My Cancer Journey

All posts in the My Cancer Journey category

Not Subjecting Anyone Else

Published July 20, 2018 by lynn k scott

Another failed attempt by Sutter Health Plus to do their job; help patients get treatment.  My journey has taken me to the point that I no longer give a damn what I say or how I say it, because when it comes to dealing with doctors, their staff and the insurance agencies, they have little disregard (in my experience) to actually assisting the patient; in the manner that works best for the patient.

I filed a complaint against my current oncologist’s staff for failing to do their job.  Of course, every complaint is done the same way.  Patient complains, grievance department calls doctor’s practice, “file review” and then issues a form letter that ignores half of what the actual grievance was about, dismisses patient concerns (as if they have been handled) fails to contact patient for clarification on information obtained from doctor’s office and refers patient back to PCP (Primary Care Physician); which patient has never seen.  The PCP is supposed to help with the oncology referral.

The patient is being seen by someone and wants a different doctor.  I didn’t go to medical school, but I’m smart enough to realize that the existing doctor, who already has some knowledge of the patient, should be making (and can make) the referral.  Why should the patient pay more money in copays to see an unfamiliar doctor, have to recount (AGAIN) why they need a referral, to a doctor who has no vested interest in that patient?  I mean, as an HMO, the PCP already gets a monthly stipend for accepting to see that patient; if and when that ever happens.

I’m a ‘bad’ patient, so I have to speak with a “case manager”.  I was already told by Sutter Health Plus, last year, they don’t have those.  The “case manager” is merely a person in the grievance department, who is assigned to deal with me when I call customer service.  Why?  Because I’m not allowed to be upset at their half-assed attempt of treating my disease.  After all, we have to protect the fragile ears of customer service reps, from upset cancer patients, asking…no begging….for support.

The twist in all this, is this person is on the team that reviews my grievances.  They rule the same way, EVERY TIME!  I am not allowed to have someone else review my grievances.  I am only allowed to speak with Carla (my “case manager”) or her supervisor.  I have asked repeatedly to speak to the manager who is above Carla and her manager.

Today, Carla had the nerve to say, “we will not subject anyone else to you and your behavior”.  Hmmm….make me continually deal with people who are part of the problem instead of passing the issue to someone who  1) might have a different perspective on the situation, 2) someone who would be a fresh start and 3) someone who might have the ability to see that my issues are addressed.

I’m such a detriment to the medical community, that I’ve been blackballed by the insurance agency itself.  Could I be nicer?  Perhaps.  Am I going to….NOPE!  Why?  It’s simple, I have had to fight for my basic rights, that I PAY for, just to be treated.  I am holding people responsible and I will not be a doormat because I refuse to let them make any further money off of me because they think they are god in deciding if I live or die.

Sutter Health Plus is in need of major reform (as are most insurance carriers).  Carla in claims needs to be retrained (as does her manager -with whom I will not speak with again).

At this point, I will be utilizing the UC Davis emergency room going forward.  I’ll incur the annual maximum charge and then they can run every test they want, but I’ve hit the maximum.  No patient should ever feel like they are being dismissed or given up on.  Sutter Health Plus (Sacramento, CA) has done just that!

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Falafels via the Air Fryer

Published July 18, 2018 by lynn k scott

I’ve seen and heard about falafels for years.  They are a Middle Eastern dish made up of chickpeas and a variety of herbs and spices.  After taking a rest for a couple hours (or overnight) in the fridge, the mixture is ready to be rolled into balls and dropped into hot oil and fried to perfection.

Hold up…that won’t work for me.  Frying is almost non-existent in my house.  I do however, use an air fryer, which has to be one of the best kitchen inventions…EVER!

air fryer

I followed a random falafel recipe.  Soaked my chickpeas overnight.  Some of you might be unfamiliar with chickpeas.  I know I was.  I had consumed them at my favorite Indian restaurant.  I even found them in the Indian spice shop I often go to.

Before I decided to make the falafels, I had purchased a large bag of chickpeas.  Remember when I said I was unfamiliar with them?  I had it in my head, I would just grind up the chickpeas and make my own gluten-free, chickepea flour.  My food processor wasn’t up for the job.  My little spice grinder hates me now.  Who knew you had to soak the chickpeas first?  OOPS!!!!   Well, now I know and you should have gotten a chuckle from my culinary ignorance.

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Back to the new-to-me dish.  I looked up the cooking time for air fryer falafels.  It was just 12-minutes, on 370 degrees, turning halfway through the cooking process.

I will say, I could kick myself for not trying these earlier.  They were DELICIOUS!!!!!!  Perfectly crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.  I guarantee, these are on my permanent menu.  They fall in line with my plant-based diet.

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Note:  depending on how many people will be eating these little crispy delights, you might want to halve the recipe if it’s just for a couple of you.

Just another cancer – related update

Published July 17, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have been steadily changing my diet over the last couple weeks.  I will have to say, I actually feel a lot better.  To some, the dietary changes may be extreme.  I believe it’s easier for me, from all the other attempts at dietary changes, because my life literally depends on me being successful.

