The Doctor Visit that Wasn’t

Remember back in June, I had a doctor’s appointment.  It had sounded like everything was okay but my bloodwork wasn’t back yet.  The doctor had sent me on my way with the plan for me to come back in 6 months.  Then on the way home, she called me and said my bloodwork thyroglobulin tumor marker had gone up higher than expected so she wanted me back in three months and wanted me to have a PET scan.

For those of you who are new here.  I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016.  I had surgery to have my thyroid removed and underwent Radioactive Iodine treatment.  The hope was that would be well…but it isn’t.

I was good for a year but gradually my blood test numbers have been slowly creeping up.  I hate to complain or even talk about it because what I am going through is NOTHING compared to what other cancer patients go through.  At this point, there has been no chemo.  No radiation.  Even if things do go bad there is a high chance that I’ll never have either of them.  Still, it’s annoying.

The thought is that the cancer has moved to my lungs.  It supposedly is slow-growing or at least is supposed to be slow-growing.  Who knows…and that is what was supposed to take me back to the doctor yesterday.

That didn’t happen.  I have had the appointments for a couple of months.  Then Friday I was called and told insurance wasn’t approving my PET scan.  After numerous calls to my insurance and to the doctor plans changed and at 5 pm on Friday when scheduling closed, they decided they would go with a chest CT and abdominal CT scan vs the PET scan.  But, they had to be approved by insurance.

That wasn’t helpful to me.  No appointments were scheduled.  I had already taken Monday off…now I couldn’t schedule the appointments.  No one had any idea if they would be able to get the appointments scheduled on Monday.  UGH.

I was supposed to be at Mayo Clinic (two hours away) at 8 am for a blood test.  I’d have to leave at 6 am to get there in time.  There was no way to schedule appointments at that time…so everything had to be canceled.

I talked with my childcare parents and ended up doing childcare today.  Of course, Mayo Clinic called at 8 am on Monday telling me they could schedule appointments as insurance did approve the CT scans…she said she could have likely gotten me in for them that day.  Well, it was too late.  I was two hours away and now had childcare kiddos.

On top of all of my own cancer stuff,  yesterday was also the anniversary of my niece’s death.  She died two years ago from breast cancer.  There is nothing like the anniversary of a death from cancer to make a person realize that I could be going down the same road.

I can’t tell you how many times Jody and I would call each other on the way to appointments.  We always called each other right away with results.  We shared something that few others in the family and friends understood as we both understood with our cancer diagnosis.  It was so good to talk to someone else who understood the lingo of cancer.

Monday, with my problems with insurance and appointments, was a day I would have for sure been calling or texting.  She understood the frustration of all of that.  She was someone who I could vent to and she’d love me just the same.

Going through all the appointment/insurance junk yesterday on the day she died was one moment like, she’s with me and cheering me on and the next like cancer can kill and she’s proof.  I did everything I could to try to be on the “she’s with me” train of thought.

My niece sent a couple of pictures that did me some good.  I hadn’t seen these pictures.  Here is Jody meeting Georgia.  It was a good day even though Jody was sick and in the hospital.  Jody had a great smile even sick.

Jody and Kelli both dealt with infertility.  They bonded greatly over it and Jody completely understood the trouble Kelli and Jason went through.  She was just thrilled for Kelli to have Georgia.

Sadly Jody died on the birthday of her triplets which was two years ago yesterday.

My appointments are all moved to September 23rd, I’ll tell you what I learn.  At least at this point, I know insurance has approved the appointments so that is one frustration I won’t have then.

I’m trying really hard to remember and see the good and not think about insurance/appointments/cancer.  Yesterday wasn’t the best day.

I’ve learned on those not-so-good days to give myself a break.  Sewing, stitching, and get lost in an audiobook is just what I needed…and just what I did.

Today will be better.

