responsibility

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Cancer Journey: Part 9

Published January 30, 2018 by lynn k scott

I know I’m a few days late posting the next installment of my cancer journey.  I almost laugh now because in one of my support groups, they posted this….   1517344294492.jpg

Now I covered up a word (use your imagination), but it’s still funny.  In fact, my response to this was, “I’m small enough to be a hobbit”.  So…onward with my journey…

I logged into Sutter Health’s system yesterday to pay for my labs and doctor visits.  In addition to chemo meds, these charges are always waiting to be paid.  I started exploring their system and found my visit summaries from my oncologist.

Whether it was lack of sleep, a chemical imbalance because of the medication, or the fact fighting cancer is mentally (in addition to physically) exhausting, I became an emotional wreck.  First, I was very angry at what was noted and then I cried all the way home from work.

I am more than aware these notations are not for communication with the patient.  However, if doctors are going to note conversations or their interactions with their patients, they need to stop the one-sided comments.

For example, one of the notations state that I “refused IV chemo”.  First, let’s use the appropriate words.  I was given information, made an informed choice about MY health and “declined” IV chemo.  It was my choice.  Using “refused” sounds like I was an obstinate child who didn’t do as her parents ordered.  They think “informed consent” is a punchline of a joke instead of a patient’s right.

Several observations use the word, “denied”.  Denied symptoms, denied having this or that, etc.  In my opinion, that’s another word that shouldn’t be used in this area.  I was asked a question and I answered that it didn’t happen or didn’t apply to me.  How about “negative” and “positive” when correlating responses to symptoms, side effects, etc.  Using the word “denied” implies the patient isn’t being truthful.

My doctor was nice enough to notate how I am generally unhappy with my treatment.  Yes, I can say that’s a fair statement.  What isn’t accurate is she neglected to mention how her nurse verbally attacked me for refusing the preferred IV chemo when I asked for another medication because I am having trouble paying $232.68. every three weeks.  Or I’m unhappy Sutter Health chooses to only provide cancer support groups for one area of the county, during the day and it’s not accessible to all patients.

Now, testing showed up in the notes.  I refused a few suggested tests.  Why?  One again, was over 20 miles away and would cost me a day of work.  They have an imaging center close to where I am, but refuse to offer all testing there.  I don’t think it’s out of the question to provide genetic testing in all locations; esp. when it’s just meeting with a doctor and taking a DNA swab.  Silly me for being practical (and cynical; at this point).  Oh, she also left off that I mentioned I couldn’t afford the $350 for another one of the tests she suggested.

I am fully convinced healhcare doesn’t exist.  There is no caring on behalf of these desensitized doctors and nurses.  A health system is in place to offer treatment; if you can afford it.  If you can’t, they don’t want to hear it.  They will give you referrals, but most don’t work out (make too much money, not enough grant money, not old enough, not the right cancer, etc.).

So, going forward, to protect my sanity, answers will only be “yes” or “no” or “fine”; unless some further explanation is needed.  This is not the first time my character has been accosted by those who are supposed to be helping me.  I neither can fight this notation battle, nor do I care to.

I read another cancer blog today where the writer received some negative feedback because she wasn’t upbeat enough.  That’s how I feel sharing this with my friends and church family.  I feel negative.  Yet, the reality is, this battle is far from easy.  The trials we have to go through aren’t perky, happy, or fun.  In reality, battling cancer SUCKS!  It’s horrible.  Doctors only care about treating the body; to hell with the mind or soul.  The purpose of my documenting this is to give a realistic guide to what I am having to deal with.  This is a real-life, first-hand accounting.  I know it’s hard for some people to deal with; but I’m not sorry for sharing what gets covered up with mainstream accounts.

It’s almost depressing to feel so alone, while trying to retain your dignity, sanity and carry on in your daily life and battling a life-threatening disease.  I take longer showers now so I can cry uninterrupted and it won’t be visible.  My 12-year old doesn’t need to see my worries, insecurities and breakdowns.  Being strong has never been harder.

I am eternally grateful to those who have been able to donate, which allows me to continue treatment.

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Cancer Journey: Part 3

Published November 20, 2017 by lynn k scott

The second cycle, of six, started today.  One cycle down?  Not really…and here’s why…

The doctor’s office never discussed the actual dosage that would be mailed to me.  Seeing as these are chemo pills, you can only get them from a specialty pharmacy, via couriered delivery.  The last pharmacy only sent one of two bottles; and the lower dosage of the two.

