first one I had was negative.
They have decided to increase my diuretics based on the results of the last right heart cath recently.

Since they increase the diuretic dosages, I have been experiencing really wild weight swings, almost definitely related to water retention.
I'm also having quite a few nocturnal leg cramps which may be related to an electrolyte imbalance.
They've decided to have me get blood work done every two weeks for a while to monitor the electrolytes.
Hopefully, there isn't a problem as the diuretics are quite obviously helping the pulmonary hypertension when used in combination with the sildenafil.

I'm currently feeling alright most of the time with periodic bouts of fatigue which probably attributable to both my intermittent weight gain and loss and the side effects of Lupron therapy.

I'm still trying to stay as true as possible to the low-carb lifestyle but I admit I do find myself frequently cheating which is not in my best interest.
With this water weight issue going on, it is quite difficult to determine what my actual true weight is as it tends to fluctuate anywhere from 2 to 6 or more lbs. everyday.

It's now Saturday night and I'm sitting in the same place I was last night waiting for the wife to get off work so I decided to finish up this dictation.

I went way overboard on the diet again today but at least when I did, I kept the carbs to somewhat of a minimum.

Last but not least, I am clean and green to transition to Medicare this March!
This will remove a huge financial burden from the wife and me, especially as the continuing medical bills keep increasing down the road.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I'm Still Here!

Dear Diary,

Well! It looks like I haven't posted anything for two months! Consider yourselves blessed.

The wife just had carpal tunnel surgery which appears to have been very successful. She is off work for up to six weeks and I'm encouraging her to take all of it. She deserves it.
When she returns, she should be able to do her job much more comfortably.

No idea what the damn cancer is doing. I'm not due for a PSA for 2 or 3 months. I've been on ADT for about three months now with no major side effects. Makes me wonder sometimes if it's working at all! The interesting thing is that the bladder bleeding stopped about a week after I began ADT and has never recurred. Weird!

I go for another right heart cath this Thursday to see how the PAH is responding to the sildenafil.
The PA pressure last time was a whopping 70. With any luck, maybe it has gone down a bit.

My weight is holding in the low 260s. I'm currently on another diet push to see if I can get to 250 this time. I went off plan for a few weeks out of boredom and gained a little weight back so now I'm back on the wagon. At least my diabetes and blood pressure are doing great and under tight control. :)

A bit of sad news.
Our beloved kitty, Pumpkin passed away peacefully of old age early Wednesday morning, Oct. 18th. He was here with us at the foot of our bed when he passed. As much as we miss him we know he is better off.
We had anticipated this as he was 20 years old. He was our fuzzy baby for 17 of those years.
R.I.P. Pumper!

Pumpkin 1997-2017
I'll update more as I think of it. Right now, I have a bout of fatigue setting in.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Odds & Ends

Dear Diary,

Well now, let's see. What's been going on here in Paradise lately?
Not too much which is why I haven't posted anything in a while.

The wife and I just got a nice, free, pre-owned Serta queen size mattress to replace the futon mattress that we've been sleeping on since we came to Arizona in '94. (no, it didn't come with pee stains)
We've both been sleeping better since. "Beggars can't be choosers".

Our 2002 Chevy S-10 just started leaking oil from the rear differential a couple of weeks ago.
Took it to a brand new garage that we just discovered. Turns out the pinion seal was bad. They had it fixed by the next day because they had a problem finding the part.
So, we got that fixed and finally got the oil changed (it's been a while) for a very reasonable price.
We will be using them from now on for anything I can't do.

Health wise, no noticeable side effects from the ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy) that I am on to slow or stop the progression of the cancer. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but so far, I'm feeling fine with the exception of a little transient fatigue now and then.
I guess the more severe stuff comes on after months of treatment. I can wait! ;)

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I succeeded in losing 49 pounds over the past six or seven months. I've started cheating quite a bit lately, probably due to boredom with the menu, which bothers me. I've gotta get it under control soon before I start gaining again.
It's not an issue with quantity this time but more with what I eat.
Ketogenic dieting works but it is difficult. You really have to stick to the plan.

The bladder problem has at least temporarily resolved. There has been no pain or bleeding for several weeks. I'm still 100% incontinent but that will probably never change. It's just really nice to be able to take a vacation from blood clots and catheters for a while.