 

43 thoughts on “The Doctor Visit that Wasn’t

  1. June

    Jo, You’re an awesome person and have shared so much of yourself with others. No matter where this journey takes you. You have been such a Blessing. I pray that the drs use wisdom in all they do for you. And that the report will be a great report. Life is so much at times a “circle”. Seems we go through these things just to understand what someone else might be going through. I don’t always understand Gods way of taking us through pain. But I do know He’s right there with us -Always.

    Reply
  2. Diana in Des Moines

    Sometimes I think cancer will take all of us. Seems like we all have it, or have had it, or know someone who had it, or has it, and it just keeps coming.
    I’m a survivor and thank God each day that it doesn’t return. Oh, I know it’s there. Just waiting to pounce. Terrible thing, cancer.
    Keeping you in my prayers as you play the waiting game. Hugs, Jo.

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  3. Christi

    I hate it when insurance rules our life. It’s bad enough to have an illness without that added stress. You are in my prayers. Read something distracting I go for Erma Bombeck and even though she has been gone a long time I still laugh endlessly. Yes, the grass is greener over my septic tank.

    Reply
  4. Carla

    Never feel bad for sharing. Prayer is a wonderful thing. Being able to pray specifics for a person is way more encouraging than just praying in general. Or so I find. Blessings.

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  5. Suzanne

    Gotcha covered in prayers today, Jo. You have a wonderful attitude and outlook and you will be fine. Thanks for being a positive, creative, inspiring influence in this world.

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  6. Judith Fairchild

    Praying for you. You have been through so much and you just keep going. We all have 2 choices in life make the best of it or whine and complain. You my dear blogging friend are an example I follow. Insurance companies have way to.much poweer over our lives. We need them but…..love the picture of Jody and Georgia.

    Reply
  7. Hedy

    I also had a bad day yesterday and I tried to do good things to distract me. It’s very difficult to be in your shoes with cancer looming over you, but I think you are a survivor. I believe you have the stamina and energy and a family to encourage you to fight this devilish thing. Put on your armor and slay those dragons, one at a time. (Insurance companies are included). Hope today is better!

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  8. Ellie

    You are one of the strongest people I know. I’m glad we are here for you to vent and share your journey. God will keep you in his loving care.

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  9. Kate

    So sorry you had to go through all that with insurance company stuff. It certainly makes it that much harder to focus on the real issue – your health. The picture of Jody and Georgia is beautiful and you are right, Jody has a beautiful smile! I hope your childcare kiddos were somewhat of a help to you. Will keep you in my prayers.

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  10. Ginny Clyne

    prayers, prayers, prayers for you. You are such a glass half full person, please don’t feel bad when sometimes you feel like the glass is half empty we all have those days. I know I am willing to listen when you need someone to talk to about this, our children don’t want to hear about some of these things. They want us to still be Momma, strong, caring, and willing to listen to them and the leader of their clan.

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  11. Cindy F

    So sorry you had to go through these insurance issues. Terrible that your insurance company and the ones working the issue at Mayo couldn’t have gotten this done earlier for you. I hope it’s a temporary blip with good news the outcome of your rescheduled appointment.

    Reply
  12. Melody Schmitz

    I get so much enjoyment from your blog. Don’t feel bad for sharing your news. Sorry you are going through all this. We are all here praying for you and your family. Today will be a better day.

    Reply
  13. Jill Klop

    Thank you for sharing your story. Yesterday was was just a crappy day for you! Sending you a virtual hug and prayers for answers when you do get to go to the doctor. I’m sorry.

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  14. Mary

    Insurance companies can be so frustrating! I never have figured out why they think they know more than the doctors who see you as a real person, not just a bill that has to be paid. I had lung cancer 25 years ago (long time survivor! Yea!) and the insurance company would only approve 3 days in the hospital even though I was having the left upper lobe of my lung removed! It did work out that the insurance paid for the five days I was in the hospital, but only because I still had a drain tube until the day I went home.
    Your are in my prayers for both the possibility of your cancer spreading and for having to deal with insurance!

