Cancer

All posts tagged Cancer

Cancer Care Further Delayed

Published November 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

Friday, I was supposed to have an appointment with a new oncologist.  The insurance, without my consent, chose my doctor and told my primary doctor to have me call for an appointment.

I did and told them I don’t see male doctors (which of course, that’s who they selected because they can ignore my preference; by law).  I let the office know I needed a female oncologist.

After the new patient coordinator made a condescending remark about, “I should be able to understand her”, the appointment was booked.  I updated my phone number so they could call my cell phone if they needed to reach me.

Five minutes before I was to leave work for the appointment, a 45-minute drive from my job, I received an email cancelling the appointment.  They called the home number as my cell number was never updated (sigh + eye roll + not surprised).  They told me the staff wasn’t aware of the special conditions of my appointment.

After I called them unprofessional for pulling this stunt at the last minute, the Office Coordinator was nice enough to put in writing some clarification points.  Apparently, only one doctor agreed to see me.  It’s common practice all doctors in an office will see a patient and are backup to the primary oncologist.  Not in this case.  It would seem because of my ‘history’ only one doctor would agree to see me.

My ‘history’ turns out to be one of non-compliance.  I didn’t let that one go.  I am not non-compliant; it doesn’t exist.  What exists is a patient’s right to choose his/her treatment.  I have not completed several tests ordered because the doctor left out crucial information that negated my right to informed consent.

I couldn’t complete the CT scan that had been ordered because the facility, that is able to start an IV and add a contrast dye was unable (more like unwilling) to numb the arm before the IV was inserted.  It takes anywhere from two to four attempts to start an IV in either of my arms.  I will not be a pincushion because it’s easier for them not to inject an additional needle in my arm.

I still have no care.  I requested yet another oncologist to see me.  Now, I have to wait an additional 7 to 10 days for that approval to be reviewed.  Then I have to see if the oncologist I chose  (an hour away and a bridge toll) will see me.

Patient care, especially with a life-threatening disease, should be taken seriously and doctors should only receive the patients file with diagnosis and current treatment.  All other matters are completely subjective.  This subjective documentation has cause a lapse in care.

If you  have a moment, please click HERE, sign my petition and share it.  So many people are affected by cancer and we need to stop the health care industry from villainizing patients for choosing that best suits them.

Help Make My Voice Heard

Published October 15, 2018 by lynn k scott

I created a petition to alert the state of California to how cancer patients are being treated by Sutter Health.  If you could find it in your heart to sign and then reblog, share on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, I’d appreciate it.

It’s time we told insurance companies they can’t let doctors control who they do/don’t treat.  We are all people.  No one facing a life-threatening illness should have the stress of no treatment options because someone deemed a patient not worthy.

You can find the petition HERE.

Thank you for your support in this latest cancer development.

Sitting in Judgement

Published October 4, 2018 by lynn k scott

I reactivated my old Facebook account.  I knew better…but, I did it anyway.

I have a very hard time with Pinktober.  It has nothing to do with raising awareness for breast cancer.  It has to do with a large number of organizations and companies cashing in on cancer.  Losing my middle sister to breast cancer and knowing my younger sister is fighting the same strain has made me more vocal.  To some, I’m jaded.

People need to understand there is not equal medical treatment, insurance or affordability nationwide.  That being said, I DO NOT agree to universal health care.  I am merely pointing out what I know as fact in California.

I will not tolerate “breast cancer awareness cookies”.  Making cookies in the shapes of obnoxious looking boobs or making them looked squished (like a mammogram would do) is not ok in my book.

Now, I worked full-time through my chemo treatments.  I was out of work a total of two weeks and that was to have the tumor removed.  I still worked, every day; from the hospital and at home.  I could not afford to live on disability.  Reluctantly, I had to start a gofundme account to pay for chemo.  I couldn’t afford it on my own.  I deleted the account after my last chemo payment was made.  Oh wait…most people don’t know my husband was out of work for two months last winter; and was taken by ambulance and hospitalized.  Nothing like more financial strain….

