Saturday, February 26, 2011

My latest article, "Cell me something new". It's on a few Patches this morning, & is about my lack of cell phone skills. Which is now the stuff of legends - people don't believe that I'm this dumb.

And now for something completely different.

I had my hernia surgery on Tuesday, & all went well. The thing is, the actual surgery was only half an hour, but I was there for 6! Plus, they were busier than a one legged river dancer, so I was in post-op recovery for almost 2 hours. 

I'm thoroughly convinced that whoever invented those gurneys they put you on has never had the misfortune to lie in one! There's a layer of "padding", but it's about as cushy as a rock. The "pillows" you get? They're about as thin as a blanket, and are covered by some type of rubber. I understand that, though, as I'm sure there's a lot of drooling that goes on; depending upon your surgery. One would just hope that they do, indeed, hose the little pad off before they put on a new pillow case. Trust me, when you're lying in a room with nothing to keep your mind occupied for almost 2 hours, plus you've just been sliced & diced, your mind tends to think of these things.

All in all, it went well, I'm home, but it hurts. I guess if you think about it, that's probably not a bad thing. It means that stuff is behaving as it should.

Next Friday, I go to Fox Chase Cancer Center to meet with Dr. Neal Topham. He's some big shot plastic surgeon. He does micro surgery, which means he attaches blood vessels. The big bonus of this is that he can take donor tissue from anywhere to do the reconstruction. If the blood vessels aren't attached, the tissue dies - and that's not something I want. Plus, Dr. Morrissey said that without that, the skin from the donor site might not match the original skin. Ugh. So, yeah, I'm a little excited about that.

Big, big, big bonus? Matt's taking me out to dinner when we're done. Woo Hoo! Hey, I don't get out much; I'll take what I can get.

OK, I'll keep you posted. Oh, & feel free to comment on my Patch article (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hernia surgery - sigh

My newest article:  Just Roll With It.

I'm going to have hernia surgery tomorrow, but I have no idea what time!  It's almost 4:00 pm, and I still haven't received the phone call that tells me what time to be there by.  AND, it looks like we're getting more snow tonight.  Of course we are.

The surgery is supposed to be in & out, but knowing my body, there'll be some sort of surprise, causing me to be a guest of the hospital for at least the night.  This is a fine googly moogly!


I've been receiving doctor bills that my insurance company is refusing to pay. Why? Because I'd exceeded the number of doctor visits allotted.  So, now the doctors are coming after me to pay them. Well, not the doctors – their billing department.

Here's the thing – the reason I had too many doctor visits is due to the staph infection I received at the hospital during my initial mastectomy! I had my initial surgery a few days before Thanksgiving, and by Christmas Eve, I spiked a fever of 104 degrees. The day after Christmas, I was in the hospital having emergency surgery. The infection was so severe, it ate the tissue expander.

I came home, and in a relatively short period of time, I was back in the hospital, undergoing yet another surgery. This happened ANOTHER time, resulting in finally being admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics. Additionally, this was not without a great deal of pain. Another problem this nasty little infection has posed is my upcoming reconstruction surgery. I have to go to Philadelphia to see a micro surgeon (more about that later).

However, things happen, and I'm not a vindictive person. I know that my doctors didn't purposefully give me a staph infection, and cause me several months of pain. The thing is, though, I don't feel that I should have to PAY THEM for it! I don't know why they're coming after me for this; it's a little less than $1,000. The bulk of the bills have been paid.

I finally explained this to their billing department on Thursday. I pointed out that if I was a jerk, I could be speaking to an attorney. We all know there're ambulance chasers all over the phone book & television, and this would be a juicy little malpractice case for them. However, I hate attorneys, and these doctors saved my life. That's really the bottom line – I'm alive.

If you've been reading this for any length of time, you know that I really like all my doctors - a big whole lot. I'm really hoping that they'll just wipe the slate clean & call it even! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm Baaacccckkkk!!! (giggle)

Hi, everyone!

Lots of stuff has been happening, so I haven't been updating this blog lately.  There's a lot to talk about.

