A Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey writes in and asks, "Dear Roseanne Roseannadanna -- it's now Wednesday morning. How was yesterday? And what is happening today?"
The quick answers to those questions are: not as busy as I thought, and still not sure yet.
Yesterday we had our final appointment with the previously-assigned Alta Bates oncologist, which became a very short meeting once we informed him we were going with Stanford for our treatment for this case.
More importantly, we were not able to schedule the needed CAT scans yesterday because insurance, despite supposedly being on the fast-track on this, still hasn't approved the Stanford angle. I've been assured by my HR department at Sega that once the insurance company approves everything, I'll get the same benefits for the Stanford treatment that I would have received had I stayed in-network.
Unfortunately, there was a bit of miscommunication yesterday that left the approvals still up in the air, and we hope to get that cleared up today -- but now I'm being told that the approving medical group doesn't consider my situation "urgent" and won't provide approval until Friday at the earliest.
I guess if by "urgent" they mean "probably won't die today," they have a point. Unless a random bit of falling asteroid hits me, or I fling myself off a 300-foot cliff, yeah, I probably won't die today. Of course, if by "urgent" you mean "there's a big-ass cancerous tumor growing in my stomach and with each passing day it becomes more difficult to attack it and remove it," well, I'd say they're a little off. But that's just semantics, isn't it?
This is to be expected; the insurance company never wants to go out-of-network to begin with, and when you bring Stanford into the equation, you're talking serious costs. Of course they're going to fight it, but we're having the Stanford doc call the insurance group's medical officer today in order to clarify that "urgent," in this case, means "get off your bean-counting ass and approve the treatment ASAP so we can save this guy's life right now." The accountants might not think it's urgent, but I'll tell you this: Kuato ain't getting any smaller, that's for sure.
So that's where we are on that. Several calls will be made on my behalf today to try and speed this up, and we'll just have to see where it goes. Once we get approval, Stanford should be able to handle everything else without much hassle, but getting the approval is proving to be a real pain in the ass -- but it's not like we didn't expect this.
I also have an appointment for tomorrow morning to, um... putting it vaguely here... ensure that I can still have a child in case any sort of cancer treatment leaves me sterile. So if Jessica Alba or Evangeline Lilly is out there somewhere reading this, just know that I'm already thinking about you fondly.
(Which is not to be confused with 'fondling.' Or maybe it is. You decide.)
Keep the positive thoughts and prayers flowing and we'll get some movement on this soon enough. I love all the emails and phone messages, and all the comments coming into the blog are great -- I read every one, and am amazed at people that I don't even know (like Francesca) that are writing from across the globe to lend their support. I still have no doubt we're all going to crush this thing -- me, you and everyone else that has kept such an amazing positive outlook on all this. There are going to be roadblocks like this insurance thing, but we'll get there.
Good things come to those who wait (but not too long)...
With much love,