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All posts for the month June, 2018

Cancer Journey: Part 15

Published June 28, 2018 by lynn k scott

Tomorrow I meet a new oncologist.  I had to call to confirm my appointment, as I hadn’t received a reminder call.  The woman laughed it off that she hadn’t sent out any reminders.  That’s all well and good, however, I’m traveling 30 minutes out of my way and losing a half a day’s work, so I don’t have the luxury to hope everything is still on schedule.

I have been re-reading my previous oncologist’s visit comments.  They still have not fixed the part where my sister died of breast cancer at 37; not 47.  They have only been told three times now.  They make me seem like a bitch for refusing IV chemo because it’s the treatment they would have preferred.  My original oncologist said outright they could not confirm I did or didn’t still have cancer.  They were going to treat me as if I did; just in case.  Silly me for wanting a definitive answer and to have a somewhat normal life with such vague information from a “professional”.

They villianized me for refusing tests that exposed me to additional radiation without a legitimate cause.  I also had stated that tests need to be coordinated that required IVs.  My veins rolls and collapse, but they don’t consider that when they schedule tests.

I am not holding out much hope for tomorrow’s visit.  We will have to go through all the questions that have been already answered and are in my file.  It’s too much to ask for doctor’s to read before meeting a new patient.  Wasting time is the preferred interaction method.

I know she will order more blood work.  Let’s hope my veins cooperate.  Who knows if she will order the CT scan that I believe should have been done already.  A point my previous oncologist and I did not see eye to eye on.

My anxiety is messing with my sleep again.  I just need this appointment to be over.  Then I get to wait to see if my levels are elevated (which would indicate the cancer is still there).  Waiting games suck; moreso when your very existence is on the line.

No matter what happens, cancer still sucks!

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Reblog: Cancer Conversation — Live Life with Laughter

Published June 22, 2018 by lynn k scott

Some sound advice.  Having to ask for help isn’t something we are taught to do; esp. if when you are fiercely independent.  Cancer changes all of that!

So when someone tells you they have cancer, how do you react? Are you shocked? What do you say? My brother-in-law shared an article which was written in the Globe today about this very topic. I had actually looked at similar articles earlier in January when I found out I had cancer because I […]

via Cancer Conversation — Live Life with Laughter

Cancer Journey: Part 14

Published June 21, 2018 by lynn k scott

After yet another phone call with Sutter Health, my oncology referral to Sacramento was denied.  The reason is the doctor is limiting her practice.  They referred me back to Vallejo.  I lived in Vallejo for eight years.  It’s gotten progressively worse and we moved away from that cesspool over six years ago.

I will be getting to see a native-English speaking doctor.  However, she is only in Vallejo one day a week, because her primary office is in a better city.   Colored me surprised…

I tried to make the appointment yesterday, only to be told the new patient coordinator was already gone for the day.  What?  It was 2:15 p.m.  Must be nice.  I left a voicemail that I needed to make an appointment and asked her to return my call.

Now, I tried to schedule an appointment with this provider three months ago.  They were unable to accommodate my schedule and Valerie, the coordinator, either hates her job or believes she is above us poor cancer patients.  I had the displeasure of dealing with her again.

Conversation starts with her calling me back and asking how she could help me.  Ummm…I know I left a message regarding booking an appointment (you know…you’re job – but I didn’t say that).  So, we had to start from scratch.  She never bothered to look for my referral before calling me back.  She had the wrong address (even though I corrected it last time we spoke and it was on the referral).  She didn’t like my exasperated tone.  She kept telling me to stop yelling at her.  At that point, I wasn’t.  However, after the third time she said it, and I told her she was part of the problem, she said, “did you just hear yourself?”

It was then I asked for her supervisor.  I wasn’t going to tolerate her crap a second time around.  Even my coworker, who could hear everything, and knows I wasn’t initially yelling, said, “I can’t believe how much trouble they are causing you.”  See, it’s not just me.  Part of the biggest obstacle of seeing a provider is their staff.  I finally raised my voice at Valerie, didn’t want to make a liar out of her, requested her supervisor and muttered a few not-so-nice words.  Ooops…she heard me…oh well…

Spoke to the supervisor and she starts to tell me that the doctor doesn’t go to the city I live in.  Umm…DUH!  I never said I wanted to see her there.  I knew she was in Vallejo and that’s I was trying to make the appointment.  Valerie couldn’t even get that straight.  We made the appointment.  I was supposed to receive a form to authorize the release of my records.  Three hours later…NOTHING!

I found the form online (which the supervisor should have known it was there).  Completed it, called for the fax number and printed the confirmation that it went through.

