Okay, so today I met with my oncologist. Here’s something for you: every single person I deal with in that office, from the receptionists to the nurses to the doctors, is just awesome. These are people who see people every day at their worst, and they unrelentingly give each and every one of them their best.
While my doc knew of some of the saga, I filled him in on the rest of it. He’s of the opinion that I don’t need MD Anderson… and he used to work there. One of the reasons he doesn’t anymore is MDA’s money-forward focus. He said 10ish years ago when he was there, it was $10k up front just to get in the door, and he suspects it’s more like $20k now.
So my estimate that the consult would run $1200-1500 was off by an order of magnitude.
(Side Note: I. Will. Not. Crowdfund. My. Treatment. So please don’t suggest I start a gofundme or similar. While I locked my dignity in the fire safe for the duration of my treatment, I do have some pride (which is different from dignity) left. I’m still working, still earning, still paying the bills. Yeah, I’m not full-time, and when I go out on surgery/chemo, I’m not really working much, but I got through it at the beginning of the year, and I’m getting into a position to get through it this next go-round. I appreciate everyone’s concern about this, but I can’t ask that. For starters, many of my circle who would be most likely to give to such a thing are not in a position where they should be giving money to me. They’d do it anyway, and I just can’t ask that.)
But I took today as an opportunity to hit the reset button. Meeting with the doc, we went over some plans, with no real dates set until I get the surgery sorted…
…which will be discussed next week when I meet with my surgeon. I’d emailed him last night with some thoughts, and he appears to have bought into some of them, ’cause I got a fresh 10-day supply of the same antibiotics I had a couple weeks ago. (Note here: his staff is also awesome.)
And my oncologist thought I’d put some good logic into my ideas, and also that he’d be talking with the surgeon and will also help with finding a quality in-network surgeon to consult if the surgeon wants a second.
We’re going to move forward. I’m determined. I’m not exactly ready to get sliced open again, but who is, really? It’s the path forward, though, so we do what we have to do to get there. I’m also not ready for 6 more rounds of chemo after, but that’s what it’s going to take and that’s what I’m going to do.
I also got to use (and, alas, explain the source of) one of my favorite movie lines, from the hilarious “Yellowbeard”: “You’ll have to kill me before I die!” The doc liked that.
Oh, and while I was changing the colostomy bag this morning, I pooped out a little wombat nugget while I had the bag off. Sorry about the bathroom rug, Kim, but at least it was the one that didn’t get washed over the weekend. I tried to get over the toilet before it fell loose, but it was just too quick for me.