Sunday, December 23, 2012

first lung cancerversary

It was one year ago today I got the phone call from my Nurse Practitioner informing me that my x-ray following my annual physical had found a “9 mm suspicious nodular density” in my lung.

I had just picked up my wife from her care facility in our wheelchair accessible van for an outing. She was sitting right next to me and I had to fake my emotions and much of the conversation before pulling over. Stepping out of the van to collect myself I asked that momentous question, “How long do I have to live?”

My nurse practitioner would be the first to stonewall that question but I’ve long forgiven her because well, I’m writing this today a year later because she was raising the bar on her professional skills bringing screening and by default early detection into annual physicals.

I earned an Oscar in my opinion last year acting all through my fist 'last Christmas' and the holidays informing no one of my health and concerns of dying. In fact with the exception of our adult daughter I informed no one until after successful surgery almost three months after the call.

Speaking of screening and detection, just today I open a letter denying my upcoming rescheduled CT scan - apparently it’s too soon. Two months ago my second follow up CT scan was ‘inconclusive’ since I had a chest cold at the time.

Reading the letter I hear the lawyers and bean counters not the physicians. … my insurance would have paid 100% had my rescheduled CT scan occurred before the end of the year.

Follow up CT scans are suggested every 4 months for the first two years following treatment for lung cancer. Due to a good old common cold I’ve only had one readable scan in 9 months since surgery.

Unless I win a lottery I can't see many more 'suggested' CT scans in my future, I am still paying off 2012 deductibles.

One year ago my question was “how long do I have to live”. 

One year later the question is about money. 

Whatever, there are no answers tonight. It’s time to celebrate my first lung cancerversary and raise a cupcake to that original X-ray and encircled “suspicious nodular density. "Hasta la vista, baby!” 
Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @

1 comment:

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