As you know, I recently had to purchase another vehicle.  I chose a sports car.  I was upside down on my trade, I had horrible credit.  The fact I was financed was nothing more than a miracle.  My car looks nice, but in reality, it’s the same price as a Honda.  I figure, I’ve lost so much to such a horrible disease, have been through hell this last year, it’s time to live.  At this point, I do not know if I live to finish making the car payments.  That’s MY reality.

Yet, someone still felt the need to sit in judgement of me.  Saying my car is too nice.  Those mods I’ve done are expensive.  Well, my husband has a challenger five years older than mine.  He did a lot of the work and had spare parts.  He’s also been doing show cars for over 25 years and has a lot of industry friends.  We don’t pay full price for anything.  I also work two jobs.  That’s right.  I have had cancer for a year, been off chemo for six months and picked up my second job three months after finishing chemo.

I was basically called a scam artist for having two separate parts of my life judged as the same; chemo payments and car payments.  What gives anyone the right?!

Am I jaded about the medical industry – DAMN RIGHT I AM!  I also have good reason.  I have not been shy about what I have gone through.  I do not have great care.  I am not a good patient and have been punished for that.  I have been punished for demanding that doctors and their staff allow me to be in control of my body and treatment.

I can’t stop anyone from judging me, but I’ll be damned if I am to keep quiet on the medical world’s shortcomings or the scams of Pinktober.  Just because it’s pink or coming from a charity, does not mean their intentions are good or the true patients are receiving anywhere near what is being collected.

If you are God, you may judge me.  If not…a little empathy and allowing me to vent won’t kill you.  But by hell or high water, you are not entitled to judge me (or anyone else; for that matter)!

Falafels via the Air Fryer

Published July 18, 2018 by lynn k scott

I’ve seen and heard about falafels for years.  They are a Middle Eastern dish made up of chickpeas and a variety of herbs and spices.  After taking a rest for a couple hours (or overnight) in the fridge, the mixture is ready to be rolled into balls and dropped into hot oil and fried to perfection.

Hold up…that won’t work for me.  Frying is almost non-existent in my house.  I do however, use an air fryer, which has to be one of the best kitchen inventions…EVER!

air fryer

I followed a random falafel recipe.  Soaked my chickpeas overnight.  Some of you might be unfamiliar with chickpeas.  I know I was.  I had consumed them at my favorite Indian restaurant.  I even found them in the Indian spice shop I often go to.

Before I decided to make the falafels, I had purchased a large bag of chickpeas.  Remember when I said I was unfamiliar with them?  I had it in my head, I would just grind up the chickpeas and make my own gluten-free, chickepea flour.  My food processor wasn’t up for the job.  My little spice grinder hates me now.  Who knew you had to soak the chickpeas first?  OOPS!!!!   Well, now I know and you should have gotten a chuckle from my culinary ignorance.

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Back to the new-to-me dish.  I looked up the cooking time for air fryer falafels.  It was just 12-minutes, on 370 degrees, turning halfway through the cooking process.

I will say, I could kick myself for not trying these earlier.  They were DELICIOUS!!!!!!  Perfectly crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.  I guarantee, these are on my permanent menu.  They fall in line with my plant-based diet.

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Note:  depending on how many people will be eating these little crispy delights, you might want to halve the recipe if it’s just for a couple of you.

Just another cancer – related update

Published July 17, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have been steadily changing my diet over the last couple weeks.  I will have to say, I actually feel a lot better.  To some, the dietary changes may be extreme.  I believe it’s easier for me, from all the other attempts at dietary changes, because my life literally depends on me being successful.

There have been two times I have “cheated”.  They have been small cheats such as eating soy sauce (has gluten) and I forgot the other cheat.  Anyway, since my body has been eating healthier, it really didn’t care for my choice to upset its new-found balance.  I have done those cheats before, but this time the reaction was stronger.  I have dedicated myself to not doing that again.  I really don’t like the reactions I had and repeat performances won’t be necessary.

I am using my new juicer at least every other day.  I am loving the combinations.  I am using less fruit and even added a few new vegetables.  I’m not really a spinach fan, but am finding it’s pretty good mixed with carrots and ginger, among other vegetables.

I am trying new food combinations.  For example, made lentils for the first time the other day.  Yesterday, I made lentil tacos (no cheese or sour cream) and they were really good.  The more I go without dairy, the more I don’t miss it.