First, did you know that the Susan G. Komen Foundation spends a great deal of time (and a chunk of the money supposedly raised for cancer) suing smaller charities?  Apparently, they feel that they own the words "for the cure".  I wonder if the band, "The Cure" has an issue with that?

One lady, Susan Prom, who lives in a small Minnesota town had organized something called "Mush for the Cure" (dogsled race), & got ordered to call it something else.  She'd already ordered t-shirts & other things that she couldn't take back.  You can read the article about it here.  Here's an excerpt from the link I gave you for Susan:

When we first started Mush for a Cure Komen wasn't interested in our money because it wasn't a sizeable enough amount. We couldn't use the Komen name in advertisin­­g unless we guaranteed a large amount of money which we couldn't do. The 1st year, 2007, the mushers raised $8000, in 2008 just $13,000, in 2009 $25,000, in 2010 $30,000 and now Komen is paying attention because it's finally a significan­­t amount of money.

I know, right?  It kind of makes you sick.  It should be the "Race to Line Susan G. Komen's pocket".  It would be more accurate.

Plus, I don't know about you guys, but when I was in the thick of it, I didn't get one bit of support from them.  But I DID, however, get TONS from the American Cancer Society.  Honestly, I'm a bit worried as I write this.  What if they find out about what I said & sue me?  I'm not trying to be facetious here, it's just that all you have to do is Google "Susan G. Komen Sues", & boy will you get an eyeful.  I just thought I'd let you guys know about this, especially now that there are constant commercials for the "3 Day Walk for the Cure".  

Ever wonder how much of the funds they raise goes to advertising?  I'd just LOVE to know what the break down of actual cancer research vs. advertising, executive salaries, & keeping a slew of attorneys on hand 24/7 comes out to be.  

And, did you know that when you send in those Yoplait lids (or whatever yogurt it is) in, you're being hoodwinked there as well.  If you read the small print, they have a cap on the amount of funds that they donate.  Once that cap (& it's pretty small, if you asked me) is reached, you're just paying extra to line the yogurt maker's pockets.

It really sickens me that there are so many charities out there that do very little towards finding a cure for cancer – any cancer.  Yet, they have people working for them that make quite a decent living.  Oh, & lawyers – lots & lots of lawyers!

If I hear from Komen, I'll let you know!

OK, now on to happy things!

I've gone back to work writing my Brunette Lucy column.  AOL has started an online newspaper called "Patch"; they're in about 20 states so far, & will hopefully be growing.  They focus on the news & things to do in their given city or area; so when I originally approached my awesome editor, Josh Popichak, even though he liked my writing, he didn't think he could use it.  I didn't give it another thought.

Then, about two weeks later, he contacted me & said he could use it!  I was sooo happy, because after dealing with this dumb cancer, I was ready to get back to work.  NOW, my article is being run by about 10 different cities within the Patch network.  My homepage, however, is here.  If you have any comments on the column, feel free to leave them!  And if you can think of something you'd like me to write about, let me know.

Ooh, & the Hellertown Patch is on Facebook – would you "like" it?  I, too, am now on Facebook.  You can check it out here.  If you "like" my page, you can get updated on when my new weekly article is up.  The most recent, "Surviving Valentine's Day" was the first to be run by a big ol' mess of cities.  


When I was at Dr. Morrissey's (my booby daddy) office, he was checking out places to take fat for reconstruction.  That's when he looked at me & said that he was pretty sure I have a hernia.  Sure enough, I do.  Some days!!!  I'll be having surgery on February 22nd to correct the problem.  On the bright side, Dr. Morrissey said that I don't have much fat on my stomach – it's been the hernia that's protruding.  Have I mentioned that I really like Dr. Morrissey (giggle)?

Additionally, due to all those surgeries I had to have after the mastectomy (for the massive staph infection); I'll probably need a micro surgeon for reconstruction.  I may end up going to Philadelphia for my "addaboobtome".  Boy, why can't anything having to do with this dumb cancer be easy??

But, on the bright side – I'm here!  And maybe I'll get me a set of perky boobies.  Mmmmm, perky boobies.

Feel free to leave your comments here or on Facebook!  And, thanks.  Your support has been awesome during this battle.

My guestbook