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Monday, December 30, 2013

Two Surgeons For Every Boy

Today would have been my final pre-surgery meeting with my surgeon, but as the fates would have it, I now have two surgeons, and one can't make it to the meeting today so I have to haul my mass (get it?) back to Walnut Creek a second time after this in order to meet with my newly appointed Lymph Node remover.  See, because as it turns out, cancer in the Thyroid just isn't enough  - no no no no no.  No Sir!  It has to go into my Lymph Nodes and create more problems.  The "good news", if you can call it that, is the type of cancer I have - Papillary Carcinoma - is slow-moving, which sort of makes it the retarded little brother of other cancers.  Normally when you have cancer in your Lymph Nodes, you are Stage 3 and it's really serious.  With Papillary Cancer, you are still at Stage 1.  Like I said, good news ... sort of.

So I have two people now that will be inside my neck during the same operation - one to pull the Thyroid and the other to pull the offending Lymph Nodes.  What this means is another time in hospital, more pain management, and higher bills.  Can't wait.

I can see why cancer patients can lose hope - this is really depressing stuff.  You feel as if your whole life has to be put on hold until you deal with your illness and the bills it creates.  Taren and I were couch shopping the other day.  We found one we both loved but had to pull back from the purchase because I have yet to receive a bill from the first round of tests, and there is so much we don't know about the surgery costs and hospital stays.  How do you justify spending more than $200 on something for your ass that at least doesn't go inside of it, when you know you have this looming gray cloud of future, unavoidable debt over your head?  It's not easy to want to get out and have fun.  Every expense becomes a question without an answer, you know?

When I first was watching Breaking Bad, for example, I thought about how large a stretch it was for this guy to go out and cook meth for cash.  I mean, come on, dude, you can make it work, can't you?  Sitting here and thinking about the setup of that show and the pain and the bills ... while I can't really relate because my situation is different, that show seems a bit more real to me now.  A bit.

So that's the latest.  I've pretty much just spent my time reading up on this stuff and trying to reassure myself that things will work out somehow.  Part of me wants to know how much this will cost me, and part of me doesn't.  Because what will that do - it will worry me needlessly before the surgery, and it's not like I can go flip through the phone book for a better deal.  I don't even know what a phone book is.


  1. Fuck cancer. On the financial side, my wife is an oncology nurse. The hospital system she works for routinely forgives a patient's co-pays/deductible in order for them to afford the treatment. Of course that allows the hospital to collect the larger piece of the pie from the insurance company. Just something to think/ask about if the bills get too deep.
    Suck the life out of this thing like a bad joke, jipper. The army is pulling for you.

    1. Thanks man - I hope they will be that nice to me :)