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I have been able to lend support to a friend who’s mother is Stage IV in her cancer battle.  It feels nice to be able to give back to a fellow cancer warrior.

I have also decided, I’m not putting off purchases because of “what ifs”.  I am taking back what the cancer tried to steal from me.  It will not be successful in making me second guess my life and its longevity.  As I have stated before, I have handed this over to God and he is in complete control.  He has brought such peace, that I can’t possibly fully describe the feeling.

I recently made a vehicle purchase.  It wasn’t the right time (credit wise), however, my other vehicle chose to push the envelope, so good-bye pickup, hello challenger.

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It’s almost been a year since I heard those horrible words, “you have cancer”.  Gone from sadness to anger to acceptance to fighting.  I will be successful.  I have cancer but it doesn’t have me!

My Healing Team

Published July 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

I came across this today from someone in a cancer support group.  I have thought of this, but have not fully implemented it.  That’s about to change.  This will be my train of thought going forward.

“…we all need to build our healing team – anyone who doesn’t support your healing doesn’t get to be on your team. That can include family or friends or some in the medical field you don’t resonate with – if they show any negativity or bring your energy down – kick them off your team.”

Anyone is welcome to climb aboard, but if they fail to follow this simple premise, they will be let off at the next station!

 

train

Omega Cube300R Juicer

Published July 10, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have purchased a new juicer to aid in healing my cancer naturally.  I currently own a standard, auger juicer, but through research, a quality, masticating juicer is recommended.  The throw-away pulp is actually dry instead of wet.  More nutrients are extracted from the vegetables and fruits.

Part of my diet change is consuming more vegetables, especially greens.  Until I am 100% used to vegetables on their own, I will be using a few fruits to balance out the flavor.  My health is in God’s hands, but I need to make an effort to make my body healthy inside and out.

I have given up red meat and pork.  I will have a little fish and chicken/turkey here and there.  Minimal milk products; mostly plant based milks instead.  I will be consuming more raw food as well as baked vegetables.

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Picture from bedbathandbeyond.com

After watching a video review of this particular juicer, I was hooked.  I have limited counter space and even less space between the counter and shelves.  This is the perfect, somewhat compact item for my needs.

I chose to order it from Bed Bath and Beyond.  There was a computer error that said it was eligible for a discount (and it wasn’t).  Luckily, I had proof what their website said, emailed it over and received the discount.  Additionally, I started the purchase through Ebates and received cash back on this purchase.  All in all, my savings was over $50.  I couldn’t be unhappy about that, right?

I’m excited for the juicer to arrive, which should be in two days.  I have plenty of produce on hand to give it a good trial run.  If you are interested in this product, you can visit the Omega website for more details.

Bottom’s up…here’s juice in your eye!

Cancer Hope

Published July 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

I am part of an online Christian homeschool group.  I have been blessed to part of this group.  They offer support and encouragement in homeschooling and every day living.

I had posted a difficult post asking for some recommendations.  In addition to the information I had asked for, I was given the name of a person to contact.  As it turns out, this person had a very similar diagnosis to mine.

We exchanged messages yesterday and she was the blessing I needed to receive.  After almost a year since diagnosis, I had finally connected to someone I could relate to.  Like I have, she had turned her care over to God after her surgery.  She changed her diet and is now cancer-free.

I am currently in the process of changing my diet.  While science and doctors would admonish my decision to omit their “expert” advice, what I have received so far from them has been less than productive in my battle with cancer.

While I can’t speak for what others should do, I find her story to be extremely encouraging and it has given me new hope; hope I was struggling with.

 

hear me lord

Cancer Journey: Part 16

Published July 2, 2018 by lynn k scott

I believe this will be the last cancer update for some time.

I met my new oncologist this past Friday.  While she seemed genuine and sincere, it was an effort in futility.   I had a complete breakdown when she asked why I was there.  I clearly stated it was because she was my last option for a doctor; based on what the insurance carrier would permit.   She didn’t didn’t take offense; esp. after I explained what I meant.

