I am overdue in updating you on all things health. I mentioned in my last post that I would need radiation treatment. Well, not only did I already start that but I finished it as well. Five ‘fractions’ (five sessions), done every other day starting two Wednesdays ago. Getting to where I am now was really frustrating. Let me explain…
Radiation itself was underwhelming. Really. The easiest treatment I’ve ever gone through. For those of you who don’t know, you really don’t feel radiation. The kind of targeted radiation that I recieved was designed to be precise and only affect a narrow band of tissue in my mid-section. The hardest part was getting down to Philadelphia every other day. If you recall, I live two hours away so it’s not exactly around the corner. Fortunately for me, I had a lot of help from family, friends, and even co-workers and this made things a lot easier on me.
What didn’t make things easier was my insurance company. I would like to address the American healthcare system: YOU. SUCK. I went through my personal version of hell (um, I’m being a little dramatic, but only a little) as my insurance company repetedly denied my treatment, suggesting that it was “not medically necessary”. After at least two appeals and two peer-to-peer conversations with my doctor they finally gave in and approved it. That was not before I spent 5 days in a panic, wondering why my insurance company would approve the surgical removal of my lung tumor but wouldn’t allow me to radiate. Getting told you can’t have the treatment that your doctor is recommending is devastating (feeling like this could be considered dramatic again, but seriously, it felt like the end of the fucking world). I’m okay now, obviously, but WTF.
So none of you knew that was going on. And part of me wanted to tell you, but a major part of me was too depressed to write. I am learning that although I do enjoy writing creatively, but I am completely uninspired when I’m going through some hard shit. There are good reasons for that. First, I seem to be better at reflecting on the past than writing from the present. Maybe it’s easier when I’m at a comfortable distance, or maybe I’m just more objective and level headed. What I can say is that I don’t much care for telling you all my bad news. I have an unhealthy, but human, desire to keep everyone around me feeling comfortable. It’s not my job, but I feel compelled to deliver my news in a way that ensures the reader isn’t feeling bad for me (don’t be a downer!). And you know what? I have good reason to feel that way.
Did you know that when I write a post that leans towards the heavy and dark side, I usually get a fraction of responses in the comments section? I don’t write this blog for the ‘likes’, I swear, but I can see how many people read it, and people are much more inclined to interact with me on the positive posts. Hmmm. So sometimes I get the impression that you don’t wan’t to hear about the negative stuff- I mean, I don’t want to either, so I get it. So I stayed quiet and internalized everything. And what happened was that a number of people reached out to me to see how I was doing. If you did that, I thank you. I know that all of you read this because you love me and you genuinely want to know what I’m up to and how I’m doing. I also understand that the reason I started this blog was because I wanted my health updates to be accessible to all, partly because it’s impractical to answer everyone’s questions or address concerns individually.
I’m not sure what the solution is. Probably need to get more comfortable sharing my pain. Perhaps, keep in mind that I like knowing you are out there, hearing me. So comment away!
Today I am a couple days out from my last treatment, I’m feeling good, and my parents flew in to New Jersey to spend Christmas with me! OH, and I’m going to be and auntie!!!! My heart is so full. I hope you are enjoying the holidays in whatever way makes you happy. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal….and a happy new year!