From the category archives:

Asshats

Weekend Wrapup

by Lisa on January 5, 2009

in Asshats, Cancer Sucks

What a rough weekend I had.  It started out with a blood test and ended with a blood transfusion and an asshat.

You know I hate to get all medical because it’s boring but sometimes it’s necessary.  Well, the last time I had chemo my red blood cell count and hemoglobin were low.  My hemoglobin was down to 8.6 so I was given a shot of Procrit.

I scheduled a follow up blood test for last Friday to re-check my blood counts.  Unfortunately, everything dropped a little more.  My hemoglobin went down to 8 so I got another shot of Procrit and was told I need to have a blood transfusion over the weekend.

I found out that part of the reason I’ve been feeling extremely run down and out of breath had to do with my low red blood cell count and low hemoglobin.

The infusion center was booked on Saturday but I got an appointment for Sunday.  I didn’t think anybody did anything on Sundays but there apparently people who need infusions everyday.

My blood transfusion was going to take four hours so my appointment was made for 8 am.  Dude now drives me everywhere because of the painkillers I’m on (it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of what I take) so we had to pack the kids in the car at 7:30 am on Sunday morning.    They had their Nintendo DS’s so they were good to go.

By Sunday, my pain level was at an all time high.  I didn’t get any sleep Saturday night because I was in so much pain.  I finally passed out from exhaustion at around 5:00 am only to have the alarm clock go off at 6:00 am.  One hour of quality sleep is better than nothing, right?

So Dude dropped me off at the hospital so I could get my blood transfusion.  The nurse gave me Benedryl before she started anything.  Once she started the first pint of blood I was out cold.  Had she not taken my blood pressure every 20 minutes I may have actually caught up on some sleep.

Four hours and two pints of blood later I was finished with the blood transfusion and Dude came to pick me up.  Once we got home I started feeling better.  Like a little perkier with less pain.  I made it up the steps without losing my breath at all!

My pain level has come down considerably since I had the transfusion yesterday too.  I slept through the night and I’m feeling like I might make it through today without taking a nap.  Well, maybe I’ll take just a 30 minute nap.

Hopefully my blood counts will be o.k. on Thursday when I go back to the hospital for chemo.  It seems like this could be a vicious cycle though.  Get chemo, have blood counts go down, get blood transfusion, have blood counts go back up, get chemo again.  There’s only so much a body can take, you know?

Maybe that’s the point when I, as my commenter in Understanding, so lovingly put it, “pretend to die”.  To quote Barbara:

So when you get enough gifts and money, will you pretend to die?

I’m sure my family and friends enjoy watching me “pretend” to have cancer.  God, some people are pathetic.

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Edit #1  9:30 AM: My oncologist has decided to tell play Sloane-Kettering’s game and tell them that he has STOPPED treatment in order to get me an appointment. Of course he is NOT stopping treatment in the mean time. I hope that I will find out later today that I have a concrete date to go to S-K.

My PCP called me at 9:00 am this morning and told me that they have called the insurance company to have my case re-opened. The insurance company told the PCP that it is now “pending” re-certification.

None of these entities understand that my cancer doesn’t care about polices, rules or regulations. That’s the bottom line.

Edit #2:  As of 11:30 AM I have an appointment at Memorial Sloane-Kettering on 7/24/2008 at 1:00 pm!!!

I’ve come to the realization that our health care system, no matter where you live or who you are, is completely fucked up. I used to think it was the government that was a bureaucratic nightmare but yesterday proved to me that health care might just have the government beat by a mile…or two.

Do I need to repeat that I have a rare cancer? Must we go over this again and again? I feel that I go over it over and over with the same people.

“What kind of cancer do you have?”

“It doesn’t have a name, it’s a rare cancer.”

“What kind is it?”

“No one knows.”

“What do you mean by ‘no one knows‘?

“Just what I said, no one knows what kind of cancer I have because it’s a rare cancer no one has seen before.”

The conversation just goes down hill from there because now the health care professional doesn’t have a box to fill, a radio button to click or enough room in the “other” box to write it down. That just pisses them off.

The appointment I was waiting for from Sloane-Kettering? Well, it’s not going to happen. First I received a call from my oncologist’s office informing me that S-K didn’t accept my insurance. I straighted that misinformation out. Then I received a second call from my oncologist’s office informing me that Sloane-Kettering refuses to see me now because I’ve gone through two rounds of chemo.

Well, that’s what the scheduler at Sloane-Kettering said and she is sticking to her guns…REGARDLESS of any PREVIOUS conversations that went on with a doctor, nurse or anyone. That scheduler REFUSES to make an appointment because there are RULES she is sticking to. Oh, and trying another scheduler…didn’t work either because she was onto the oncologist’s office.

Bureaucratic red tape bullshit.

So the scheduler at my oncologist’s office gave up!

I told her to talk to my doctor and make something happen because this was all in the works a few weeks ago.

Then there is the insurance company. Another cog in the wheel of the dysfunctional machine of health care. They had assigned me a case worker because I have cancer. I was diagnosed again on March 31, 2008. They closed my case on April 18, 2008. Wow, that’s the fastest cure I’ve ever heard of. WTF?

