Saturday, December 20, 2008

More travel insurance

To be clear - they did insure me in the end - as a 'goodwill gesture'; but probably won't do so again.
I cried - no, I'll be honest, I bawled down the phone at them to the extent that I was barely intelligible while giving my credit card details. So much so that the woman who was dealing with me became so upset that someone else had to take over.
I hate that crying that ends up with those juddering breath/sobs that you can't stop.
They then told me to have a good trip and the woman who'd taken over said 'go and have a nice cup of tea.' - To which I replied 'I don't think tea cures cancer' - or I would've done if I'd been able to enunciate the words - it came out more like gobbledygook and I caught myself when she said she hadn't heard what I'd said and just said 'thank you'. Because, as I'd said to the other woman - it wasn't her fault and actually it was horribly unfair that she had to be the one to tell me this and to deal with a distraught person on the phone - it was the decision of the underwriters who, of course, don't deal with the customers. Which is pretty luxurious for them. I get really angry about things like that. I'm not surprised when my cancer means that I can't have what I want - but I get angry when people won't face me with it. If you're going to deny me something then you better tell me yourself and take it when I get upset and angry. You have to listen to me because I don't see why you should get to run away. Take responsibility for what you've caused. Be the big person and deal with my upset. Trust me, no matter how much you don't want to and no matter how uncomfortable it makes you - it's worse for me. It will always be worse for me. So don't be so cowardly. Worms.

So, I can no longer recommend InsurePink travel insurers if you have mets. I expect they're still not bad if you've had cancer but are now in the clear and to be fair, they have always been very easy to deal with and talk to when going through the medical questions. But if your cancer is metastatic: keep looking......

Oh, and sorry I upset you Mirriam.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just ring! - Or actually, don't. Piss off.

They'll insure me as a one-off as a gesture of goodwill this time but underwriting changes all the time and I can try them in the future but they may not insure me (i.e won't insure me). Because they're not set up for helping people with metastases just people who've had cancer but are better now.

So there.

And it's not because I have cancer it's because I'm going to the U.S.A. - except of course, it *is* because of the cancer - because if I didn't have cancer they'd insure me.

I've had this underlying feeling this would be the last Christmas I'd have in the States. Perhaps I was right.

Oh hey! Merry Christmas! Have a great one!

Ickety waiting for the Travel Insurance people to call me back and say if they're going to insure me or not.
The relevant person is only on the end of an email or something and I've been waiting for nearly 3 hours. Which is silly - they insured me a month ago for Thanksgiving - nothing has changed since then. There is no reason why they shouldn't be able to do it. I just have to wait until the supervisor ok's it.
So why am I researching other Insurance companies?.....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Brrrring, brrring

Oh, I'm so glad I rang up the breast care nursing team - I got some very useful advice.
Sorry, I was waiting for whomever that statement applies to to chime in and tell us all what the advice was - coz I could use some more!

Sadly, when I rang yesterday I got the useless-[hmmm, let's not use her real name....let's call her.....Meringue! Yes! That will do!].. I rang and got The Useless-Meringue! In the past she has on two occasions said she was going to call me back about something and then hasn't; plus she has told me diametrically the wrong information about one other query I had. Excellent! Sadly, again, the nurse I *do* like - because she is actually *helpful* - was not there..... :(
So, I said - pain! I have pain! You told me the Arimidex might do this! It hurts! Paracetamol and ibuprofen help a bit! Cocodamol or Neurofen Plus help more! But Codeine! They have codeine in which blocks up the old digestive tract as soon as I open the packet! Try not to take those too much! Heat helps!
The Useless-Meringue says: Yes! Arimidex can cause pain! Do you want to move your appointment forward!? (Me: NOOOOOO!) When was your last bone scan?! (Me: Areeeeghhhhh! September! Plus, NOOOOOO!) Are you sure it's the Arimidex?! (Me - in head: WTF?!! *I* don't know! How am I supposed to know? Me - out loud: No, I'm not sure - but the pain does improve with heat and movement (i.e. Probably muscular rather than bony pain) I'll speak to the Registrar and call you before I go home tonight! (Me: Thank you!)

