Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009

Quick update...... The poke and peek procedure went about as expected, however, my bladder has not healed from the BCG treatments, and the doc. was unable to offer anything concrete. He described it as looking like hamburger. Sorry for that image, but I am just reporting the facts. He is recommending a cat scan to check the rest of my organs.... my last one was back in Feb, with an ex, and he is probably a bit jealous.
Dr. Boyd wants to have a serious talk in about 2 weeks..... sounds like bad news, but maybe he just wants to take this relationship to the next level.
I will write more when I feel better, and am not under the influence of dangerous drugs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

August 20, 2009

WARNING...... SERIOUS WHINING AHEAD!!!!!! Sorry, but it can't be helped.

First of all, sorry for not posting sooner. I generally wait until I feel inspired, and on top of things, but it just isn't happening. I have been feeling overwhelmed, and seem unable to turn things around. The wolves are still circling, and anxiety is high.

Anyway, I met with the Doc. at USC, and didn't really learn anything new, my chances are still poor...... funny, I keep changing doctors, and they keep saying the same thing. LOL I have an appointment for a “poke and peek” on Friday the 28th. I will be asleep, in the event that he needs to do some cutting, and will be happy to doze through the uncomfortable part, but not looking forward to the anesthesia hangover. I am hoping for some definite result this time.... I am worn out with the indecision.

I spent the day preparing one of my big guns in the insurance war. I am ready to send my complaint in to the Insurance Commissioner. Health Net led me and UPMC to believe that my surgeries would be covered, and now are trying to strand me with a $60,000 bill..... regardless of what they said, there is the fine print on page 42....... I have high hopes, after all, I am sure that the government will protect me from the giant corporation. LOL

Speaking of money, the guy that owes me $185,000 has filed bankruptcy. I think that it is just a delaying tactic, and expect a series of “requests for extensions”. In the end, I should get my money, or the houses. The trouble is, that I don't know if it will be a couple of months, or a couple of years.... a little something to work on in my spare time.

The good news is, I have found renters for my 2 vacant apartments. I still have some work to do getting them ready for move in, but it will be good to have them producing income again.

I must say that here, I am surrounded by long term friends. They are helpful and supportive in every way. Unfortunately, there is not much that they can do while I am embroiled in these battles. I am trying, but find it hard to be cheerful. I truly am grateful, but am not sure that it shows.

It seems that the reality here is...... life is not fair.... not news really, but I really hoped that it might be. Most of the trouble in my life has come from my own poor decisions, no fun, but well deserved. This time, I had done everything right, I had tons of insurance, money in the bank, and more on its way...... I even got solar for the MH...... what could go wrong?

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

So, tomorrow is a big day..... foreclosure sale and Dr. appointment. My mortgagee has not yet filed BK, she still might, but if not, then I get the property or my money. Woo Hoo. I could sure use the money, and am hopeful that this drama will end quietly. I am not expecting much from my first meeting with the new doctor, but am still excited about it.... you know, first date jitters.

I woke up with adrenalin seeping into system, and appeared poised to worry away the day, after all, it is what I do. But wait, not this time...... I made a conscious effort to relax, and have a serious talk with myself. “These events were not a surprise, I knew what to expect, and had a plan for most of the likely outcomes. Try to spend the day doing something useful.” Now I know that this doesn't seem like much to some of you, but for me, that was an excellent bit of therapy. Some good advice from a trusted friend.

Ok, so far, so good. I went into town, called to confirm my Dr. appointment, and got involved in an earthmoving project with some friends. Well ok, it was really rock moving..... very manly stuff. A huge pile of rocks, trucks, dump trailer, back hoe, a bobcat, and diesel fumes in the air. You could have cut the testosterone with a knife!!

The day was going very well, then crisis..... USC called and said that they had not received any of my records or the pathology slides. Yikes, no need to see a doctor that knows nothing of my condition. Instant adrenalin rush, another stern talk with myself, a flurry of faxes, and all ok. Beat the Pittsburgh UPS man with minuets to spare. I would like to think that it was just a mistake, but, I had broken it off rather suddenly.

The day ended by unsticking a truck and loaded trailer that was buried about a ¼ mile down a dirt bike trail. Well, I wont name names, wouldn't want to embarrass anyone, but more trucks, even larger machines, and more testosterone. Altogether a fine day.

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Ok, another quick update. I have decided to end my relationship with UPMC, and have made a date with the seductive and available Dr. Boyd at USC Norris. I do not have hard feelings, in fact, I have many fond memories and still think that UPMC is a wonderful hospital, with lots to offer. I am sure that, given time to heal, they will find another bladder cancer patient.

My appointment will be in the afternoon of August 11, oddly enough, the same day that the foreclosure sale is supposed to take place in the morning. A double header, so to speak. It is likely that neither of these events will yield definitive results. Dr. Boyd may want to get to know me better, and not want to “do it” on the first date, and my mortgagee has threatened bankruptcy, which would delay the sale. Still, I am pleased to have things moving forward.

On another front, I just got a look at my file from the local clinic.... I guess that I should bring everyone up to date. I probably had the first symptoms of my cancer back in the fall of 2007, and went to the local clinic. They found microscopic blood in my urine, and prescribed antibiotics. The problem persisted, and different drugs were prescribed...... Symptoms disappeared. Several doctors have said, very definitively, that “any blood in urine, straight to the urologist”, anything else is severe malpractice. Now, I am not generally the type to engage the lawyers, but I thought I might have no choice...... Back to the clinic file. On the notes from my 3rd and last visit, at the bottom of the page, away from everything else on the bottom of the page, were the following words..... “urologist consult advised”.

This advice never happened, I know me, and I would have been all over that recommendation. Why, what might be wrong, is this important, is this just defensive medicine? It is well known, legendary in fact, that I always question authority. It has been a habit/hobby of mine since I was.... well, about 4 years old. My family, friends, and I have suffered greatly as a result. I remember annoying the appointment person and the physicians assistant I was scheduled to see, questioning why I was seeing him a instead of a “real doctor”. I know that I would have demanded a discussion about that recommendation, and would In fact, not have taken it lightly.

Over the last 7 months I have noticed many warnings and disclaimers, in reports and notes, that never actually took place. At first I was amused, but now I see why, CYA Note to self, and everyone else..... Always get the reports and notes, and read them carefully. I guess that I will be fully prepared if I survive this illness, and am stricken with something else..... Maybe a career as a consultant, give seminars, go on Oprah.... Anyway, lesson learned, and one less thing to worry about.

After a moment of introspection, I realize that, during my years as a home inspector, I have likely been guilty of the same thing.

One last thing, everyone here keeps saying how good I look. Seems that everyone expected me to look like someone that had been through hell. My treatments were mostly contained in the bladder, and not the kind that made me nauseous and unable to eat. I can, however, assure you that if you could see the inside of my bladder, you would be horrified, get that look on your face, and start to ooze sympathy.

I have noticed, if I don't act sick, people don't treat me like I am sick, and that, is a very good thing.