I can't really tell if the new stuff (sildenafil) is having an effect on my lungs or not. If there are changes, they are very subtle. I really need to remember to ask Dr. O what he expects as far as effects on the O2 saturation and what time frame we're looking at.
Regardless, I continue to very gradually improve which is unusual for arterial pulmonary hypertension. It's usually just the opposite.

*sips on a bourbon*

On another note, the wife has now signed on with my cardiologist (on my advice) for a baseline evaluation. She just had a Doppler ultrasound of her carotid arteries which was recommended by our optometrist. She has a 60% occlusion of the right carotid. Probably not a serious issue but why take the chance? We want to see how much this increases her risk for stroke.
She also has fairly severe carpal tunnel syndrome. We saw an orthopedic specialist today for an evaluation and she got a set of wrist braces. She will have a nerve conduction test in the near future and, depending on the results of that, be evaluated for possible surgery.

And with that, I'll sign off with one last comment. It is very obvious that we, (the world) are in the so-called 'end times' and we are very grateful to be on the way out and not on the way in!
Does that smack of religion? Not to this old boy! It smacks of reality.
We don't need religion or blind faith to see the obvious!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Officially In The 'Lupron Club'

Dear Diary,

Just got my first dose of Lupron yesterday, in the form of an injection in the butt. The area is a little tender but that should resolve shortly.
As mentioned previously, the goal here is to literally "starve" the cancer of testosterone in hopes that is will retard, or even stop the progression for a certain amount of time (the longer the better)!
The average effective range is 18 to 24 months, sometimes less and sometimes much more.
We will have to be content to wait and see.
There are a host of common yet unpleasant side effects associated with hormone therapy and I will be updating if and when they happen.
One of the more common ones is 'gynecomastia' or enlargement of the male breasts. I guess it's fortunate that I've always enjoyed wearing women's apparel! LOL!

I got another Doppler Echogram done on the old ticker today. We need that to keep track of the progress (or lack thereof) of the myxoma. I will know the results of that in about a week. I really hope it hasn't progressed much because I'm still not ready for surgery.

Things are looking much better with the lungs. I was prescribed sildenafil at my last visit to my pulmonologist but haven't been able to get it filled yet due to an unexpected pre-auth.
Apparently, the stuff is really expensive!
Sildenafil is a potent vasodilator and we hope it will be able to relax and open up my pulmonary arteries resulting in at least a modest reduction in pulmonary arterial pressures.

I think I'm gonna go lie down for a little while 'cause I'm getting fatigued

More dirt later!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I Feel Like I'm Falling Apart

Dear Diary,

The past two or three weeks have been pretty rough. My lower back is acting up again to the point where sometimes I can barely walk. It seems to be a pinched nerve (possibly sciatic) that is causing all this pain and numbness in my feet. I'm currently trying a daily regimen of 1300mg of acetaminophen chased with 50mg of Tramadol three times a day.
It's a good thing we kept that walker from a year ago because I'm really concerned about falling, especially when I'm here alone.
It's unlikely that the pain is associated with the cancer as I've had it off and on for many years.
It gets very wearing though, after a few weeks.

I've also been dealing with untreated dental issues including a huge cavity in one of my front teeth. The tooth finally broke off today. I need two extractions. At my age and income, restoration is not an option. I'm looking into local dental schools who might be able to do it for discounted prices.
Turns out, In America, the health insurance industry considers basic dental care a "privilege" and not a necessity. Therefore, they get away with not having to offer it in basic health plans. Sux!

I'm into day 4 of hormone therapy for the rising PSA. No side effects as yet except the strange urge to dress up in my wife's clothing and hang around in ladies' lingerie departments.
No...wait, that's not a side effect, I've always done that!   ;)

*takes 7 pm meds with water, not bourbon*

Last of all, a shout out to my son Chris, in Italy. Your Daddy's trying to reach you on FB but I get no response. Been awhile since we talked. Call me.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Joining The 'ADT Club'

Dear Diary,

A brief update to my last post.
Saw the Uro today and am now officially in 'Club ADT'.
Took my first dose of Casodex 50mg and have a follow-up appointment in 30 days.
At that time, we will start Lupron as well. I hope this will 'reign in the horses' for at least a good while.

