Writings by Lynn K. Scott

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Cancer Journey: Part 10

Published March 16, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s been a bit since my last update.  Life’s been challenging.  I thought I had a handle on things and I really don’t.  I should resign myself to Murphy’s Law and that my house is its headquarters.

Overall, exhaustion has been my new BFF.  Every weekend, I am taking extra naps just to stay functional.  I had another drawn out insurance/specialty pharmacy/doctor’s office issue.  Someone, which no one will own up to, put a notation for pre-authorization on an existing prescription (with one refill left).  This meant, I had to wait for all the different parties to do their job.  After much yelling, crying, sarcasm and general disdain, the issue has finally been resolved.  I had to constant follow-ups for anyone to do their job.  We’re not talking aspirin here, folks.  It’s chemo-medication that costs a small fortune.  You would think those in the medical field would have some compassion and a sense of urgency.  Please don’t hold your breath on that; you’ll end up dead waiting for that to happen.

I have come to the conclusion that once I receive my meds, I will be asking for a referral to a new oncologist.  It’s clear this current office isn’t working out.  I’m sure everyone there will have a small celebration to see me leave.   If you advocate for yourself, it seems you are not the correct type of patient for many of today’s doctors.

It’s sad there are more doctors who care less about working with informed patients, who are in charge in making decisions about their care.  They shouldn’t be made to feel bad about their decisions.  Have snide comments thrown at them, such as “well, you chose not to do IV chemo”.  You’re right, I chose to live my life, not be dependent on everyone, continue working, supporting my family and raising my daughter.  It’s funny, they know how expensive medication and treatment costs, but they chastise you for not giving up your job, going on disability (which doesn’t support much) and losing quality of life.  That’s what going on IV chemo would have done for me.

I working on simplifying areas of my life.  It’s definitely a work in progress.  I know the value of time, family and friends.  Right now, I’m in limbo as to if treatment is working, if I will need more, if I will find out it’s spread.  There are lots of things one can think about while being in such a limbo.  I try to focus on today and accomplish what I can.  Making memories is a top priority, should something change; not for the better.

Either way, ups and downs continue.  It’s a daily battle that I still plan on winning.  I appreciate all who have said prayers, made donations for my care, or can relate to this ongoing struggle.


My Chemo Fundraiser


Cancer Journey: Part 6

Published December 27, 2017 by lynn k scott

This is not the easiest post and it doesn’t have anything to do with the status of my diagnosis.

The last couple weeks have been tough.  I had to change my insurance plan, at work, and elected the “gold” versus the “silver” plan, in order to get rid of the annual deductible and bring down the usage fees when I see the doctor or get labs.  It also raised my weekly contribution costs, but it had to be done.

Unfortunately, with this plan change, came with a carrier change.  I joined the Sutter Health network and am sad to report they choose to charge patients a 20% copay for chemo medication, where other plans cover it 100% or charge a max of $50/prescription.  Hopefully, one day they realize how punitive this is and begin to cover oral chemotherapy pills as effectively as they do IV chemotherapy.

I left a plan where I was receiving negligent care and now I have a decent oncologist, but can’t afford an additional $300; every three weeks.  That includes the cost of the doctor visit, blood work and the expensive medication copays.  If I give up the ability to work (which eventually puts my job in jeopardy), submit to another surgery for a port, start IV medications, lose my independence, risk permanent side effects and not provide for my family, then the medication would be covered 100%.  Riddle me this…oral chemo is cheaper than IV treatment, but the insurance refuses to cover it 100.  Why?  Never mind; I digress.

After numerous breakdowns, I conceded I had to ask for help. I have had to resort to something I really hate doing.  I know fundraisers have helped many people and I have donated to those in need.  I was brought up that you work hard and support yourself.

I have followed the proper channels to ask for medication assistance.  It appears I was diagnosed at the wrong time of the year.  Nonprofit sources run out of money to help with prescriptions by the end of the year; that’s if they even acknowledge your disease.  Again, not all cancers are pink, but that’s where the funding is.

I have applied for part-time jobs.  I already work a full-time job, but need something to pay for my medication; even if it means working seven days a week.  I still am waiting for someone to hire me.  Problem is, I’m overqualified for the minimum wage jobs, even though I am willing to work weekends.

