Cancer Journal (more or less) 17 and Other Stuff

The bright sun and cerulean sky belie the frigid temperature this morning. According to my computer’s weather app, it’s 25 degrees outside. Last night’s weather forecast called for clear skies this morning but carried a warning: Though it might appear clear and sunny, watch for water on the road if you must drive in the morning; that won’t be water, it will be black ice.

I’ve had experience with black ice. It’s dangerous stuff, whether in a car or on foot. No matter a person’s driving experience, one has absolutely no control of their wheels or their feet over black ice. I avoid the stuff when I can. I hope the roads are clear and dry by the time I have to leave for my radiation treatment, but I suspect there will be places along my route that will remain dicey. The heavy rains night before last left several spots where water ran over the roadway and filled deep indentations in the pavement. Those spots might remain frozen and dangerous. I’ll just have to take longer to get to my appointment. Of course, as is usually the case, I’ll leave early and arrive VERY early. Better that than not arrive at all.

After my radiation treatment, I’ll go in for a blood draw. And then, depending on what time it is, I may go to Best Buy to buy a Roku Premiere. I’m investigating options for television reception. I’ve begun to look into SlingTV with Cloud DVR. The basic price for the two is $30 per month, but that doesn’t get the full range of channels. And there’s a long list of channels for an upcharge that does not permit recording, as I understand it. We’ll see. I could easily live without cable or, or that matter, any other service. I would like to keep Netflix or some service like it. But my wife has an affinity for a number of programs that require access to some form of  “TV” service. Again, we’ll see.

I have to be home before 2:00 p.m., when a “Nurse Navigator” from  my oncology provider’s corporate offices is to call me. The company apparently has developed a new program that assigns this person (or his/her colleagues) to be available 24/7 by phone. And they really insist that patients “accept” this service. Their insistence is such that, if the patient doesn’t, the patient must look for another provider. And it’s all at “no charge to you.” But Medicare is paying for it. Which, I suspect, is the reason it is mandatory. Though the services might be valuable, I’m annoyed at having them forced upon me so my oncologist’s corporate masters can make a buck (or ten thousand) off of my Medicare. I can already imagine how my 2:00 p.m. call is going to go; I don’t blame Phil (he’s the one to call me), but I’m not happy with his corporate overlords’ conspicuous greed and I’d like to let someone know. Of course, I may be making a lot of erroneous assumptions about this program. I’ll acknowledge that. But I suspect my fundamental assumption, that it’s designed to make money for the corporate master, is correct. As with everything we’ve not seen but someday will, we’ll see.

Yesterday’s radiation therapy was uneventful, the way I like it. I hope today’s, along with the blood draw, is the same.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Cancer Journal (more or less) 17 and Other Stuff

  1. I will give the Nurse Navigator a chance to exceed my expectations. I wish I had always known only universal health care. You’re fortunate to be Canadian. I’ve often wished I were. Especially lately. By the way, 100 miles round trip is one hell of a journey!

  2. Hopester says:

    I am a chicken shit winter driver despite many years of commuting 100 miles round trip a day for work. I hope the black ice is melted by the time you are on the road.

    The nurse navigator I had during my cancer journey was a great resource and she became my advocate when I wanted a second opinion on treatment options, relieving me of the discomfort of having that conversation with my oncologist. Your health system remains a mystery to me as all I have ever known is universal health care.

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