Authorization Granted

To my horror, the insurance authorization went through last Friday. The drug was first denied on Thursday–as expected–but it was successfully appealed by the end of the day Friday, as not-at-all expected. Man, I’ve been complaining about lack of healthcare efficiency for so long that this result is actually startling. And now I’m supposed to start this drug a week from today…?!

Could the echocardiogram cause a delay? Doubtful seeing as everything was reported as normal; so normal, in fact, that the writeup *actually* says that my tricuspid valve is “grossly normal.” Now as we all know, I’m no doctor, but…grossly normal? That the new cardiology lingo? And though I’m interpreting this adverb to mean extremely normal, is that word really necessary to insert? Like, her heart is SO EFFING NORMAL that we had to emphasize its normalcy by using a really emphatic word to stave off the potential of her thinking that when we say normal, we really mean special-normal or excellent-normal or better-than-most-normal? Because by definition the word normal when referring to a body part has varying degrees. Obviously.

But maybe I’m wrong and the interpretation is actually disgustingly normal since the next line reads: “There is trace tricuspid regurgitation.” Eww. That sounds nasty. Did you know your heart could regurgitate? Is this why I get such bad heartburn? Apparently it’s a thing, though, because it’s grossly normal. In my opinion, any heart-vom was caused by a reaction to the very uncomfortable probing and pushing of my entire left side. [Not a great test for females or dudes with man boobs.] Sonogram gel or not, the whole area felt bruised, so I bet my tricuspid wanted to express its distaste by throwing up a little. Gotta say, can’t really blame it.

I should be all set save for one potential wrench, the Lyme concern. If I’m doing this chemo, I damn well better be covered in case of “unexpected” flareups. And when I say covered, I mean COVERED–even if that means infusion needles coming out of my port and every cooperative vein like a giant porcupine. I’ve spoken with my infectious disease (and every other) doctor ad nauseum regarding this particular worry, so we’ve agreed to incorporate the IV Lyme drug into the treatment somehow. The ID doc thinks I should at least begin the 28-day course of Rocephin before getting the HiCY, but I’m not sure what that means in terms of ruining the efficacy of that (and maybe other?) antibiotic(s) after the chemo starts. I hope to learn a lot more during tomorrow’s appointment with oncology.

Update on Timing

I’ve tentatively scheduled my treatment to begin on Tuesday, June 23rd.

Not sure how accurate this date is because it all depends on insurance pre-authorization. Most likely the treatment will get rejected first since a) there’s no real diagnosis, and b) whichever diagnosis code is used has a different, standard treatment. The doctor will have to appeal, and it will be a minor miracle if all the red tape is worked through in less than three weeks.

In the meantime, I have to get a cardio exam and preliminary blood tests to ensure I don’t go into the treatment with a dysfunctional ticker or latent infections…and yes, Lyme disease is infectious, and yes, it’s been discussed with umpteen doctors, none of whom actually knows what he’s talking about since Lyme and lyme are such pernicious little spirochetes. [And therein lies the rub and explains why I’m rather hesitant to undergo this sort of treatment when the only tests to ever come back positive have been various forms of lyme. Yee-haw!] So, medical community, I am (very) reluctantly putting all my faith in you and your “false” positives!

I’ll put up some more countdown dates for the various upcoming appointments, but don’t be surprised by changes.

I’m also toying with the idea of having a hair cutting party for all the Dallasites who have always wanted to butcher someone’s hair without the ensuing friendship fallout. Since I’m not interested in finding chunks of hair on the pillow or in the shower, I’m going to cut my hair really short anyway–why not have a little fun with it? So if you’d be into cutting some crazy topiary hair patterns or think giving someone a mohawk would be fun, leave a comment below!