I have managed to get enough donations for another round of chemo.  However, I now have two weeks to raise enough money for the next round.  My pride is temporarily on a shelf and I have to post a link to my fundraiser.

If you are able to donate, even a $1.00, I would appreciate it.  If you are able to share either via blog or on your FaceBook page, that’s appreciated.  I plan on removing the fundraiser if I am hired or if some non-profit is available to help.

I apologize for having to post the link; but if I don’t raise the $300, in the next two weeks, my chemo treatment stops.  Please take a moment to read the fundraiser and if you don’t mind, share it where you can.


New Word: 2018

Published December 12, 2017 by lynn k scott

Years ago, a friend told me about a practice of picking a new word to represent you through the upcoming year.  Face it, resolutions are great for a few weeks and then our true nature breaks through and we revert back to our old habits.  Ok, a few people stick with them, but the majority doesn’t.

I was one of those people.  State your resolution, post how great you’re doing and then the topic suddenly stops coming up.  That’s why I love picking a word to represent me.  I honestly reflect on previous years.  What has happened, how I handled things, who came into or left my life, etc.

  • 2015:  Perseverance
  • 2016: Genesis
  • 2017:  Influence

All these words turned out to be extremely relative for the year they represent.  With the new year only a few weeks away, it’s time to make the word selection that I will take into 2018.  After careful consideration, the word I choose is,


Why Simple?

In 2017, there have been new influences on how I view life.  I have met some AMAZING people this year.  I have received tremendous support.  I have reflected on my life, up to this point and time.  What does it come down to?  Living a simple life.  I have everything I need (except a cure).

Life really doesn’t need to be as complicated as we make it.  I am as guilty of this as the next person.  Simplifying how I choose to live will help declutter my mind and my life.  A better devotion to Christ, realizing how important family is, having friends that support you are simple ways to have a very rich life.

There you have it:  A SIMPLE recipe for the upcoming year.

Will you join me in selecting a word instead of making a resolution that you may or may not see through?  Please comment with your word if this inspires you to follow suit.


Cancer Journey: Part 5

Published December 8, 2017 by lynn k scott

I met with a new oncologist yesterday.  Truth be told, I had several mini-meltdowns, at work no-less, trying to get an emergency referral to this new doctor.  I’m on my “off” week for my chemo-cycle and needed the referral, be seen and have the medication ordered and delivered, by today, in order to stay on track.

Prayers were definitely answered.  If you have followed up to now, you know I have received less-than-stellar care for my cancer.  To the point, the doctors should be sued.  Yea, it was that bad.

I walk into this new office; very apprehensive.  Very nice office staff.  They pointed out coffee and tea were available, if I wanted some.  Coffee?  That HAS to be a sign!  The computer system wasn’t cooperating, and the staff was apologizing to me for the wait and having to switch rooms.  Respect?  I’m not used that.  Such a simple thing, yet so many people no longer offer common courtesies.

Then I met the doctor.  She genuinely seemed concerned.  Part of the reason is because I’m technically too young to have colon cancer; without a family history of it.  I told her, what I have told a handful of doctors, there has been a lot of different cancer in my immediate family.  She took note of it.  Then mentioned something no one else has:  Lynch Syndrome.   She thinks I may have this.  From what I have read on the syndrome, it would explain the cancer in my paternal grandmother, my father and my 37-year old sister, and of course, now me.

I have previously declined genetic testing because two previous doctors were focusing on my risk of breast cancer.  They failed to elaborate when I didn’t see a need for it.  Based on other family member’s testing, I am almost certain I have an increased risk of breast cancer.  I didn’t need a test to confirm that.

My new oncologist pointed out, if I had Lynch syndrome, it’s more than just treating me; it could affect my children.  They would have a 50% chance of having the gene that causes the syndrome, thereby increasing their risk of certain cancers.

I am extremely grateful and blessed that I have been assigned to an empathetic, compassionate and caring physician.  This is how healthcare should be.  It shouldn’t be getting patients in and out in record time with minimal information.  Communication is so crucial, yet, often downplayed because too many doctors have their routine and expect patients to conform to it.

Toward the end of the appointment, she said, “you have five children and you need to live.”  That almost brought me to tears.  My chemo has been pushed out (more cycles added).  Extra testing has been ordered.  Vitamin D has been added to my daily dose of pill consumption.  There will be a PET scan and other testing once all the chemo has been concluded.