So now I sit and wait until my appointment next week.  The only benefit of seeing this doctor is that if I have to have any procedures, I will cross the bridge (same distance as going to Sacramento) and be seen in a better facility, in a better city.

Physicians and their staff need to be held to some sort of standard by the insurance carrier.  Patients need to have a recourse against them and their ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

I admit, I am less-than Christlike in my dealings with the medical community.  I attempt to “behave” for every interaction, yet it rarely plays out that way.  I keep praying for tolerance, but I’m not great at waiting for a response.  I have been “labeled” by my insurance and the providers; almost like a medical blackball.  I’m not giving up and I’m going to raise Cain, Hell and whatever else needs raising til patients are seen as people who need help; attitude be damned!

Sutter Health Insurance

Published June 19, 2018 by lynn k scott

I am not an easy patient.  I have little regard for the insurance industry and the doctors it employs.  I have become less than tolerant of the medical world since my cancer diagnosis.

Sutter Health Plus is the health insurance I have.  It’s the least evil of the three options I had to choose from.  That being said, they are far from acceptable.  They care little for their patients.

On Sutter’s website, it boasts how important it is to have a doctor you feel comfortable with.  That is a fallacy.  They don’t care how far you have to travel to see a doctor.  They don’t care if you don’t want to be seen in a certain area.  They don’t care that you can’t understand who they pick for you; even after declining their physician option (multiple times).  They prefer to hire immigrant doctors compared to native-English speaking doctors.  Where medical terminology is a factor, being able to understand your physician is paramount.  Apparently, that only applies if you want to see anyone but an native-English speaking doctor.  They hire for every other language, but English is overrated.  How “PC” of them….I digress.

You can make complaint after complaint about not receiving care, but NO ONE calls you for more information.  Non-doctors simply review your file and regurgitate their initial form letter and continually resend that information to you.

They can get you an appointment in the doctor of their choice, where you don’t want to go and ignore the fact you may have employment obligations to meet.  Did I mention they will give you an appointment out of your area and when you’re not available?

Providers are allowed to drop patients prior to making sure an acceptable referral has been found.  They fail to notify the patients of the change in providers.  Nurses refuse to let you speak to providers.  The online emails are answered by nurses and not doctors.  You get the privilege of playing the adult version of “telephone”.  You never know what their response is going to be, but it rarely is regarding the original issue you are inquiring about.

They claim physicians are required to tell you that they are kicking you out of their practice.  Well, I guess finding out, via another form letter, on a different subject is their view of “notification”.

Do I hang up on them…sure do!  I say what needs saying.  They ignore what I say but mark the notes that “contact was made and patient hung up”.  They fail to mention patient stated their option wasn’t viable.  Patient can’t understand who they assign, but as long as they cover their ass with a half-assed note, I guess they did their job, right?

This is how Sutter Health Plus treats cancer patients.  Western Health Insurance does the same.  They are such a small insurance company, they allow doctors to kick patients out, after ignoring patient concerns.

Keep telling the patient they have an ulcer.  Get irritated with patient because she refuses a G.I. referral.  Blame patient for “refusing care”.  Patient goes to the emergency room, where they have to treat her.  Low and behold, patient was right – it WASN’T an ulcer.  It was a Stage 3 tumor, blocking almost 100% of the colon.  Patient could have died, but hell, as long as the insurance companies continue to make sure they are “PC”, health care of individuals be damned.

I am sure there must be some diligent doctors somewhere, but the insurance carriers, call center staff (because you can no longer call a doctor’s office directly) and their nurses hinder receiving effective and timely treatment.

I will no longer be silent.  The insurance industry needs to change; esp. when it’s an HMO.  Patients are required to jump through hoops to “establish” with providers and to obtain referrals, but the doctors are not required to treat them.

Enough is enough.  Please share.  Silence is compliance!

Reblog: Beetroot risotto

Published June 19, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have got to try this! LOVE beets and risotto.

luxlifefinn

This dish is one of my husband’s all time favourite dishes. I actually never used to like risotto, until I started making my own.

500g fresh, raw beetroots, peeled, trimmed and cut into wedges
splash of olive oil
knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
250g risotto rice (I use Arborio)
150ml dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)
700ml hot vegetable stock (for this I mix Bouillon powder with water)
handful of grated parmesan cheese
dill
crème fraiche

1. Heat oven to 160°C (fan).

2. Put chopped beetroot in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, season and cook for about an hour, until soft.

