First, there were two Ginley birthdays this week. Sean was on Thursday. His “twin”, Declan was four on Wednesday. He had a great day and loved every single one of his toys, especially the toy fishing pole and fish that Uncle Sean and Aunt Carly sent. Erin and Brent heated up the hot tub so the kids could fish that evening.
Ice storm in Houston yesterday…schools closed, businesses closed, some roads were closed. I had an appointment with Dr. Ho, my medical oncologist, at 9:00 and left it up to Jerry (the driver) to decide if we should try to make it. The answer was no and I cancelled. Good move. Took care of the whole thing over the phone. I had a few questions about an adjustment they made to my chemo meds on Monday based on some kidney function thing. I wasn’t overly concerned. I figured if my kidneys were in trouble they’d tell me, not just wait for the pharmacy to get in touch with the doctor to adjust the dosage of one of the drugs. Sure enough…not a problem. It’s some kind of calculation based on kidney function and weight (which, I might add, is remaining steady). I also have had a bit of problem swallowing this week…also assumed that didn’t mean the tumor was getting bigger again but wanted to check. Guess that the proton irritates the esophagus and can cause some swelling…okay, I’m good to go for another week. And all without risking a fender bender by a trip to the hospital for a ten minute talk with the doc.
We did go out last night for proton…a 9:00 pm appointment. Thank God we didn’t have our usual 6:00 am (ice). No ice at 9:00 pm. But so glad my proton is not usually at 9:00. I’m in bed by 9:00 most days. This was an exercise in endurance to stay awake for it all. We were home by 10:00 and Anne and Clark were waiting for us…sat up and gabbed for another half hour. I think that was the latest I’ve been to bed since we got to Houston.
I got an email from a good friend wanting to know if we were doing okay financially…Did we need someone to organize a fund raiser? The answer (although we’re so grateful for the thought) is we are fine. Medicare and my supplement seem to be covering everything except a little $10.00 copay every now and then (all from work done in Venice) We get the bills for thousands of dollars…every chemo treatment seems to be about $10,000 …with a column that says “Due from patient” $0.00. Incredible. But I go over everything and rant and rave about the high cost of it all. $615 for the nurse at Venice Oncology to disconnect my port and do a blood test back when I was there in December. $1000 for recovery room when I had the port put in (I was there for 30 minutes maybe…hooked up to a heart monitor) No wonder everyone is so worried about Medicare breaking our bank. Health care is costing entirely too much these days. (this from someone who insisted on Proton ever though it was three times the cost of regular radiation)
And the waste…For someone who saves everything that I might be able to reuse (a plastic straw??) watching them clean up after the needle is put into the port before chemo or they’re cleaning up from chemo…miles of plastic tubing in the trash, syringes, and a perfectly good pair of scissors (I did ask for the scissors..they’re great) I cannot even imagine how much trash a hospital must have each day. Nothing is reused, nothing is recycled. Maybe it’s more cost effective to throw it away than to clean and sterilize things and use them again. Seems to me they could at least save the scissors…or give them to schools for their art classes. But what do I know? I’m beginning to think if we have money to invest we ought to invest in medical supply companies. With cancer on the rise, plastic tubing may be a big money maker.
Fun day today. We’re going hot tub shopping with Anne and Clark…plan on trying out a few while we’re at it. Tomorrow we have another session at the Apple Store…focus is itunes which I have kind of learned by hit or miss and figure there are things they can teach us.
And then on Monday our usual proton, out to breakfast, bloodwork, chemo and back to Anne’s by mid-afternoon where my sweet sister, Kim, will be here from Massachusetts for the week. Kim is one of the “littles” in our family…born when I was fourteen…Her kids were our “practice grandchildren”. Clark is heading out for a week to see his dad in Florida so Jerry will have to hold down the fort with three sisters who never stop talking (well I never stop talking anyway)
Have a good weekend, my friends. All’s well here still…How did I get so lucky?