Overall, my prayers and those praying for me have been answered.  Prayers are still needed (and welcomed) as this battle is far from over.  At least now I feel like I have a fighting chance.

Simple Church

Published November 15, 2017 by lynn k scott

Our church is rebranding.  This is new for me, because growing up, we went to the same church my entire life and it never changed.  I even was married in that church.  With the rebranding, we are establishing ourself apart from another church that we have been getting confused with.  I think it’s a great idea.  Without change, there cannot be growth.  I am from a small country town.  Even though I moved to a city, I still like my church small, but we all have room for growth.

God’s message is simple.


After years of searching for my “home church”, I have found it.  I’ve been at Simple Church for about six months now.  In that time, besides being allowed to drink all the coffee I could want, I have met people who are becoming like family.  I’ve even been asked to help with providing refreshments for fellowship after church.  This was a blessing, because I enjoy cooking and feeding others and providing a snack or meal, appeases that particular need.

Having moved 3,000 miles from where I used to call home, restarted my life, remarried, had another child, gone through some really difficult trials and now battling cancer, knowing there is a place, where I am accepted in my jeans, my tattoos and all my other short-comings, brings a sense of peace.

Every week, the message comes from the Bible. It’s straight-forward; can’t get any simpler than that.  Prayers, contemporary music and singing fills the room as well.  There’s a song, “Old Church Choir“, by Zach Williams that sums up my feelings.

If you’ve ever been to a church with a choir, you know they can project a lively happiness with an upbeat tempos and their voices.  You are drawn in, want to be part of and appreciate the energy they are providing.  Memories are created through the music.

Stepping into Simple Church gives me that feeling every week!  Even when I was brand new to the church, I was welcomed.  It just wasn’t an obligatory, “hello” by someone assigned to meet the ‘new people’.  It was a genuine welcoming and caring that you were there.

It’s a church where I feel comfortable bringing my daughter.  Having a tween child brings it’s own challenges.  Knowing she is making friends, likes the children and their parents and wants to go instead of fighting me not to, says a lot too.Simple church

If there are little ones to consider, there’s a nursery for them to play and relax in during the service.

All in all, if you are looking for a small, community-based church, that offers genuine caring and compassion, with what I like to call a ‘come as you are’ mentality, then Simple Church might be the place for you.

If you are in the Solano County area, come check out 10:00 a.m. service.  We’d love to meet you!

Cancer Journey: Part 2

Published November 6, 2017 by lynn k scott

I’ve been on oral chemotherapy for a week now.  I have been lucky not to experience many side effects.  The worst, so far, has been nausea and fatigue.  Those who know me, know I am always on the go or doing something.  Friends ask me if I know what the word relax means.

My anger has subsided a bit.  I am still less than pleased with my oncology team.  However, I am doing my best to see the positives in all this.  Positives with cancer?  Seriously?  Yup!

I truly believe God has a plan for me; for all of us, really.  I have known so much suffering, loss and tragedy.  What’s a stage 3 cancer diagnosis added to all that, right?

I was speaking to our pastor’s wife yesterday and shared how I recently thought of a positive to having cancer:  it’s brought my oldest and I closer.  One could say we’ve had a tumultuous relationship.  We were having a rough patch prior to my diagnosis.  We had only recently started speaking again.

Once I told him about the diagnosis, our relationship improved.  It reaffirmed how precious life is and how it’s not promised to anyone.  So, if cancer brought us closer together, than I am grateful.

Another positive is, as a friend pointed out when she heard the news, this disease would bring me closer to God.  She was right.  This struggle is not mine alone.  He is with me through this.  It’s my job to trust in Him and give Him control of the situation.  He has guided me to a church with very supportive and caring people.  He will stay beside me on this journey.

I am also learning to rest and pay attention to my health.  Currently, I have energy for about half a day.  I am still working a full-time job, homeschooling my daughter every evening and running a household.  Is my house as clean as I want it?  Heaven’s no!  Truth be told, it’s driving me nuts to have clutter and not having certain areas spotless.  Will we survive?  Yup!

My daughter and husband have taken on a few of “mom’s chores”.  They are aware I just can’t do it all or that it might be postponed if i need to take care of it.  I am taking time to spend a extra hour or two in bed on the weekends.  I am going to sleep hours before the clock approaches midnight.