She wanted to order a PET scan.  Awesome…I can’t stay still, flat on my back for 30-minutes.  She asked if a particular drug would help relax me.  I have no idea as I haven’t had it in almost 30 years.  She said she could order a CT scan, but that might be inconclusive and it’s not as complete as a PET scan.  I still might need a PET scan after the CT scan.  That pretty much sums up the CT scan is not the way to go.  Each of these scans would cost me a $350 copay.  Let’s not even mention having to add an IV to do them.  My veins have been oh-so-cooperative (NOT).

She mentions how I didn’t receive enough chemo.  Gotta love my previous doctors  (I need a “NOT” button).  She went over another option, that wasn’t clearly explained to me by my first oncologist.  So there goes adequate informed consent.

Then, she had the “brilliant” idea of telling me I should see a counselor about my grief for 3/5 of my family being dead (mostly due to cancer).  How about addressing the issue of NO SUPPORT for cancer patients that are still alive and breathing?!  How about offering legitimate financial support.  People are struggling to pay their every day bills.  Add a 20% copay to all their medications (even if each one caps out at $200), that’s still a huge increase every few weeks.  Let’s not mention, the patient probably wouldn’t be working full-time either, so now there’s a loss of income but increase in expenses.  The working person falls through healthcare crack which is the size of the Grand Canyon.

We agreed to start off with more bloodwork after I told her I guess there was nothing she could do for me.  I asked the nurse who was going to talk to the lab about how I’m a hard stick.  She told me I could let them know.  Gee….that’s worked really well in the past…again…NOT!  They make no offer to warm my veins to see if that would help.  They do nothing different than a person who is able to give blood easily.  I drink tepid water already (which was her suggestion).  First, I’m not new to blood draws.  Second, it’s obvious she had no intention of doing anything additional for patient care.

I’m supposed to go back in six months.  The nurse really thought she was going to schedule that after my appointment.  I think not.  IF I were to go back, I would call in.  six months is in December.  I have my daughter’s birthday to deal with.  It would be January at the earliest that I would even consider going back in.

I walked out no further along than I have been these last few months.  I am officially done, at least for the immediate future, with doctors, blood draws, scans and anything else related to this effin diagnosis.

My survival is solely in God’s hands.  I am changing my diet and will be trying CBD oil for cancer patients.  While I will not go gently into that good night, I no longer have any faith in the medical world and their attempts to treat me.

Being the realist that I am, I am now officially putting my affairs in order (just in case).  I will be drawing up a living trust and making my husband add his information because he won’t do it on his own.  We don’t have may assets, but the few we do have need to go to my youngest (as most of it belongs to her dad).

I ask for continued prayers for my health and for the strength to prepare my daughter for the worst case scenario.

Cancer Journey: Part 15

Published June 28, 2018 by lynn k scott

Tomorrow I meet a new oncologist.  I had to call to confirm my appointment, as I hadn’t received a reminder call.  The woman laughed it off that she hadn’t sent out any reminders.  That’s all well and good, however, I’m traveling 30 minutes out of my way and losing a half a day’s work, so I don’t have the luxury to hope everything is still on schedule.

I have been re-reading my previous oncologist’s visit comments.  They still have not fixed the part where my sister died of breast cancer at 37; not 47.  They have only been told three times now.  They make me seem like a bitch for refusing IV chemo because it’s the treatment they would have preferred.  My original oncologist said outright they could not confirm I did or didn’t still have cancer.  They were going to treat me as if I did; just in case.  Silly me for wanting a definitive answer and to have a somewhat normal life with such vague information from a “professional”.

They villianized me for refusing tests that exposed me to additional radiation without a legitimate cause.  I also had stated that tests need to be coordinated that required IVs.  My veins rolls and collapse, but they don’t consider that when they schedule tests.

I am not holding out much hope for tomorrow’s visit.  We will have to go through all the questions that have been already answered and are in my file.  It’s too much to ask for doctor’s to read before meeting a new patient.  Wasting time is the preferred interaction method.

I know she will order more blood work.  Let’s hope my veins cooperate.  Who knows if she will order the CT scan that I believe should have been done already.  A point my previous oncologist and I did not see eye to eye on.

My anxiety is messing with my sleep again.  I just need this appointment to be over.  Then I get to wait to see if my levels are elevated (which would indicate the cancer is still there).  Waiting games suck; moreso when your very existence is on the line.

No matter what happens, cancer still sucks!

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