What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).

So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.

I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Insurance Approves Defibrillator Vest!!! And More Good News

Today I got great news. But let me first back up a little.

You may recall that last Friday a letter arrived from Anthem Blue Cross explaining that the defibrillator vest would not be approved by insurance. So I immediately called Zoll, the vest manufacturer, to inquire. And then I followed up again on Monday. Zoll had already been in touch with Anthem a couple of times and said it was under review so I should give it a few more days. They explained that Anthem was requesting a peer to peer consult between my cardiologist and a doctor from Anthem to discuss the matter. I called my cardiologist to inform them of this and encourage him to contact Anthem to expedite the process.

Yesterday, an email arrived from my cardiologist to explain that he had this peer to peer with Anthem and the vest was not approved. He was pretty frustrated with the insurance company. But he has already started the appeal process, thank goodness.

Then today, to my surprise, Anthem Blue Cross called to say that the vest is now approved.

Thank goodness! Because with all that I put out each month for my premium alone (nearly $1,000/month), and not to mention my annual deductible, the $3,000/month rental of this vest was not something we could afford. But then how do you go without once you've been told you need it during the time when the medications are being adjusted continually to see how I tolerate them and how my heart responds.

What a huge relief!

More news for this week is that I was able to get my appointment with the genetic counselor moved up by two months due to a cancellation.  So I will see Dr. Koff in early September. That is so wonderful, especially since the genetic testing apparently takes 4-6 months to complete and get results back.

So all this, coupled with me feeling a bit better, as long as I don't overdue, puts a smile on my face.

Oh, and did I mention my sister and her daughter, Donna and Jonnie, will arrive tomorrow from Montana to visit and help me out around the farm. I can't wait to see them and spend time with them.

Thanks to everyone for all the love and support. Mark and I are most appreciative. You really do make a difference!

Debbie... aka the cancer warrior, SURVIVOR, AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!



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