Or at the least is very stressful. Let me start out and say Medicaid saved my ass. medicaid, unfortunately, is a bureacracy. A big one.
Stress Point 1: I've had 4 chemo treatments or 2 cycles of chemo. Each treatment is 2 weeks apart. I need a CT/PET scan before I can continue with chemo. This is standard. They need to know how the Cancer has responded and adjust the chemo accordingly. My next treatment is scheduled for this coming Thursday, 1/19/06. TWO days from now. I've been waiting almost 2 weeks for Medicaid to "approve" my CT/PET Scan. This scan would cost @$7,000 out of pocket. Yes, we were quoted that price. So, lets breakdown the "logic":
No scan -> no treatment.
No treatment -> Cancer gets worse.
Cancer gets worse -> Treatment takes longer/patient at greater risk.
Costs increase for insurance
One of the most important items during chemo is to GET THE CHEMO ON TIME. It's vital, it's crucial, it could even be critical This is causing Dani and I a bit of stress. If I get approved tomorrow I don't even know if I could get an appointment in time.
I don't think about it. Dani does.
We also pretty much maxed credit cards and depleted savings on getting tests and what not for me before I started chemo and before I was approved for Medicaid.
Stress Point 2: The House we live in is going up for foreclosure next week. Dani has a lawyer. DC has the strongest tenent rights in the Nation (Berkley is a strong 2nd. ;) ). We've been kind of Landlordless since September as the lawyers of several parties fought. Dani has been putting her rent in an escrow account since then. Unfortunately, foreclosure sale leaves us with limited options. Someone can "buy" this place for $52,000 cash and give us 3 months to vacate. Dani loses the option for first right of refusal with a foreclosure. She's hoping a couple of friends might be interested in the property so we can stay. It is in the middle of the hottest gentrifying area of DC but the Market is starting to crash. The Condo bubble just burst. Anyway, having to move while I am unemployed/disabled is stressful. I'm a liability and could never sign a lease. God I hate the thought of that.
Stress Point 3: Why is disability so shameful? It will take 3 months for Social Security to approve/disapprove my application. I won't apply for food stamps. Pride is stopping me. Dani doesn't want me to either. Such a stigma behind Food Stamps. This Country can sometimes really suck.
Stress Point 4: My teeth. We need to fix my teeth. Cancer/chemo really plays havoc on teeth and tooth decay. I had 2 root Canals just completed. Today I had two cavities filled. I have 8 minor cavities left and one cracked filling that needs to be replaced. Sounds like a lot but I've had no cavities filled since the 1980's, 1 root canal in early 2000. Anyway, I need those all done and my root canal teeth capped. 200-275 for each filling and I believe it's at least $1000 for a crown/cap. It was already a couple grand for the root canals, I think.
We are stressed.
The benefit for me looks like it's gonna be awesome! I think 150-200 people will be there. The bar is letting us do it on a Saturday for no cost. We have at least One band donating their time. I believe the leukemia/lymphoma society will be there. And the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Americans for Health Care will be there. I would like to plug them here. from their website:
"Americans for Health Care - a project of SEIU, the largest union of health care workers in the country - is uniting working families, small business owners, seniors, health care workers, community leaders, and policy makers to fight for affordable, quality health care that we can all count on. In states across the country, we are building broad-based coalitions of individuals and organizations in order to push for health care policies which ensure:
Quality, affordable health care for all, without gaps in coverage or access;
Care that is cost efficient and medically effective;
A core package of health insurance benefits with choices comparable in quantity and scope to those available to federal employees; and
Financing that is fair and includes employers, individuals, and the federal, state and local governments."
45,000,000 - The number of uninsured in America in 2003.
8.5 million - The number of children in America who have no health care.
1 minute - The amount of time it takes for nearly 3 people lose their health insurance in the U.S.(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
Hope to see you all at the Party! ;)
I can't wait to look back at these times with dani and laugh. Life is worthless without a few struggles, no?