3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan, and cook the onion and garlic for about 3-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the rice and white wine, and let bubble on medium heat until the wine has…

View original post 105 more words

Liebster Award

Published June 19, 2018 by lynn k scott

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Laura at at All The Shoes I Wear.  I believe this is my second (or third – can’t remember) nomination.  It’s always humbling when someone thinks your blog is worth mentioning and/or sharing.  It’s truly appreciated knowing my writing touches people.

what the award is….

The Liebster is an award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

THE RULES

Thank the person who nominated you

Answer the questions about yourself provided by your nominator

Nominate 5-11 fellow bloggers with fewer than 1000 followers who you think deserve the award

Create a new list of questions for your nominees

List the rules in your post

Let your nominees know of your nomination personally

Questions:

1. Name an instance where you laughed at yourself.

When I had a smidgen too much to drink at a Tim McGraw concert and tried to climb over a seat and landed on my butt and everyone on the lawn saw my uncoordinated effort.  Couldn’t do much else but laugh.

2. what song would you dedicate to someone that you don’t care for?

“Wide Awake” by Katy Perry

3. what’s the first book you ever loved?

“The Far Pavilions” by M .M. Kaye  It’s a great novel; esp. if you like historical fiction.

4. which of your posts would you love to share? post link here.

While I’ve made progress with my children, my oldest still “keeps it real” for me.  More fraud was discovered against my ex, I’m down to the last $900 I owe him for attorney fees.  Domestic Violence keeps its power with silence.  I survived a horrible ordeal, but I will not keep quiet.  I do put some of the blame on the criminal and family courts.  Victims are continually revictimized and the abusers have more rights than those they hurt:  Breaking the Cycle is Painful

5. What was the worse holiday you ever had and why?

Christmas 2013.  My mom had passed on June 25, 2013 and that Christmas was exactly six-months after we lost her.  She LOVED that holiday and without her, it was harder than normal for me to celebrate.

**************************************************************************

My Nominees:

Mom Life with Chiari

The Culinary Jumble

Skipping Stones

Mr. Mum

 

My Questions:

  1.  Who would you most like to meet (dead or alive) and why?
  2. Who is your favorite author?
  3. What is one thing you would like to accomplish in your lifetime?
  4. What is your biggest regret?
  5. What is one thing you could start doing to make a difference in someone’s life?

 

If I have nominated you and you don’t want to play along, then that’s absolutely fine. If you want to do it later, when you have a moment, then that’s OK too.
I just wanted to know I like your blogs.

NO Soliciting

Published June 14, 2018 by lynn k scott

In today’s age of technology, going door to door offering services should be a thing of the past. Yet, businesses still engage this privacy-violating act on a regular basis.

It’s a fact many people don’t like confrontation and have a more difficult time saying ‘no’ to someone in person than over the phone or on the internet. However, it’s reached a point that those people who are going door to door are ignoring a very basic sign, found on many homes: No Soliciting

IMG_20180613_183440_247.jpg

I arrived in California and my first job here was selling products door to door. That was 21-years ago and times have definitely changed. I was actually instructed to ignore the ‘No Soliciting’ signs. Just because someone isn’t selling an exact item, it doesn’t excuse them from being a solicitor. Are they taking up the person’s time? Then, they are soliciting time; if nothing else.

What seems to elude companies that utilize this tactic is there are some very legitimate reasons to respect someone’s privacy; esp. on their own property:

  • Sleep habits – Perhaps someone works evenings, perhaps a child is napping
  • Illness – Having had cancer and know the exhausting effects of chemotherapy. Not everyone wants to answer the door. If they are resting, it’s rude to disrupt them.
  • Animals – Not all animals react well to people knocking on their door or ringing the bell.

I have two dogs. I have notices posted for delivery personnel not to ring the bell. I have another notice as you walk up to the house to STOP; unless you’re a first responder. Everyone who’s invited to my home knows to call or text me when they arrive because I greet them at the door so as to not set my dogs off. That one act is the only reason they fight.

Yesterday, I had to break up a dog fight because someone could’t read (or ignored it).  After I got the dogs separated, I stepped outside, embraced my NY roots and laid into the clipboard-holding person who thought my signage wasn’t legit.  He never got a word in edgewise. I’m sure the entire neighborhood heard me kick him off my porch and I can almost guarantee, he’ll never be back.  It was completely avoidable, but he chose to think he was an exception.

More companies need to realize this is not a legitimate form of sales, fundraising, political reasoning, religious outreach, etc.  If you insist on using this old-fashioned form of contact, please instill in those in your service that are not to disturb those homes who have clearly noted they are not to be disturbed. You’re intentions may be good, but privacy trumps profit, in this case.

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