Then, I find out, my doctor’s office failed to verify which specialty pharmacy the insurance used.  This makes a difference because using the incorrect pharmacy could make the patient fully responsible for paying for otherwise covered medication.  Finally, the correct specialty pharmacy was able to send all the correct medication.

Moving on…I get my blood draw and then see the doctor the next day (like I’m supposed to).  The nurse walks up to me with someone else.  The first person continues on and I see someone standing near me, but not saying anything.  I am playing a game on my phone, passing the time until I am called.  Several minutes pass and she said, “whenever you are ready”.  Wow!  This office really has communication issues.  That being said, my patience for dealing with them was ‘running on fumes’.

I had convinced myself to just get through the appointment.  I could do it!

The office and its occupants had other ideas.  The nurse directed me into a room, never took vitals, told me to take a seat and the doctor came in.  They wanted to “talk”.  The conversation that took place was an already decided upon course of action under the guise of a mutually beneficial conversation.  You know, like when you’re boyfriend or girlfriend says they want to talk and then tells you it might be best if you both saw other people.  Wait!  Did you get the license plate of the bus that just ran over me?  Starting to get the picture of how this office operates?

Basically, I was supposed to sign a document regarding my treatment and they were going to continue letting me receive treatment.  Hmmm…..I already pay insurance premiums for that “right”.  I signed their document and added, “signed under duress”. This didn’t sit well with them.  My stating I was forced to sign their document, which is a prime example of duress, gave them just another reason to say they weren’t going to treat me.

I knew vitals are required after every cycle.  They made no attempt to take them.  They knew I had my next dose of medication.  They knew I mentioned working on getting into a another practice instead of dealing with them.  I don’t trust doctors to begin with and this office was a cancer to my treatment.  Yea….it was that detrimental.

Am I a difficult patient?  Yup!  Do I deserve to have the doctors and their staff treat me with professionalism?  Yup!  Do I deserve to receive clear communication so I can give informed consent for my treatment.  ABSOLUTELY!!!!

However, there is no law from preventing medical doctors from withholding treatment from a patient; even with a potential life-threatening disease.  They don’t need permission, a hearing to remove the patient, or even assist in transferring them to another provider.

What if there isn’t another provider in the area?  Oh well, that’s the patient’s issue; not theirs.  When a practice discharges a patient, as they just had, they won’t take your calls and tell you to go to the Emergency Room if any issues arise.

After all of that, perhaps it was a blessing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I uttered several choice words, shed a few tears, said some prayers and moved on.  I’m getting set-up with a new  provider, within a new network.  I’ve had some friends (online and at church) offer support.

I’ve already got an appointment with a new primary physician, so I can get an emergency oncology referral.  Hoping she can order the necessary blood work, get the next dose of chemo ordered and I can follow-up with my new oncologist.

The situation is less than ideal.  I was on the fence about switching to another carrier/provider.  Perhaps being kicked out of a less-than-healthy medical practice was what was needed.  The group I am switching to has a very good reputation for their oncology department.  Who knows….maybe they will even offer some cancer support groups that weren’t available with my other provider.

Treatment has its ups and downs.  This past week has been such an emotional roller coaster.  I’m looking forward to moving on and getting better.

 

Did I Cave?

Published July 18, 2016 by lynn k scott

I like to consider myself an old-school parent.  I raise my kids with understanding, but don’t tolerate a lot of BS and will call them to the mat when they think they are going to get away with something.  As I only have one child left at home, I still have to temper my views with keeping up with today.

In comes the debate that plagues many of my parent friends:  when do the kids get a cell phone.  My daughter is 10.5, very mature for her age, and up to a few months ago, a snowball in hell had a better chance of not melting than she did in getting a cell phone before she was a teenager.

If you ask her, I’m the “mean” parent. I do most of the rule enforcement, handle school issues, run the household and put up with very little.  Heck, she even nicknamed me, “the funsucker”.  No lie…go ahead and laugh.  I did and thought…right on…I’m doing my job as a mom making her into a responsible kid.

Lately, my lil miss has been helping out with the dogs; getting them on and off their leashes for potty breaks, cleaning up after them, cuddling with my 3 year old pup, who thinks he’s 8 months old again.  She helps in the kitchen, does her assigned chores without much complaining, and is really a pretty good kid.

When I decided we weren’t going to homeschool and I put her in a very small, but private school, that meant, I didn’t really have sitters on hand.  Now, because school is out for 5 more (loooooong) weeks, she hangs out at my office with me.  I have some friends who take her from time to time, but she’s with me 90% of the time.  I know she gets bored.  So, she takes my phone to keep herself entertained.  I know what she’s watching and she knows I know.