There have been two times I have “cheated”.  They have been small cheats such as eating soy sauce (has gluten) and I forgot the other cheat.  Anyway, since my body has been eating healthier, it really didn’t care for my choice to upset its new-found balance.  I have done those cheats before, but this time the reaction was stronger.  I have dedicated myself to not doing that again.  I really don’t like the reactions I had and repeat performances won’t be necessary.

I am using my new juicer at least every other day.  I am loving the combinations.  I am using less fruit and even added a few new vegetables.  I’m not really a spinach fan, but am finding it’s pretty good mixed with carrots and ginger, among other vegetables.

I am trying new food combinations.  For example, made lentils for the first time the other day.  Yesterday, I made lentil tacos (no cheese or sour cream) and they were really good.  The more I go without dairy, the more I don’t miss it.

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I have been able to lend support to a friend who’s mother is Stage IV in her cancer battle.  It feels nice to be able to give back to a fellow cancer warrior.

I have also decided, I’m not putting off purchases because of “what ifs”.  I am taking back what the cancer tried to steal from me.  It will not be successful in making me second guess my life and its longevity.  As I have stated before, I have handed this over to God and he is in complete control.  He has brought such peace, that I can’t possibly fully describe the feeling.

I recently made a vehicle purchase.  It wasn’t the right time (credit wise), however, my other vehicle chose to push the envelope, so good-bye pickup, hello challenger.

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It’s almost been a year since I heard those horrible words, “you have cancer”.  Gone from sadness to anger to acceptance to fighting.  I will be successful.  I have cancer but it doesn’t have me!

Lentil Taco “Meat”

Published July 16, 2018 by lynn k scott

In an effort to stay on a (mostly) meat-free, cancer-fighting diet, I thought I would make some lentils in my Instant Pot.  I used this recipe as a guide, however, I halved the recipe because I was cooking just for me.

I did adjust the ingredients and used the following:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • small red onion; diced
  • (2) cloves of garlic; minced
  • half a can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper

I did saute the onions in a bit of olive oil and added the garlic once the onions were just about done cooking.  Added the rest of the ingredients, gave it a stir and set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes.  Quick release when the time was up.

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The lentils were full of flavor.  Sadly, I was out of avocados and gluten-free tortillas, but I still plated and consumed them happily.  These definitely are a great substitution for meat.

I will note, the original recipe says it’s vegetarian, but that’s only if you use water and she uses chicken stock.  If you use water to cook the lentils, it actually becomes a great tasting, vegan dish.

Give it a try…I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

My Healing Team

Published July 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

I came across this today from someone in a cancer support group.  I have thought of this, but have not fully implemented it.  That’s about to change.  This will be my train of thought going forward.

“…we all need to build our healing team – anyone who doesn’t support your healing doesn’t get to be on your team. That can include family or friends or some in the medical field you don’t resonate with – if they show any negativity or bring your energy down – kick them off your team.”

Anyone is welcome to climb aboard, but if they fail to follow this simple premise, they will be let off at the next station!

 

train

Omega Cube300R Juicer

Published July 10, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have purchased a new juicer to aid in healing my cancer naturally.  I currently own a standard, auger juicer, but through research, a quality, masticating juicer is recommended.  The throw-away pulp is actually dry instead of wet.  More nutrients are extracted from the vegetables and fruits.

Part of my diet change is consuming more vegetables, especially greens.  Until I am 100% used to vegetables on their own, I will be using a few fruits to balance out the flavor.  My health is in God’s hands, but I need to make an effort to make my body healthy inside and out.

I have given up red meat and pork.  I will have a little fish and chicken/turkey here and there.  Minimal milk products; mostly plant based milks instead.  I will be consuming more raw food as well as baked vegetables.

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Picture from bedbathandbeyond.com

After watching a video review of this particular juicer, I was hooked.  I have limited counter space and even less space between the counter and shelves.  This is the perfect, somewhat compact item for my needs.

I chose to order it from Bed Bath and Beyond.  There was a computer error that said it was eligible for a discount (and it wasn’t).  Luckily, I had proof what their website said, emailed it over and received the discount.  Additionally, I started the purchase through Ebates and received cash back on this purchase.  All in all, my savings was over $50.  I couldn’t be unhappy about that, right?

I’m excited for the juicer to arrive, which should be in two days.  I have plenty of produce on hand to give it a good trial run.  If you are interested in this product, you can visit the Omega website for more details.

Bottom’s up…here’s juice in your eye!

Cancer Hope

Published July 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

I am part of an online Christian homeschool group.  I have been blessed to part of this group.  They offer support and encouragement in homeschooling and every day living.

I had posted a difficult post asking for some recommendations.  In addition to the information I had asked for, I was given the name of a person to contact.  As it turns out, this person had a very similar diagnosis to mine.

We exchanged messages yesterday and she was the blessing I needed to receive.  After almost a year since diagnosis, I had finally connected to someone I could relate to.  Like I have, she had turned her care over to God after her surgery.  She changed her diet and is now cancer-free.

I am currently in the process of changing my diet.  While science and doctors would admonish my decision to omit their “expert” advice, what I have received so far from them has been less than productive in my battle with cancer.

While I can’t speak for what others should do, I find her story to be extremely encouraging and it has given me new hope; hope I was struggling with.

 

hear me lord

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