Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cancerversary Number Two

It's the first week of school. Butter and iMac seem energized by the school experience so far, fingers crossed. Tomorrow is MM's two year Cancerversary. I haven't mentioned it to Melanoma Man, nor he to me. He is en route to Tampa for early morning labs and office visit with The Weber. This morning he saw his pulmonologist for his semi-annual follow up. Thursday he will have a wide local excision of his tenth primary melanoma.

Two years ago tomorrow-I was at work in clinic, three o'clock when Melanoma Man called or texted to ask me to call him from my desk when I had some down time. I remember telling Ann almost immediately. Ten minutes later I received a call from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa to set up MM's first appointment. I gave them his number instead. Sometimes I remember to let him do his own thing instead of trying to run all the medical affairs of the family, but it is still hard. Ann asked if I might like to speak with her Ex, a pediatric oncologist, just to get my head on straight and get a game plan. Her Ex confirmed Moffitt would be the best place for MM, recommended that we could get a lot of diagnostic testing done locally first. We made some attempts to do so, but the hassle and red tape of doing the imaging locally and the doctoring four hours away was a headache. It would have saved us thousands of dollars, but we would have ended up in a heap in the middle of some medical center hallway weeping. The thousands saved, not because Moffitt is so much more expensive, but because it was out of plan. Since there were exactly Zero physicians in plan that had an expertise in Metastatic Melanoma, we ruled out the "in plan" option.  I began to seriously think about getting a new job, a job with health insurance that would cover MM's care. Really I was too boggled to even look for work at the time, but found my way to the new job eventually with the help of Vicki and Ann and lots of encouragement from Nancie and Cici.

Tonight in the kitchen we are checking supply lists, signing permission slips and agreements to abide by the rules of the various middle and high school teachers,  packing back packs. Butter and iMac want to know the story of how MM and I met and how we ended up getting married. They report that "Dad left out a lot of parts of the story."

"No he was just telling his part of the story, which is quite a different one from mine," I say.

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