As an insured “member” I’m not allowed to open a new case. Hello? Who is the one with cancer here? My primary care physician a.k.a. the PCP has to call the insurance company and tell them I have cancer again. Then he has to request that I have a case manager.

Don’t these people read the claims? WTF?

Do I need this kind of stress? How the hell am I supposed to get the care I deserve? I mean, am I going to live long enough to get the care I need, the care I deserve? Am I going to get past the bullshit schedulers at every hospital or get denied because they have pre-set rules that they aren’t going to budge from?

I’m at the end of my rope with health care…AT THE END OF MY ROPE! I really want to live but the stress and denial of health care is going to be the thing that kills me in the end.

{ 35 comments }

Why…

by Lisa on July 1, 2008

in Asshats, Monkey Bastards, WTF?

The shock of unemployment becomes a pathology in its own right. ~Robert Farrar Capon, “Being Let Go,” New York Times, 5 August 1984

I’m currently embroiled in a nasty conflict between the Temp Agency I was working for and the PA Unemployment IC that has me so frustrated that if I still had hair…I’d pull it out.

I was let go from my assigned postion on May 30, 2008…due to no fault of my own. The assignment ended and I left with a Letter of Recommendation.

I called the Temp Agency on my last day of work and inquired about available positions. I was told there were none and to call back the following week. They recorded that they sent me on an interview for a Customer Service Representative position on May 30, 2008 and that I refused to take the job.

When I filed my claim with PA Unemployment IC I was denied because the Temp Agency told Unemployment I REFUSED WORK.

It’s been a back and forth, he said, she said, stressful battle between all both parties for the past three weeks and I’m frazzled.

I filed the necessary paperwork with PA Unemployment IC and now I have to wait.

I keep calling the Temp Agency, documenting EVERY SINGLE CALL, and leaving messages. Only when I left a message for the Temp Agency’s OWNER did I get a return call…however this week I’m getting bounced around AGAIN.

I’ve threatened the Temp Agency with an ADA discrimination suit because they are aware of the fact that I have cancer and I fit the criteria of having a disability under the ADA guidelines yet they are refusing to place me in a job when they have available positions. I know my rights and I’m familiar with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

But why? Why does it have to come to all of this? Why do people have to be so stupid, so idiotic and so daft? Why?

Edit: I’m asking why in the rhetorical sense out of utter frustration in a system that I seem to be powerless in. I’m completely and utterly frustrated. That’s what I wish to convey. Not that I’m actually questioning the idiocy of a Temp Agency and PA Unemployment IC.

I hope that my frustration is what comes across…LOUD AND CLEAR!

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Love Triangle #99

by Lisa on June 17, 2008

in Asshats, Dude, WTF?

More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse. ~Doug Larson

Over the past week I’ve seen some pretty ugly events amongst a group of bloggers and I find it disheartening.  Some people are going to think I’m talking about the infamous love triangle.  No, it’s the reaction to triangle that I’ve found unbelievable. 

I’ve read posts by bloggers who have gotten on their moral high horse and proclaimed that all adulterers are sinners who we should burn at the stake.  O.K. they didn’t say we should burn them at the stake but pretty damn close.  It’s true that adultery is a sin however I’m not a Christian so I’m not sure what the exact ramifications are according to the Bible.  I guess you go straight to hell.

That’s not my point though.

Sometimes people make very poor decisions.  Or they make decisions based on high emotion without thinking about the consequences.  It’s called human error.  Remember we are humans, right?  Cheating on your spouse isn’t right in fact it’s the worst crime you can commit in a marriage. 

I’ve been on both ends of adultery.  I’ve been the spouse who has been cheated on and I’ve been the spouse who has cheated.  The spouse who cheated on me left me for another woman…who made him miserable so the stupid son of a bitch took his problems with him…he was the problem.  The time I was the spouse who cheated was in my marriage to Dude.

Yes, I’ve cheated on my husband and I’m in no way proud of it.  Seven years ago I had an affair and when he found out he threw me out of the house.  Dude took our kids away from me, changed the locks on the doors and closed our joint bank account.  I had nothing but some of my clothes and my car. 

I didn’t see our children for months.  I missed Teenie’s first step.  I missed Teenie’s first word.  In fact I missed a good chunk of her time as a baby.  I got what I deserved.

My circle of friends crucified me though.  They turned their backs on me and judged me deeming me as a bad, morally defected and horrible person.  Thank GOD they weren’t all bloggers because my name would have been all over the Internet…they had that much to say about me.  They also never spoke to me again. 

An extramarital affair cost me everything…my husband, my children, my home, my friends and left me without any where to live…and left me penniless.  I was a stay-at-home mom so I had no job.  I got what I deserved.

I’d also like to add that while I was having an affair I felt incredible guilt, sadness and depression.  I wasn’t having a good time fucking someone else.   In fact I was so trapped in depression I attempted suicide at one point.  The affair was just a symptom of what was wrong with ME.