Today was the first day I had to wear a mask at work, as my immune system becomes more compromised.  I was NOT happy having to do this.  Yet, a friend suggested having my artist daughter (who’s 11), draw happy faces and butterflies on my masks for me.  I’m going to give her a few to try out.  She’ll get to be expressive, I get to count this as art for homeschool and I should have some “designer” masks to make this journey a bit more bearable.

So as much as I hashtag, #cancersucks, there are silver linings to be seen.  You just need to know where to look.

Cancer Journey: Part 1

Published October 20, 2017 by lynn k scott

I am the first to admit that I am not the ideal patient.  Heck, I’m a barely tolerable patient.  Regardless of my good/bad patient status, effective communication between the doctors/staff and the patient is top priority.  It’s the foundation of a trustful, working relationship between the two.

I admit, I’m extremely direct.  I become irritated very quickly when I have stated expectations and they are either ignored or downplayed.  Add in ill-mannered office staff and a stressful situation turns downright ugly.

Now, we are talking about a cancer center.  A place where emotions run high; especially after patients go and they have been newly diagnosed.  You would think a medical assistant, walking into the waiting room, would have the faintest inkling you don’t try to get the patient’s attention by saying, “hey”.

Sorry, I don’t answer to that.

I was playing a game on my phone when the first “hey” was said.  My husband happened to look up, but didn’t say anything.  As I was non-responsive, this person thought saying, “HEY!” was the next course of action.  This time I did look up.  She stated the doctor’s name and that I needed to come with her.


We walk into the room, where she informs me she will take my vitals.  Hmmm….last I knew, I had the right to consent to any and all treatment; even vitals.  Based on this poor medical assistant’s communication skills in the lobby and now telling me what she will be doing; I think not.

My New York personality emerged to take center stage.  I told her she would not be taking vitals.  She thought putting her hand on her hip, telling me she needed those vitals and whatever blah blah blah she uttered after (I stopped listening) only reinforced my stubborn nature and I promptly dismissed her.


She didn’t take kindly to that.  Arguing with me wasn’t going to work.  If nothing, I’m a stubborn, Irish New Yorker and I’m pictured in the dictionary next to “Stubborn” (ok not really, but I should be).  I still have the right to say no and apparently, she wasn’t taught that patients give consent.  I have a personal issue with being told what I will and won’t do by people who are not in charge.  I didn’t deem vitals necessary for a consultation appointment.  Not to mention, tell me you are taking vitals instead of asking if it’s ok to vitals will get them declined EVERY TIME!

The medical assistant walks through another office door where she proceeds to loudly complain about me.  Well, my first oncology visit is off to a great start.  I’m TICKED off and an unsuspecting doctor is going to walk through the door and he and I will be having words about his medical assistant.

Needless to say, the appointment did not go well.  He kept pushing IV chemotherapy when the benefits are barely above oral chemotherapy and have a lot more side effects.  I don’t know how many times I told him no to IV chemo, but it was obvious that was his preferred method of treatment.  I actually had to tell him not to mention it again.

My husband and I left the appointment and went to a bar.  Wishful thinking the alcohol would kill the cancer.  Oh well, the drink was needed and went down smooth.

Now, after more poor communication with the oncology office, we can’t find a location where I can get a blood draw to take a bunch of poison that will or won’t cure this cancer.  Apparently, the medical profession thinks everyone sits home all day and no one works.  They must think that because no blood draws after 4:00 p.m.

Now I could go to the cancer center.  However, their poor treatment of me and lack of communication skills raises my anxiety 10-fold.  I don’t even want to go there for the necessary appointments.

The situation is so bad, I’m looking at driving 20 minutes out of my way, and maybe incurring bridge toll, in order to go to a better facility because I’m not receiving proper care where I am.

My positive mood about getting through this has changed into being angry about having cancer.  I don’t want to see doctors, nurses and anyone associated with the medical profession.  I hate the cancer center.  It just reminds me of the family I lost.  It reminds me how this disease has made strong people weak before it took their lives.

Needless to say, my mood is less an amicable at the moment.  I deactivated my Facebook account because I am having trouble just interacting with online friends.  I will probably reactivate it again, but saying that I’m overwhelmed is an understatement.


Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Photo by Matthew C Seufer - Oak Grove Baptist Church- Elgin,South Carolina USA June 10,2013 (Page 14 in the Inspirational book "Windows From Heaven")


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