    Reply
  15. Pauline Glynn

    jody, how much does a pet scan cost.it`s so unfair that any insurance would say no. you do so much for others, don`t you know any rich people? there must be a way around it….for all the people that read your blog i would think we could foot a pet scan bill. take care, i`m sure we are all praying for you, hugs ,Pauline

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    1. Susan the Farm Quilter

      I just looked up how much PET scans cost – $3,000-$6,000. Sucks that insurance companies literally hold the power of life and death over people! We’ll keep praying for you, Jo, because God is more powerful than insurance companies!!!

      Reply
    2. Jo Post author

      Oh Pauline. You are so sweet. I’m okay. We are going to do a Chest CT and Abdominal CT. I’m sure they will find what they need. They quoted me $7762 for the PET scan. I asked. It’s all okay. Thanks for thinking of me.

      Reply
  16. Gayle Shumaker

    Jo my thoughts and understanding are with you. Though I don’t have cancer my autoimmune disease and clotting/bleeding disorders carry much of the uncertainty and frustration that you are experiencing. I to choose to be happy and to live life to the fullest. Hang in there you have so many friends who are praying for you. Keep making memories with your kids and grandkids. Hugs.

    Reply
  17. Beryl in Owatonna

    Praying, Jo. I am glad we are here for you, don’t apologize. You are an an example of strength to many. God is so good and He has you in His hand.
    Proverbs 3:5-6

    Reply
  18. Priscilla C

    This is where the support for one another becomes so important. It’s so good that you’re able to express so much. People truly do care and want to support you, Jo. Think positive thoughts, as you usually seem to!

    Reply
  19. Dianne Holcombe

    That insurance company is up against a formidable opponent- YOU! And all of us who are on your side! You are an inspiration to all for what you do without asking anything for yourself. You are a strong, positive Child of God. With your wonderful family and friends, and all of us who consider ourselves your friends, you have a virtual Prayer Army for Jo asking God for your healing!

    Reply
  20. Donna

    Oh my friend, this kind of thing makes me so angry. I’ve been told that when you are denied something due to insurance, that you get the names of the board members. I had a friend do that and the next day everything was approved.
    Please know that we are all praying for you, storming the gates of Heaven with prayers requests on your behalf for healing.
    Keep us posted when you can.
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  21. Sally

    Much to my surprise, I was diagnosed with ovarian ca, don’t remember the stage, in June 2012. My attitude was, Ok, I have this and I will do everything they tell me to do, get over this, and get on with my life! I think being positive is everything. Maybe I’m selfish but I still do not listen to anyone’s horror story. Everyone is different and I chose to be positive and I think you do too! There is a site called Caringbridge that you might want to look into. You can keep friends & family updated as to your progress by writing one time and they can read and comment.

    Best wishes to you, Jo! You are in my prayers+

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Thanks for the kind words Sally. I use the blog as my “caring bridge”. Most of my family and friends who care read it. I’m so glad you have found peace with your diagnosis. I most of the time do just fine with it but every once in a while it gets me. Yesterday was the day.

      Reply
  22. Ivy Greenawalt

    Sending hugs. I look forward to your posts everyday. I’m not even sure how I found you/got on your email list. But here I am, and I am so grateful for you. I will likely never meet you in person, but your words have grounded me many times. Thank you. And sending more hugs….

    Reply
  23. Nonnie

    I have a chronic pain disorder and my theme song is from Annie: “tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, you’re only a day away” ☺️ Thank goodness for new mercies every morning! Prayers for your, May tomorrow be so much better!

    Reply
  24. Paula Nordt

    Thank you for sharing! I live in Texas, but am currently hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine. WiFi is very spotty, but yesterday while on a hike, I got a call from my doctor telling me my routine Colonguard test came back positive and I need to see a specialist for a colonoscopy. I’m trying not to freak out, but…

    Reply
  25. Linda

    I am so sad reading this all….I am praying for you and sending some good energy….creepy cancer….I have not been able to be one line since Feb–gosh I miss those sewing times….

    Reply

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