As far as the bone scan, he agreed that there was nothing there that was obvious at the present time.
We talked about the merits of additional scans and his opinion was that yes, we could do that, and we would have additional information, however, the
treatment would be the same regardless of the results. Opinions?

Lupron will be about $1500 per injection twice a year. Insurance shouldn't have a problem covering that...I hope.
If they do, we will have to resort to bilateral orchiectomy to hopefully achieve the same goals.

It's not confirmed yet but it's apparent that I have graduated to stage 4 and there is no stage 5 so you figure it out.

* sips bourbon*

All I can really hope for now is that something else takes me out before the cancer does.

It's been a trying week as I am also suffering from excruciating lower back pain unrelated to the cancer. Got some Tramadol from the Uro so maybe that will help. The pain is wearing me out!

*sips more bourbon (no Tramadol involved)*

On the good side, my weight is closing in on 260lbs which is wonderful. I look and feel so much better. Even the wife notices! LOL!

Nothing more to say until I get depressed again.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, June 09, 2017

Update On Bone Scan

Dear Diary,

A quick update.
Just got the full body bone scan today and the tech said there was no sign of metastatic disease.
Uro still has to see the results but hopefully, he will agree.

The next step, hopefully, is a PET scan to see where the activity is located and find out if treatment options
other than HT are available.

The really good news is that the bone scan fulfilled my entire annual out of pocket so for the rest of the
year, I'm covered at 100% Yay!

Won't know much more till we get the PET scan so I continue to be nervous.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Urologist Appointment Update

Dear Diary,

Just got done with the appointment with Dr.F. He spent a lot of time with us and was encouraging but he agreed it is time to act.

He wants to start with a full body bone scan which I will have on the 8th.

Based on those results, we will then look into more sophisticated imaging.

He is a little frustrated because, as always, he has to go "toe to toe" with the insurance to get this stuff authorized.

If the bone scan is positive, we will initiate ADT. Casodex followed by Lupron.

If it is negative, we will have to make the decision of whether to start ADT anyway or to watch the PSA a little longer.

I imagine this is where the MO (Medical Oncologist) comes in. I flat out forgot to ask him if he felt it was time to bring one in!

The options regarding more sophisticated types of scans/imaging are all on the table as far as he is concerned. It's just a matter of getting them paid for.

If there is no visible spread and the disease appears to be still localized, I am interested in taking this to the next level to try to locate and isolate the active area(s) and possibly looking into HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) to try to clean up whatever is left.

I don't know if that will be an option for me in the future but right now I want to concentrate on proving what exactly is going on in there and treating it accordingly.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday News

Dear Diary,

Today, I start the new drug, spironolactone, for the pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It will probably take a few days to a couple of weeks before it becomes clinically active.
The docs, especially Dr. O, seem to feel that I'm nor fully "dried out" yet so this is another diuretic to be taken daily in conjunction with Lasix™. We'll see what happens.

I have an appointment set up for a routine PSA blood draw on 5/15 and one on 5/16 to see my new optometrist. It's been forever since I last had my eyes checked and I can't see worth a shit so I guess it's about time.

Tomorrow, I'm going to call my health insurance company and see if they can tell me if my annual deductible has been met. I find it hard to believe that it has but certain providers have not been charging the usual $50 co-pay that applies to specialists. One even said that it had been met.
If it has been paid, this would be a financial windfall for us this early in the year. I have a lot of large medical expenses coming up and that would greatly offset the financial hit.

General overall health is not remarkable so far. No disasters. (knock on wood!)

I'm sort of dreading this coming month. Our '72 S-10 is due for emissions testing and this year, it has a leak somewhere in the system. If they pick that up on inspection, the truck won't pass and the repair costs will most likely tap our coffers big time! We are trying very hard to save a little bit here and there for just such emergencies but it's very difficult on an income of SS + 1 part time job.

Oh well, I guess that's what growing old in America is all about nowadays!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cardiologist Visit

Dear Diary,

Today's cardio visit was extremely unremarkable. We are still in 'hurry up and wait' mode.
Nobody is communicating with anyone else. Doc wants to know why the pulmonologist hasn't suggested treating the PH medically.
The heart surgeon is supposed to call me this Monday regarding his assessment of my TEE. He apparently tried to call me last week but I missed the call.