That being said, I wanted my phone back.  However, it’s easier for her to be less disruptive if she can call into my private office and I can go to her versus her coming to me.  So, I told her dad we were getting her a phone.  By, “we”, I meant me.  Now, I’m still paying for my phone.  I wasn’t about to be doing the same for a 10-year old…heck no!

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Did my research and I was able to add a Go-Phone to my plan.  So for $80, she received an 8 Gig phone with a 5 megapixel camera.  It’s a Samsung and it’s not too bad, but a good “starter” phone.  However, there are several stipulations that go with this new phone.  Remember, I’m the “mean” mom.

  • She no longer gets an allowance.  She was getting $3.00/week if all her chores were completed.  Well, that’s about what her monthly phone bill will be so, I pay that.  She must continue to do all her chores.
  • She must maintain good grades.  She is a good student, but has to work for it.  She tries to slack off.  For spelling test, “I got this, Mom”.  She honestly thinks she will learn through osmosis or something.  Yup, she flunks a spelling test or doesn’t study to my satisfaction, she will lose the phone for a week at a time, so she can concentrate.
  • Lastly, attitude.  She’s a female, pre-pubescent (Lord, HELP ME!) and she’s my daughter and becoming well versed in sarcasm.  So, when the attitude goes awry, her phone goes away.

She has to turn in the phone every evening before going to bed.  Her phone stays with my phone.  There will be no staying up playing games, when she should be sleeping.  I think this will enhance her responsibility.  Oh, and this was the way I got out of thinking about her having a hamster.  That alone was worth the $80, if you ask me.

So did I cave?  Naw….I don’t think I did.  I think getting your child a cell phone is really dependent upon your family dynamics and the child in question.  As their parent, you can only decide when the time is right.

 

QOTD: Topic – Homeschool Education

Published July 22, 2015 by lynn k scott

“[Children] need more work with you (the parents), fewer toys, more service for others, less sports and amusements (which tend to put self before others), more self control, patriotism, productiveness and responsibility. In short, they need guidance along the path to self-worth as children of God. Parents and home, undiluted, usually do these things best.”  (Dorothy and Raymond Moore)

Open Letter to the Rehoming Pet Owner

Published May 21, 2015 by lynn k scott

Dear pet owner,

Having worked in rescue, been a foster mom to pit bull puppies, and rescued the two dogs I currently have, I have little sympathy for you and your “need” to rehome.

There is rarely an instance someone truly needs to get rid of a pet.  I get families split up and sometimes it’s hard to relocate to places that accept animals, esp. if you have a “vicious” dog. Which is a complete cop-out by the way…but that’s another blog post.

Facebook sale board admins should have some morals and ban all pet sales.  When you are charging a “rehoming fee” that is $50, or less, it does not ensure the animal is going to a good home.  That fee goes toward clearing your guilty conscience.

If you are charging $100, or more, that is selling the animal.  I’m not a huge fan of breeders.  However, if you are not licensed, keeping having litters of puppies or kittens and constantly posting you pet sales, NEWSFLASH:, you are a backyard breeder. With the shelters overflowing with animals, you have become part of the problem.

Common list of reasons why pets need to be rehomed:

  • Have to move
  • Baby on the way
  • Significant other doesn’t like pet
  • Too busy to give proper attention
  • Insurance doesn’t accept certain breed

I’m sorry.  The majority of those reasons are poor excuses.

Be honest; you don’t want the responsibility of a pet.  You are looking for a way out.

The posts that say, “Need to go to good home.  Must go today”, then have the nerve to say there’s a rehoming fee, resonates that money is more important than the life of the pet you promised to care for.  Oh you paid $250.00 for that puppy?  Bought a crate, toys and food?  Welcome to pet ownership.  Your first mistake was buying the pet.  The others are necessary supplies to properly care for your pet.  Do you really think I am going to pay a small fortune because you’re no longer willing to live up to your commitment to that animal?

Do not give animals as gifts.  They are not cute, temporary, play things.  They are living, breathing, faithful companions that cost money, require training (in many cases) and are not a disposable item when life gets too hectic and you are unable to properly manage your time.

Whether you agree or not, is irrelevant.  I believe pets are not commodities.  I believe in adopt; don’t shop.  I know there are some instances, caring pet-parents have to rehome.  This is addressed to the irresponsible pet owners who should be ashamed of their actions.  If people who lose everything in a house fire can find a way to keep their pets, surely you can do the same.

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