Friday, March 15, 2013


my body's reaction to being poisoned is to wait a week, then start a couple of rounds of fever, chills and shakes!

There was a bit of them on Wednesday night, but I just figured it was "night sweats" which have come and gone through the past year or so. But last night at bedtime the fever started climbing, I started rotating aspirin, tylenol and ibuprofen every two hours and went through about 10 hours of up and down, sweat and chill. Finally getting up at noon today, they seem to have back off a bit. The same thing happened exactly a week after my first round (the day of the snowstorm) so instead of it just being a bug, I guess it's my reaction to chemo.

I got the statement for my first round of chemo the other day. I could buy a very nice car for $27,000! I'm lucky this time as my insurance paid all but $65 of it. I went and met the Benefits Rep from GM the other day at the Union Hall (because security will not let me into the plant with an oxygen bottle). She's someone I've known ever since she hired in working in the area below mine in the "old plant" in 1980.

She said she would get the rest of the things Blue Cross hadn't picked up paid, except for my office visits and "facility fees" which aren't covered under "Traditional" Blue Cross. She also said they were finally offering a "Blue Care" option again that works like the old "Preferred Care" I had years ago, and that if all of my doctors are listed under it then my primary care doctor would only be $25 a visit and specialists would only be $50.

We gave her photocopies of all the statements and bills and I signed a release for her to be able to deal with them, then she told me that even though she has 33 years she's being laid off for 3 weeks starting Monday, but if I didn't mind, she was going to take them home with her and work through them and the phone calls while she's laid off.

Then she shook Dottie's hand and hugged me and with her eyes misting said she was very sorry for what's going on with me. I told her it was OK, that I'm glad it's me instead of someone else I care about!

She also put my in touch with UAW legal (I thought they'd taken that away already, but not until next year) to get my will re-written and up to date.

The other news she gave me was that since I've been getting a supplemental retirement that was supposed to go until I was 62, then be cut back when I became eligible for Social Security (whether I took it or not) now that I've been granted Social Security Disability, GM will take that money back now, so when I get my first check in July don't spend it! So instead of making up what I've lost by not being able to work at Cabela's anymore (about $1200/month) GM is getting a raise and I'm going to be within $100 of where I am now, lol.

But the disability makes me eligible for Medicare in two years, so at least there will be some help from that front when the time comes. SSDI also said they set my review for 5-7 years because they don't expect me to be around for it. In print!

I'd like to prove them wrong...we'll see!

I did manage to slip out the other evening after all of that and try to photograph the Pan Starrs Comet-the photo isn't great, but at least I got to see it. There is another next month, and a 3rd coming later in the year, so maybe I'll get enough practice to get a better one later!

(click to enlarge)

Not nearly the quality of Robin's work, which I had seen, but I didn't comment because I didn't want to ruin anyone's day by making them think of me.

And I did remember the images from the "Normandy Then and Now" slideshows I'd shared with Anji, but think I was having guilty feelings about not ever getting around to visiting the American cemetery above Omaha Beach to visit my grandmother's brother. A 2nd cousin finally made it there a few years ago and perhaps I shouldn't feel guilty, but I'm the one who has had the gold framed portrait of him that belonged to his Mom all these years.

May the week be kind to each of you!



Anji said...

Sounds like Doctor and specialist visits cost the same as here.

I hope the paper work gets sorted out to your benefit in the end. The French system seems to be very similar and they do snatch money back more efficiently than they give it out.

I love the colour of your sky, it must have been a beautiful evening.

You can visit the American Cemetery using Google earth, but they haven't got ground level shots.

Cimetiere Americain
14710 Colleville-sur-Mer

Thank you for continuing to let us know how you are.


Angeline Larimer said...


Doris said...

How exciting you saw the comet and managed to get a photo of it.

Cool :-)


Lucy said...

Just been catching up, sending my love x

robin andrea said...

I'm sure you've researched all the possible side effects of the chemo you're taking. Are fever and chills listed? Just wondering. Roger did pretty well on the chemo, some side effects, but mostly manageable. The hardest part was the "chemo brain"-- such a fog. We were really glad when that passed.

The benefits rep sounds like a remarkably kind and good person. I'm glad she is there. You really have someone on your side, and that's important.

YOUR COMET PIC IS FANTASTIC!! We went out one night to see if we could catch even a glimpse of it, and didn't even see it Too many clouds.

Take care, and thank you for keeping us updated.

Calamity Jen said...

I'm cheering you on as you work to prove SSDI wrong!

You've made a lot of friends here in the blogosphere, and I know I'm not the only one rooting for you.