There is an outside chance that with all the medical bills I've racked up lately, I may have met at least part of my annual health insurance deductible. We're not sure but when I saw Dr. M this morning, the $50 copay was waived. I'll take that!

*sips bourbon*

I'm thinking of starting 'Dave's Online Death Pool' so my friends and enemas can place wagers on which is gonna kill me first, the cancer or the myxoma.

Fuck it! Enough for tonight.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, March 30, 2017

O2 Concentrator vs Tanks

Dear Diary,

I got some interesting news from my oxygen supplier today. Turns out they don't even carry backpack size electrical concentrators any longer. Apparently, they were a nightmare as far as maintenance and upkeep.
My next option is smaller tanks which I could carry in a case over my shoulder.
There are a number of sizes available and this option would allow me to drive without worrying about battery life.
Turns out I can just add this equipment to my regular order without any prescription change or an increase of monthly cost.
Very small concentrators are available from a few other companies but that would require more hassles with the insurance which, quite frankly, neither the wife nor I are up to right now.

Tired with a lot of muscle aches and poor O2 efficiency today. Don't know what the hell is going on. diastolic BP still in the high 40s despite being off valsartan for two days.
Will communicate this to the cardio guy in the morning.



"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Just Talking To Myself ;)

Dear Diary,

I'm bored today. The wife is at work and I'm here just putzing around on the Internet. The cat is asleep as usual so I'm all by myself.

I got a real nice, encouraging e-mail from one of my long time followers. I was beginning to think that nobody reads this diary anymore. I do admit it's gotten a bit repetitive of late. That's what happens when you get old and start losing it! Lol!

The rain has stopped for a while and it's real nice outside. I want to get out and walk around the neighborhood but I'm worried that I might get mugged, what with being on the oxygen and all.
The 'hood' has been going downhill crime wise for at least 2 or 3 years now.
The wife and I had a bit of a scare recently. We were out walking around the block shortly after dark when a car with a 'Papa John's logo pulled up right beside us. The driver got out and came over and started talking to us. Had me worried that he might want to take advantage of an elderly couple, especially with the man disabled.
Turns out he wanted to pray with us! Christian fanatics...gotta love 'em! I should have tried to extort him by saying that I'd report his behavior to his boss if he didn't give us free pizza!

The wife gets home around 7:00 pm and she's picking up a nice Merlot that we can enjoy this evening. I decided to knock off the bourbon for a while till the time comes when I really need it.
My Doc frowns on my constant requests for Fentanyl /IVpush. I have no idea why!   ;)

I've started using the new scented O2 based on aromatherapy. I find I'm pretty much hooked on 'Pumpkin Spice'!

On another note, I'm hoping that my health will have improved enough by September that I might be able to actually get out and go dove hunting. This is assuming I can even afford a license, what with the ongoing medical expenses we have to deal with.
I really miss being able to get out there in the desert, in the quiet, away from the city. The wife and I used to spend hours out there enjoying nature and then come home with a limit of delicious doves.
Hell, I'd love to be out there even if I wasn't hunting!

*gets up and turns on 'Lava Lamp'™*

Well, it's almost 8:00 now and the wife is still at the store. I put out a steak for dinner and it's calling to me. As I type this, she just sent me a text saying she's on the way home so it will be about ten minutes. Now I'm happy!

Our cat is now on my desk enthusiastically licking my file folders. He is the equivalent of  95+ in human years. I hope I don't start doing that when I'm that old! I'll stick to licking the windows on the 'short bus'.   ;)

I don't usually talk politics on here but I sure am concerned about what's going on with the new administration, especially health care/insurance. I'm eligible For Medicare benefits and the way things seem to be going, I'm not even sure it's going to be there for me!
I just hope the Republicans can get their act together, at least enough to replace the ACA with an equivalent or better plan. People like me are counting on it.
Personally, I think the new administration is moving way too fast on addressing critical issues, but, time will tell.

*pours another glass of wine*

The next update will be when I get home from the hospital on Monday...(and the crowd goes "ahhhhhhh". Yeah...I'm nuts, I know.