Dude and I repaired our marriage.  We got back together nine months later and rebuilt the trust.  We rebuilt and redesigned our relationship from the ground up because there were so many things wrong.  We’ve had our rough spots like every marriage but I know I’m one very, very, very lucky woman.   Seven years later the affair is in the past.  Seriously, it’s part of our past.

So go ahead and judge me.  I don’t really care because if you think I’m the most horrible person in the world because I made an incredible stupid decision seven years ago, paid dearly for that poor decision and have a spouse who is incredibly forgiving. Have a great time on your moral soap box.  The only person’s opinion that I care about is Dude’s.  

I know how lucky I am that I have a husband who today understands depression, who forgave me for what I did and loves me for who I am. 

Can you really judge a situation if you aren’t in some else’s shoes?  I mean, really.  Do you now think less of me because I had an affair seven years ago?  Am I a sinner?  Am I going to hell? 

Oh, and before you tell me I need to find God because I stated I’m not a Christian let me clarify that I’m not a Christian in the sense that I practice an organized religion.  I have not read the entire Bible…just tiny bits and pieces because I grew up in a predominantly dysfunctional Jewish household, well sorta.  That’s just a post for another time.

Forget it if you think my problem is that I need God in my life.  I have a relationship with God that works just fine, thanksomuch.

Could we just stop all this moral judging and let the people who need to heal, heal?

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Unemployment is like a headache or a high temperature - unpleasant and exhausting but not carrying in itself any explanation of its cause. ~William Henry Beveridge

A few weeks ago I was laid off from my job as an administrative assistant. It was a banner day because it was the same day I found out I have a rare form of stomach cancer. I felt like throwing myself a fucking party but instead I called the temp agency that placed me at the job and asked what other positions they had available. The person I was working with told me she had no administrative assistant positions but she noticed I had “customer service” experience.

STOP RIGHT THERE…

That’s exactly what I told her. I told her that I didn’t spend $90,000 on a college education so that I could go back to a customer service position and that was PAST experience. I explained that my degree was in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources and that I am also a graduate student studying for my M.B.A. I’ve done time chained to a phone like a prison monkey, which is exactly why I went to college to get my degree.

Her response to my mini-tirade was that there were no administrative assistant positions available but that I should call back the following week…the week after my last day of work. Which I did. I called the Monday after I was laid off.

At that time my recruiter, Ann, told me that she had an administrative assistant position she thought would be a good fit for me. GREAT! or so I thought. I was HONEST and told her that I have cancer. I explained that my now former assignment was cool with the fact that I was going to need a day off here and there for chemotherapy. I also explained that I WANTED to work but I would need every THIRD Thursday off for chemotherapy. IT IS NOT NEGOTIABLE.

Ann asked me if my doctor said it was O.K. for me to work. Well, he never said I couldn’t work and I would like to work as long as I am physically able. AT NO TIME did I ever say that I REFUSE TO WORK. The only thing I did say was that I was UNAVAILABLE for interviews the day I had to go for chemotherapy. It’s kind of hard to go to an interview when you are hooked up to an I.V. for SIX FUCKING HOURS!

So, Ann asked me to send my resume to her but to send it to the general email address at the temp agency because she was leaving for maternity leave any second. She told me Heidi would be working with me going forward. I have the distinct feeling that Heidi is either overloaded or a complete deadbeat because my phone hasn’t rang. Either that or my resume got lost in limbo because no one ever called me back about the job.

OR Ann heard “cancer” and stashed my file way in the back of the drawer.

In the meantime I filed for unemployment because I lost my job due to no fault of my own. In fact I left the assignment with a letter of RECOMMENDATION. That tells me I did a half decent job. Better yet…I emailed a copy of that letter to the temp agency!!!

So…WTF???

On Saturday I received a letter from Unemployment office stating the amount of money I would receive on a weekly basis and felt some relief. The relief was SHORT LIVED! There was another letter stating that the unemployment had been contested by the temp agency for REFUSAL TO WORK!!!!!

REFUSAL TO FUCKING WORK???

ARE THEY KIDDING ME???

Well Ann has gone on maternity leave but I hope she is ready to find a babysitter for her newborn baby because she is going to have to make an appearance in court to recount our conversation because I am contesting the living HELL out of this.

I WAS LET GO FROM A JOB DUE TO NO FAULT OF MY OWN.

I CALLED THE TEMP AGENCY SEVERAL TIMES TO GET ANOTHER ASSIGNMENT.

THEY DID NOT PROVIDE ME WITH AN ASSIGNMENT.

WHERE IS THE “REFUSAL”?

You CANNOT imagine how pissed off I am. Poor Dude has had to listen to it all weekend because I am furious. Livid. Extremely and explosively angry.

I CANNOT wait to call Heidi at the temp agency Monday morning. God hath no fury than an angry, unemployed woman with cancer…this angry, unemployed woman with cancer. And before I make that call to Heidi you better believe your sweet ass I’m calling my attorney.

The $90,000 degree is finally going to pay off…thank you God…because I’m finally going to use it to my OWN ADVANTAGE. I’ve absolutely had it with this kind of crap.

Good Morning Heidi…hope you had a FABULOUS WEEKEND because I’m about to blow the lid off of your Monday! Coffee and donuts anyone?

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