Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4

You know that mantra I've been chanting for, oh... months now? It seems to have paid off. At least a little bit.

So, far it's just one little bit of my life that's worked out. But hey, I'll take whatever I can get (even if it is only one little bit).

I had a call from the nice lady at the insurance company this morning that did not have an auspicious beginning. ... The first thing she told me that my request for Transition of Care had been denied. (Enter my heart beating rapidly. This was worst case scenario. Read: everything was not turning out okay.) As I'm not currently in a treatment cycle, it's automatic denial. (Fantastic.) I explained that I have a rare cancer and that I need to stay with Dr. H, as he's the only doctor I've ever had who'd seen a liposarcoma in his real life. I listed everything I could about my cancer and everything I know about Dr. H and why he simply must be my doctor. (I stopped short of telling her that I have designs on marrying the man. That seemed excessive. And probably not something that an insurance company would see as a medicinal reason to keep him as my provider.) She explained that the protocol at this point called for the insurance company doing a search in a 20 mile radius of me, to see if they could find a doctor who is contracted that would meet my needs. ... Again, I explained that I have a need for a specialized oncologist. She politely listened, then came back with a hard-line that she has to follow protocol.

Now, I understand the need for protocol. I really do. ... I have to follow it in my job, and I really do believe that most rules were written for a reason and we need to follow them. But ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME with how badly this call was going?!

A few deep breaths later, I was able to regroup and I had a thought. A totally wild, out-of-the-blue and seemingly random thought. (Thank you, Heavenly Father, for that moment of mental clarity. I love you!) I asked if she could do me one small favor before she initiated the search for another doctor. ... I asked if she could check their system to see if Dr. H was listed internally. She didn't understand what I meant, so I went on to explain that I couldn't find him online in the public list of providers, but that maybe (just maybe) he actually WAS a contracted provider, but was only showing on their internal system. She agreed to look, but told me that it was unlikely that she'd find him. I thanked her.

Drum roll please...

He was in their internal system, showing as a contracted provider as of January 2012. She was shocked. I was thrilled. (And humbled. And grateful.)

Dr. H can still be my doctor. Halle-freakin-lujah!

My shrink, on the other hand, not so much. (I had them look for her, too, on the off chance that she'd be in the same situation. No dice.) But I'm okay with that. As much as I'd like to keep all my medical care under the MD Anderson roof, I can't help who's contracted with my new insurance and who isn't. And of all the doctors that the insurance will or won't cover, the two doctors that I cannot lose (the surgeon and the oncologist) are covered.

I. Am. Thrilled.

I'm not quite to the "everything" part of "everything will be okay" chapter of my life, but I'm a whole heck of a lot closer than I've been in ... well, a month. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.