I guess I've rambled on enough for one evening so I'll sign off here.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Update From Last Thursday

Dear Diary,

We saw the new pulmonologist, Dr K last Thursday. Nice guy. He believes that, now that we have the biopsy results, we can actually develop a plan of action for this never ending saga.

He wants to begin by getting me off warfarin and on to Xarelto® (Rivaroxaban). I was supposed to be on this from the beginning however that proved impossible due to the OTC price coupled with the fact that my insurance wouldn't cover it.
Interestingly, Dr K was somehow able to get coverage for me which will last until I change insurance at the beginning of the year.
He is also going to directly treat the pulmonary hypertension issue with another drug that we need to get a pre-auth for.
Right now, we're waiting for records to be transferred to Dr K from St Joe's.

I'm still having significant pain from the procedure. It gets a bit wearing toward the end of the day.
I'm trying to stay as active as my lung capacity will allow which isn't that much but I guess anything is better than nothing.

I have an appointment with my PCP, Dr E on Monday. We will be discussing my latest labs as well as my current PSA. 


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Day 7, Election Day

Dear Diary,

Well, I pretty much caved in today and used my oxycodone. The pain level has been greater than 7 out of 10 for the past few days so I'm trying that to see if relieving the pain helps my ability to breathe.

We got the preliminary surgical biopsy report back yesterday. It was unremarkable. The specimens will now be sent to at least a couple of other labs for verification and there are several other tests for molds, fungus and other environmental agents currently pending.

As far as the election goes, the mood at Casa del Robbins is less than joyful. We do not have the luxury as some do of leaving the country in the event of a Trump win.
The left has had ample opportunity to act against the right wing insanity but has failed to do so.
Each successive generation seems to be dumber and weaker than it's predecessor. There is more to life than extreme sports, video games and Facebook. Wake up people!
We are losing the first president in decades with enough courage and intelligence to clearly understand and act against the problems our country faces.

Now a Catholic Church in California has declared that anyone who doesn't vote for Trump will be damned to Hell.

I rest my case!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Insurance & Treatment Issues

Dear Diary,

Feeling really depressed today. I spent part of the morning researching my upcoming insurance options for 2016. It appears there aren't any!
My current plan is no longer being offered and my government subsidy that we have been relying on is going to be reduced significantly, partly due to my wife's new part time employment.
I looks like average monthly premiums with either private insurance or Federal programs are going to be around $2,000/month. We are currently paying around $300.
Since premiums that high effectively negate our monthly income, it appears that I will have to go without health insurance. With my current health the way it is, that is scary!
If my PSA continues to rise as it has over the past few months, it is expected that I will begin hormone therapy in the form of Lupron/Casodex, probably every 3 to 6 months'
Lupron is running about $2,000/dose. Not sure about Casodex but is most likely very similar.
Even with insurance, these drugs are far above our budget.
Unless something can be done to regulate these insane prices, tens of thousands of people are going to suffer and die, well before their time, myself included.
The key, I guess, is to try and hang on for another two years so I can get Medicare. Even if Hillary does get in, I doubt that she'll be able to pull off  an early 'buy in'.

I guess my next entry will be next week, after my lung biopsy. Not sure how long I'll be in the hospital this time. After that, we will need to address the heart surgery if it appears that I'm strong enough.
If anyone out there has a little extra cash, any donation to helps. We will never be able to pay off my medical bills in our lifetime but we will keep trying!
Thanks so much to those who might consider helping us out as well as those who already have.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Brief Summary Of Last Week

Dear Diary,

Monday: Saw Dr E for a general follow-up. Got a bunch of prescriptions refilled. Lab results were ok except the hemoglobin which went down to 11.8 from 13.
Probably from so much rectal bleeding. (hemorrhoids)
It was his first day back from vacation and he was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off!
Forgot to mention that over that weekend, I was trying to clean up some broken glass on the front patio and managed to fall into the pile of it putting several nice gashes in the palm of my left hand.
Interestingly, for being on warfarin, it didn't bleed much. I was prepared to go to the ER but the largest bleed stopped in about 30 minutes.