9 hours later:
Me: Hah! She's not going to ring again!
Phone rings - points awarded
The Useless Meringue: Take the painkillers and call me again if they stop working! Call us and we'll move your appointment forward if you're worried! you have any other tips for anything that might help or, anything?
The Useless Meringue:...Not really!
Me:..........OK........well, can I have some more Lorazepam then please?
The Useless Meringue:......Yes! We can do that! We will send prescription to pharmacy and you can collect it!
Me:...............OK..........thank you. Um, will this go away eventually - how long does it last?
The Useless Meringue:..Well, some people find it goes away but for some people it doesn't. But! Arimidex is one of three drugs in the Aromatase family; so we can try you on one of the others if it doesn't go away!
Me:.....So, how long until you know if it will go away or not?
The U.M.: A few months!
Me:..........................OK.................right...............thanks. Ok. Right. Right.
The U.M.: Does exercise help?!
Me: Um, well, it's better when I've been moving around....
The U.M.: Light exercise! Try that!
Me:.....Right. Thanks........Bye!

So I am exactly where I was this time yesterday. Bar some Lorazepam. Which was off my own bat. You can't hear my head falling off my shoulders here - but it has.
I shouldn't be surprised.
Side-effects in the cancer world are just par for the course. The attitude isn't quite: "Tough. Suck it up." But it nearly is.
It makes the Dear Other absolutely livid. If he had made his millions he'd throw it all into research into alieviating side effects to cancer drugs. But he hasn't.

So, to recap:


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Where I beg

Cancer related things are kicking my butt at the moment.
After months of jollying along, the big ol' sad has caught up with me again. Mostly because Arimidex is *hurting* at the moment. My lower back and hip joints *hurt*. Of the 'I'm uncomfortable standing, sitting and lying down' variety. Of the ibuprofen and paracetamol are not really cutting it pain-killing-wise at the moment. Of the 'only boiling heat seems to dull the pain enough to sleep' variety. There are only so many nights and days you can go through without starting to turn into some insane, about to eff and blind at anyone and everyone type of person.
And at moments like that my brain gets locked down into panic-mode. And all I can think is that the medication isn't working; the cancer is eating away my pelvis and spine and the end is nigh - woe is me - etc, etc.
And I scare myself when I get like that. I start to worry that I'm going to accidentally kill myself by taking too many painkillers - just because I got to that point where I was so desperate to make the pain stop for just a moment that I took another dose. I'm not saying I'm about to do that - in fact I'm bloody careful not to; but I can see so clearly how you could end up there.
I know I'm going to have to call my breast care nurse and at least get some sleeping/relaxant stuff from her. But I'm just so scared that they're going to whisk me in to have tests done and I'm going to end up not being able to go out to the States to be with my mum and my brother for Christmas. And we've booked the flights. And the insurance companies either won't insure me for anything cancer-related or they won't cover cancellation and curtailment. Either way it will be money wasted. And I won't get to have old-school Christmas.
Hate This.
The other morning the sun was shining so brightly but it was really cold - quite a rarity here; and I was so torn. It was beautiful but it made me sad. And I thought - I don't want to love like this; here, in this life of mine. But I can't go back to my old life. And I can't change the fact I have cancer. Wherever I go; whatever I change; I can't change that. If I do something new or different then I'm just dragging cancer off to the new and different spot with me. It doesn't go. It's the cartoon/old movie irons around the ankles.
Second verse, same as the first.
The other night I got home and just ended up crying and saying 'please'. Over and over and over again. Begging. With God, with the Universe; with the wind and the cloud and the rain and the snow and the ocean - with every wave in the sea. Just 'please' - please let the last four years have been a dream. That 'worst nightmare I've ever had' that was my first thought when they said it was cancer. Please. Please let this not be. Please. Please. I don't know how to ask any more nicely. I don't know how to be any better; any more deserving.
My miracle. Please.
Or maybe - if this has to be real - could I live in the dreamworld instead. Shut down this external existence and just live in dreams.