Tuesday: Went for my INR with Dr M. Have another one coming up in a month. Warfarin is currently very stable which is convenient.
While we were there, we scheduled another Doppler to check on the progress, or lack thereof on the part of the Myxoma. I get that on the 18th.

Wednesday: That was the day we went to see DrY, the RO. We had what I consider a good meeting.
We agreed that we are not going to actually 'cure' this so we agree that it's time to formulate a plan designed to slow or stop the cancer for as long as humanly possible.
We will probably kick this off within the next six months. Within that time, I expect to be having as least two consultations with a new urologist and a medical oncologist, both recommended by Dr Y.

Thursday: After breakfast, we took the old battery from the van down to the auto parts store to collect the core charge. $15 is better than nothing!
Spent the rest of the day resting. Did I mention that the wife removed the old battery from the van and installed the new one. I am extremely proud of her (as usual).

Friday: Friday morning, after breakfast, I published the 'for sale' ad for the van in Craigslist. I have never been able to sell anything on Craigslist. We sold the van in a half hour! Go figure!

Saturday: Karen and I both started feeling poorly around the late morning. light fever, muscle aches and pains all over the body and generalized fatigue. I had it worse than she did as toward evening, I could barely walk. During the night, the pain continued and In my case, it affected my lungs causing mild, productive cough and upper left lobe crepitations. We did not sleep well at all!

Sunday: Slept all day!

Since then, most of the symptoms have either resolved or have greatly improved with the exception of my desaturation issue which appears to have suffered a mild setback. Checked in with Dr E who increased my prednisone by 10mg to 20mg/q.d. He also wants me to use Lasix® on a daily basis, at least through the coming weekend.

Well, I've got a few chores to do so more later.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Visit To The Radiation Oncologist

Dear Diary,

As I mentioned last night, I went to see Dr Y, my RO today to discuss the latest fun and games.
He is inclined to consider a PSA of 1.8 still very low. He did however, state that, because of the extremely short doubling time, I could theoretically be looking at metastatic disease within the next 12 months. Bummer! :(
What this means in a practical  sense is I will most likely be looking at first line hormone therapy much sooner than I thought. It appears they will probably start me on Casodex® for a while before switching to Lupron®. The goal here is simple, to impede the progress of the disease as long as possible. I am cautiously hoping for another ten years however that is asking quite a bit.
Factually, the cardiac issues could kill me at any time as opposed to the cancer which will probably take years.

I sure hope they have decent booze in Heaven (or Hell). Personally, I'm betting on Hell!  Lol!

Actually, the irony of this is funny. Doctor says I'm gonna die, they just don't know when. We've all had that death sentence since the day we were born!

Dr Y was able to give me the names of both a urologist and a medical oncologist within his medical group which he highly recommends. Because they are the same group, the insurance company should have no issues with it.

Next update will be the heart issues.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Even More Insurance Woes!

Dear Diary,

It was an interesting day. We went in to get the latest CT of my lungs today. I expected a copay of around $35 in the worst case or nothing in the best.
Surprise, surprise, surprise! They're gonna sock me with a $147 copay! WTF? This has never happened with any of the previous scans. They're telling us that the insurance company is now requiring them to collect the 20% coinsurance upfront. This new development is going to change the playing field DRASTICALLY.
Because we couldn't possibly pay that much, we were forced to cancel the appointment. I asked if they could bill the insurance company first or at least, bill us for the copay but they wouldn't do it.
If this is going to be the case with every provider them I'm in deep shit!
We have decided to go downtown to the insurers office and sit down with a rep face to face. We are tired of being put on hold for up to 30 minutes and then get different answers from every god damn rep they have. I'm really upset over this!

*Sips some cheap bourbon*

Some good news...I hope. I seem to be able to spend more and more time off O2. I have previously been able to go off it if I'm perfectly still as in riding in a car. Now, I can actually move around and do light work. I still desat. but not anywhere near as bad compared to a few weeks ago.
I'm beginning to feel a little more confident that I might be able to pass my 'six minute walk test'.
I also might be able to start driving again. I was never restricted in that regard. It was just way too much trouble to lug that O2 tank around. I'm lazy and everybody knows it. Lol!

I'll post again when we know what's going on with the CT scan and the insurance.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface