I am not a Pollyanna, damnit!!!

I’m having a tough time trying to figure out how to start this… starting at the beginning is usually the best option, but I’m not sure that I know where the beginning is here. So, I’m just going to let myself ramble on for a little bit til I find my voice… bear with me…

Okay, I think that what I’m trying to offer up tonight is pretty much an apology of sorts. Or maybe an explanation? I’m not entirely sure where I’m going here….

I want you to actually understand what I mean when I say, “We were blessed”. I want you know that I am not trying to make anyone feel better about his death, least of all myself (I already feel fine-ish, thanks). I’m not trying to fluff off your sympathy. I know that it’s hard to know what to say sometimes. I also know that, “I’m so sorry for your loss” really means, “Wow, that sucks. I can’t imagine what that feels like and I’m glad I don’t have to.” And, I’m good with that.

I am.

Hmmm, maybe this does have to do with making other folk feel better – but deep down I think it might be even more about making me feel better. I’m really contradicting myself tonight, huh? I’ll try to monitor that going forward…

Anyway, about being blessed…

For this to work, you have to accept as a given that Honey and I started this journey with brain cancer. It won’t work if you try to run the story any other way. I might never had even met Honey if it weren’t for the cancer. Or not, but begin with Blob being an inevitability if you would…

Being blessed…

We (all of us who knew him and some who didn’t) were touched by the lessons Honey taught, his seemingly effortless patience with and acceptance of Life. Not just HIS life, but Life.

He was pretty awesome that way.

He put on a really good show. Fooled me too, more times than you’d think. I still sometimes feel like a bad caregiver for all the times he tricked me into thinking he was doing significantly better than he actually was. I hate that he did that, and I love him all the more for having done it. *Nod thoughtfully if you know what I mean.

He is easily the most spiritually evolved person I have ever met. I’d be willing to bet that he’s probably the most truly Christian person most of us have ever come into contact with. Isn’t that crazy? He didn’t follow any particular dogma. He referred to himself as a progressive Christian with Buddhist leanings and I guess that’s a good enough way to describe where he was coming from. He actually walked the walk significantly more than he talked the talk. Wasn’t that what Jesus taught? Didn’t he specifically tell his students not to go out and beat people up with his message? I’m pretty sure he did. I think he threw out a little bit of lead-by-exampleness at that same time. Honey took that lesson to heart.

I laughed every day we were together. EVERY day.

He actually did dance like nobody was watching (All. The. Time. Thank you very much), love like his heart had never been broken and live like there was no tomorrow. Right up until there really was no tomorrow.

I got to have more time with Honey in the four years I had him than I did with The Boy’s dad in the 15 years I was with him….

I was loved like every person deserves to be loved. I was loved for my truest self – not the self that I put out for public consumption but the self that I often hide even from myself. And ya know what? He didn’t have to love me, but he chose to anyway. He set me up to be able to love again knowing that no two loves are ever the same – nor should they be. That’s pretty awesome,too.

All that being said, I want to be sure that you also know that being his widow sucks ass in a really huge way. Like, a really, really huge way.

I didn’t function for the first month he was gone and then I barely functioned for the next few after that.

I still have a hard time going to bed. I go to sleep just fine, (where-ever I happen to be sitting or standing when the need hits) I just struggle with going to actual bed. I’m almost positive that this is related to the fact that Honey waited until I had fallen asleep to die. I know this was his final act of charitable love, that he wanted to protect me right up until the end, but it didn’t work out that way for me. Rather I felt like I was going to lose everything I hold dear just by going to bed. Maybe (I rationalized) if I never went to bed, nothing bad would happen again…. And thus we enter into (and stagnate in) the bartering stage of grief.

So, yeah. I am sorry for my loss, too. But I was so very blessed to have had him.

AND…. I know it.

Love you

and rodeos (but that’s a story for a different day…)

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A Widow For A Year (+)

Dear, My Loves,

I am back. It was a long, difficult detour, but I AM back and I have some pretty cool stories to share.

I want to tell you about being a young widow – as it has been for me anyway. I want to talk lonely, bitter, pissy, and about standing directly in the shadow of Grace (the ethereal Grace, not your girlfriend down the street).

I want to tell you about “The Hospice Experience” but that will likely pop up here and again as things remind me. So much, really, is faded or filed away for safety purposes. As it is time, I will dig’em up and tear’em up with you.

So, you knew I couldn’t stay away? Forgot to remove me from your “blogs I follow” list? Stumble by my place while looking for some serious information about chemobrain? (If yes on that last one, sorry.) Doesn’t matter all that much to me why you choose to listen/read, but telling stories is in my nature…. I’m glad there are folk who want or need to hear them.

I want to wonder….
And that’s kinda cool too.
It’s even more cool that we can wonder together
Sorry… segued way too close to something ethereal for having been gone so long . Eek.
(she shivers slightly and gets on with it)

So, yeah. There are stories to be told; silver linings to be sought; and battles to win yet. Might not always be fun, but it’s usually awfully interesting. (I think so, anyway.)

The name of this new era of writing is going to have to change accordingly. I’ve been trying a couple of titles, but nothing actually unique is jumping out at me. So…. all y’all may never hear (or see) this again, but I could use some help here, I think…. Anyway, I am open to taking suggestions. Lay’em on me.

Love you
thank you for waiting for me

~ Me

What Cancer Made Me Thankful For This Holiday Season (or: Yay for the guest blogger!)

This particular blog posting is from a new friend named Cameron. His wife, Heather, had mesothelioma (to my Northwoods friends, I believe Larry had mesothelioma as well. Hildra?) a very rare cancer that is usually diagnosed when there is very little time left to fight. Like GBM – there are very few folk who have been winning the battle for over 5 years.

Anyway – Cameron contacted me earlier in the week and asked if he could share part of his story with all of us. It is a wonderful and timely story. One I so needed today.

So, read, enjoy, pontificate and then go hug your loved ones.
(expect another one or two blogs to follow fairly quickly behind this one – I have news to share as well.)

And, here is Cameron:

What Cancer Made Me Thankful For This Holiday Season

I’ve always loved the holidays. It’s such as special time of year; a time when I get to focus on family, love, and the wonderful things I have in my life. In 2005, it seemed my wife, Heather and I had even more to celebrate than usual during the holiday season. We had a brand new baby girl, Lily, who was only three and a half months old at Thanksgiving. We were looking forward to our first Christmas with Lily as a family of three. We talked a lot about our family traditions during the holidays and which ones we wanted to add now that we had Lily in our family. It was such a great time.

It was such a great time until three days before Thanksgiving, when Heather’s doctor told us she had a rare and deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma. We went from planning our holiday dinners and shopping trips to fighting cancer in a matter of minutes. I was angry and scared, and it wasn’t possible for me to feel thankful for anything that holiday season. I was so hurt, emotional, scared, and angry. Our first holidays as a family were, needless to say, nothing like what we’d hoped.

Heather’s family flew in to celebrate the holidays with us, and rather than celebrating with our beautiful baby girl and family, I sat around my kitchen table and listened to my wife’s parents talk about our finances, our assets, our money, and our bills. We knew we were headed to Boston to start Heather’s treatment, but we had to have this conversation first. It was uncomfortable and terrible. I didn’t want to have it. It was one of the hardest moments of my life, having this conversation. We discussed our options, what we could sell off, which bills they’d be able to help us with, and how we could get Heather the best care possible. Looking back, I have a completely different outlook on this day, but at the time, I was mortified that I had to lean on our family to get us through this.

We had to keep ourselves afloat, and even though we both worked before Heather was diagnosed, we were quickly running out of money and accruing mass amounts of medical bills. So much for our holidays, is what I thought. It may have taken me years to realize this, but that conversation wasn’t as bad as it seemed at the time. That day wasn’t about making me feel helpless; it was about making me realize how good I had it. We were in a tough place, but we also had a family that would drop everything in a second and offer their time and money to us so we could keep ourselves above water.  They made incredible sacrifices to help us make it through, and I realize now how lucky I am to having such a loving and caring support system.

This year during the holidays, I am focusing on how much I have to be thankful for, such as a beautiful daughter and wife, a loving family, and more time as a family.  This year will be our 7th Christmas with Lily, and we’ve gotten to create some of those holiday traditions we had planned on all those years ago.  Heather has beaten the odds and been cancer free since finishing her mesothelioma treatment over six years ago.  We hope that our story can help others currently fighting cancer find some peace and comfort this holiday season.

Oh, The Stories I Could Tell…

If either of us were currently working outside of the home, Honey’s surgery would have been scheduled for a most convenient time. He got released from the hospital right at the beginning of Thanksgiving break – so theoretically everything should have been pretty easy going.

Theoretically.

I hate theoretically – cuz it is almost never in line with actually.

Let me tell ya about what Thanksgiving vacation looked like in our house this year.

I’m gonna tell you now that I will likely win any and all comical bad vacation stories with this one. (For those of you who have heard them – this even beats the “mooooove”  to TX when I was 22 and The Waffle House story – both!)

So – Friday, November 16th, Honey gets sprung from MDA, the kids get sprung from school – I get sprung from any kind of sanity I have ever held.  This was my schedule of events for the first official day of Thanksgiving break.

  1. awake at 3:30AM when Honey decided he was ready for breakfast
  2. go to cafe 24/7 to find something he can eat in the middle of the damn night
  3. wake again at 6:30 when it was actually time to call for breakfast
  4. eat breakfast (cream of wheat, blueberry greek yogurt, fresh berries and a Dr Pepper)
  5. leave MDA at 7:30am – return to The Woods for a second grade Poetry Feast for The Boy Child
  6. drop dog at groomer so that Honey is not offended by his dog-like stench when he gets home
  7. attend Poetry Feast, dismiss boy child from school early b/c that’s why they have things like Poetry Feasts on the day before vacation; so you can get your kid out of there by lunch time and the teacher can get cut some slack for once
  8. return to MDA to bring Honey home
  9. wait
  10. wait
  11. wait
  12. leave MDA just as evening rush hour is beginning – spend nearly three hours trying to get home
  13. arrive home with just enough time to get back in the car and go to pick up 10 and 6 from their mom’s house (thank you, MY mom for doing that for me – you can’t begin to imagine how much that hour off helped)
  14. realize that I have done all I can — yet rest assured that I have forgotten to do more than I remembered
  15. See – knew I forgot something – pick up all Honey’s new prescriptions and try to deal with pharmacological misfortunes.
  16. Shit – the dog! Forgot the dog. Good thing the groomer likes him (I think she just tolerates me at this point…)
  17. try to sleep, fail, try again, fail, repeat ad infinitum
  18. wake at 3:30AM when Honey decided that he was hungry…..

So really, it wasn’t a BAD day at all – just an extremely long and busy one. Vacay really started getting exciting after that.

Just wait….

Imagine for a moment – a smallish townhome with an open kitchen/dining/living area filled with big man-sized furniture, three children (6,7 and 10), two moms (one just a mom, the other a nana), one rather large man who is learning how to do many of the things that he used to could do with no thought at all (ie: shoe tying, walking, dressing, typing, etc –> all very frustrating tasks), his walker, three cats and a very needy schnauzer.

No, really, imagine this for  a moment or two – then promise yourself you will never try to think of such a thing again.

I really don’t think I can even begin to do this tale the justice it deserves -but I will try. Understand that I have to downplay some of these events because if I emotionally revisit, I may have to take a valium (or seven).

As best I recall, it went something like this:

The first weekend was rather quiet. Honey spent a lot of time sleeping, Nana was there any time I needed to escape run an errand. The kids were playing online games together with the two computers, Kitty brought us a collection of dead moles to show his gratitude for our return home. Really it seemed like we were going to be okay.

By Monday, I started to have my doubts.

All I could see was the wall in front of me that I needed to climb over to even begin to see my first hurdle in moving forward. I knew I needed to make the house handicapped accessible for Honey – I just hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to get started. I knew I had to keep on top of his medicines – but the lists were way overwhelming. I also had to learn how to monitor his glucose levels as he had developed steroid induced diabetes while in the hospital. I had finally almost figured out how to do the brain cancer thing, and now they were throwing diabetes at me. Not okay. So. Not. Okay. At. All.

I also knew that I had to take care of business outside of the home. My letter of insurance coverage had just arrived so I could get myself basic insurance through my work – and then we received a denial of coverage for 6 and 10 through state insurance (CHIPS) because we make too much money. Right – on our mutual disabilities and regular + medical expenses we have too much money for our children to qualify for medicare services.

The only way to rectify this problem that I could see was for me to add Honey’s children to MY insurance. Have I told you how much Honey’s COBRA is costing us? And that I was giving serious consideration to not insuring myself so that we could have an emergency fund if we needed it? Ya, that isn’t going to happen. We are now paying an additional $540/mo to keep insurance on Honey’s kids. That is actually $371 more than it would cost to just insure myself. No stress here. No anxiety, none at all. Hey, did I mention that one of Honey’s required meds costs $299/mo? And that’s just one of them… How cool is that?

Top priority (after insurance) was making the home accessible to Honey and his walker. To that end, we had to get a new front door and have it open from the other direction (left-handed instead of right-handed), build a ramp to the front door and have additional banisters added to the stairs. We had friends offer to help with these things – but that didn’t work out quite the way I had hoped. Our sense of urgency for these items simply was not at the same level as that of folk who don’t have to live with us me. I will admit to a rather slight bit of neurosis in my attention to Honey’s needs – but I am thinking that a ramp could have been built within the first week that he was home…. Really.

So – because I so hate to have conflict with friends – or people I am in relationship with, the housing adaptions were causing me a lot of grief. I needed Honey taken care of and I couldn’t get into a conflict with the friend who wasn’t helping us the way I  felt we needed. It was ugly. It made me cry. It brought my relationship with Prozac to a whole new level.

Understand, I am the administrative assistant in our home. I call the insurance companies, I call the doctors’ offices, I deal with pharmacies and their divas, I am the chauffeur, I am the mom, the wife and the caregiver. I can do all these things with strength and (usually) kind manners. I cannot do the same with people whom I know. This is my great personal failure. I am working to overcome this issue, but I have been less than successful thus far.

In an effort of avoidance, I got in touch with a contractor whom had been highly “recommeneded” by the customer service people at Home Depot. They came by, looked at the house, went to price bannisters and come back with a proposal of $450 for the ramp and stairs and said they could get ‘er done on Thursday. Our 2nd opinion came in with a quote of $465 to build the ramp, put in two bannisters (rather than the just one that I thought we needed) AND removed the carpeting from the stairs so that I can sand and finish them (so they will be less of a slip & fall hazard). AND, AND, AND they could do the work right away. It was more than worth the money to get the job done expediently and without conflict.

In the meantime, we were still adapting to some major changes in our world. The least affected of our (human) boys seemed to be 6. He just rolled with it – as long as he could use the computer or was otherwise entertained, he was cool. In fact, this week just past may have been the best vacation we have ever had with him. He has grown up so much in the last year it is simply amazing.

I think that 7 rolled with things pretty well. This has been his everyday for the past coupla’ years. He is also a really empathetic and just seems to accept the reality of his world without any great stress (so far, I think). The hardest thing for him during the week was adapting to not being the only kid in the house and having to give up his room for Nana. When there is only one child in the house, there tends to be less interpersonal conflict. T(7) needs to learn how to work out issues with his brothers – more to the point, he has to learn how to be a brother. Not easy. The hardest thing for him was when he asked his dad if he could spend the night Thanksgiving Thursday since he would be weekending with him anyway – his dad said no ‘cuz his girlfriend was in town. Seriously? What kind of a dad does that?

10, on the other hand, was having some significant problems dealing with the day to day. He is the closest to his dad. He and Honey have always had an extremely deep bond and they are both so introverted that they are unable to express their feelings verbally (or in any way that I understand and am able to help foster). The acting out of emotions that were apparent to me included such behaviors as lying, whining, ignoring directives, demonstrating lots of exasperation and acting out physically with the youngers. These were the minor problems that I had rather expected from all of the children. No big deal, I am a behavior specialist after all. This is what I do.

The more significant problems seemed to revolve around the bathroom. At one point both of the littlers (6 & 7) came downstairs saying they could not use the upstairs restroom because it was too disgusting. Now, I tend to try to avoid that bathroom b/c I think boy bathrooms are nasty to begin with – but this required at least a look-see in case I actually had to tend to anything (flooded commode, maybe?).  That would have been easy. Grab a plunger, go to work on the potty, flush and be done. No, this was not as simple or pleasant as a blocked toilet –> this was shit wiped on the shower curtain right next to the toilet at just about the height that a 10 yr old hand would be were the child sitting down.

Mind you, this discovery was made right in the middle of dinner. I toughed it out, took down the curtain and put it into the wash. Done but for the residual ick and ruined appetite. No accusations were made – all of the family (Nana included) were informed of proper toileting behaviors and it was let go. Until the next time something shitty happened. The next afternoon, 10 ran into the downstairs bath to do whatever it was he had to do. He got sent back to wash his hands and that was that (I thought). The next lucky person to go to that room was me. Probably a good thing. There was poop on the toilet seat, 10 was called back in and shown how to clean up such an unfortunate incident himself rather than leaving it as a gift for someone else. We got out the bleach-water (I know this is environmentally incorrect, but this was shit on the place where I was gonna put MY bum), a rag and some rubber gloves. (Initially 10 thought it would be acceptable to simply run the bowl brush along the seat – thus smearing it around rather than actually cleaning). Lesson was given, seat was cleaned, rag thrown into clothes washer so nobody else would have to touch it.

Done, right? You would think so, but you would be wrong. When I went back in to do what I had to do, I found soiled toilet paper lying on the floor next to the toilet. How does one miss dropping paper into the bowl by such a vast distance? How does one not notice that they have missed the bowl? What is going through the mind of the person who does such a thing? 10 got called back once again to clean up after himself and was informed in no uncertain terms that if something comes out of his butt, he is responsible for taking care of it immediately.

At this point, I was aware that something was clearly very wrong here. And that I was completely unequiped to deal with something of this magnitude. I called the counselor that the family had been seeing and asked for an emergency visit for Honey and 10 to attend together – without the rest of us. Hopefully, they will be able to communicae with one another and maybe 10 will stop punishing us in such a vile manner.

Oh, he (10) also smooshed silly putty into 7’s flannel bedsheets and blanket. I am never purchasing  silly putty again – there was nothing silly about this at all. And the true coup de gras was when he hurt a 5 year old at Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently, the 5 yr old started it by poking 10 in the stomach. 10 felt that twisting his arm would be the best way to handle such behavior. To be factual, it did stop 5 from bothering him – but it didn’t stop 5 from coming and telling me that my big boy hurt him. Nice.

One top of all this, Honey is still trying to learn how to compensate for the consequences of his surgery. He did a very good job of keeping his temper about him all week – thank goodness – or I might really have lost it.

So, THAT was our Thanksgiving break. Bet yours seems much better in comparison.

Don’t get me wrong – I am extremely thankful – I am also extremely tired and nearing the knot at the end of my rope.

There are more stories. They will come in time. I still have “the parking lot confrontation” and the “key incident” to tell you about.

Love you (and the day school vacations end)

1st post surgery update (sorry for the delay)

This will be the third time I have started this particular blog entry.

Somehow I have lost the first 2 attempts. Which is not at all that surprising all things considered. I will get to this later – right now, let me tell you how Honey’s surgery went.

It went so much better than we expected it would.

They removed a 5cm x 7cm recurrence of the original cancer from his right parietal area of the brain (that is pretty big, by the way). They got awfully close to the motor cortex (or the tumor got awfully close to the motor cortex) so there is some left side paralysis. Honey has all of his strength – he just has no feeling as to where his limbs are in space. (think when your leg is asleep BEFORE pins and needles set in).

Honey will be staying here at MD Anderson Houston (main bldg – rm P803 – phone # 713-834-8711) for at least another week for inpatient physical and occupational therapy.

He is learning how to use a walker now and he is doing a really good job. He orally reminds his limbs what they should be doing and where they should be doing it. I think this might help him to reroute the neural connections that make such tasks as walking, picking things up, wiping your butt and scratching automatic.

His scar looks so wicked cool! DrL did some reconstructive/cosmetic work on Honey’s old scar when he was in there. For any who remember, he used to have a rectangular cut with very thin skin covering over the plate. The dr filled in his divets and did a super nice job on his stitching. And, ya’know that chicks dig scars,so Honey is a pretty lucky guy in so many ways.

He’s also in a really good mood. (I blame the steroids) We have been having a great time with the nursing staff here. They may need to stop being so nice to him. I think he is beginning to realize how much better he has it here than at home…. ‘Course, these people are being paid to treat him well…

For the past couple of days, I have been running around and around and around. I went home for about 5 hours yesterday and all I got done was to put like,maybe 5 bowls and some silverware in the dishwasher and set that to clean. I made sure the animals were fed and took a shower and shaved. It was the most I have accomplished in I don’t know how long. The rest of the time I was home, I spent walking around the living room and kitchen looking for stuff that I had just had in my hand. Apparently, I would put things down and they would get sucked into the invisible black hole vortex that exists somewhere between the dining area table and the sofa in our downstairs. Four hours of looking for stuff I had just put down and half the time I couldn’t even remember what I was supposed to be looking for – and no, I never found any of my lost trinkets.

I did get around to checking the mail – finally my letter of confirmation of insurance came in. Now I will just need to make an appointment with KISD to switch up my insurance. I think mine is only going to cost about $250/month – so that is awesome. Well, awesomer than Honey’s $485-ish COBRA anyway.

ALSO – I got a wonderful goodie basket from a friend we met over the summer at OCF. She sent teabags, candles and See’s chocolates. I love her. It is always a wonderful surprise to be remembered by someone and an even greater treat when that remembering involves tangible rewards.

My brain is a little tired. I want to get up to church today, but will definitely need a short nap prior to getting on the road- so I am signing out now – there is so much more to tell – will shoot for getting back to you this afternoon.

Love you (and See’s chocolates)

 

Fun With Hospital Forms

Well, we are back at MDA for the day.

Waited about an hour for his first appointment where they stuck peach colored foam things on his head that look like bunion pads. I will attach a photo later (if I can figure that out – it’s been a rough week thinking-wise).

Then came on over to the Mays Clinic (took the golf cart) so that Honey can get his last MRI prior to tomorrow’s surgery.

Upon arriving at the MRI Imaging center – we were given the customary forms  to fill out. I’ve done them so many times, I don’t really even need to read the questions anymore. I know where the yesses and noes go and can pretty much whip right through them. Today, I think I am a bit on the punchy side – when we got down to the questions regarding his level of comfort in the MRI machine. Their questions and my responses are as follows:

  1. Q: Can you lie flat and remain still? A: Yes, but only if you duct-tape him to the table
  2. Q: Does being in an enclosed space make you nervous or fearful? A: No, unless my wife is in there with me.
  3. Q: How can we make this experience more comfortable for you? A: Play Barry Manilow.

Wondering if they actually read the forms….

Today is Honey’s 42nd MRI. Wednesday will be his 43rd.

I am thinking of throwing him a surprise party for his 50th. What’d’ya think about that?

Will check in later today/tonight after we finish running the gamut here.

Love you (and the arcane)

H’okay. We have (most of) our ducks in a row, here

Today is the 22nd of October. Surgery is scheduled for the 30th of October. That is eight days away. During this upcoming eight days, we will have a weekend so those two days don’t really count, cuz nothing much can get done on a weekend. Honey will have to be at MDA super-early on the 30th, so that really takes away another of the eight days we are starting with. So, I have essentially five days to get the rest of my ducks in my row.

On Friday (at about 4:00pm) I received a phone call from MDA saying that since Honey STILL had not been approved through AETNA’s COBRA plan, there was nothing to be done for scheduling presurgery appointments. As I had already paid up front his most recent MRI ($7000, btw) I asked if we couldn’t get on a payment plan just so that we could proceed…. I’d be willing to guess that you already know her answer was, “no.” We can however prepay for surgery – which will only be $100,000 before we include the anesthesiologist and any other incidentals.

Awesome, huh?

So there I am in tears/actively sobbing – asking the lady at MDA what I can possibly do to make things different. I have been on the phone every day – multiple times. The people at Direct Connect COBRA now recognize my voice when I call in. We chit-chat. What else can I do??? Really, tell me. I’ll do it. Really.

So, there I am, at 4:30 on Friday afternoon, wondering why it always comes down to 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, feeling totally defeated and helpless.

I think I yelled at the guy at COBRA that my husband needed this surgery and they either needed to get on their shit or deal with the fact that I would hold directly responsible for his death if he couldn’t get surgery due to their lack of timeliness. I believe I may even have dropped a few “f-bombs” in there as well. (Which, in case you were not aware is not nearly as satisfying as you would think.) I really did not think I had any anger left in me at this point. Guess I was wrong. I am a wellspring of unexpected emotional reactions.

So, having gotten no valid help from COBRA, I called AETNA and got one of the Accolade nurses (Jennifer) on the line. Have I ever mentioned how much I love our Accolade nurses? If you are covered by AETNA – get to know your Accolade nurse – they are the ones who get things done. (kinda like school custodians and the front office folk in any corporation).

Jennifer (I use her real name b/c she is my new hero – and since I don’t know her last name I figured she’d be safe from any stalkers coming off this particular blog entry) stayed on the phone with me for well over a half an hour (much of the time spent on hold) until she could actually get through to someone who could contact someone who knew someone who would still be at AETNA and could/would push Honey’s paperwork through then.

SO, since 5:15PM on Friday the 19th of October, Honey has COBRA coverage. Woot. I had an absolute breakdown. I couldn’t stop crying. This had been such an ordeal – that having it off my plate left me rather at a little bit of a loss. So – this would have been one of those good-kinda emotional breakdowns, not the scary, nutters kind of breakdown.

Still waiting for my certificate of insurability so that I can reinstate my healthcare through my school district. Good thing I took care of all my doctor appointments in September. I should be good until the end of October anyway – I might even last through mid-November barring anything unexpected (ha).

Apparently, BigCorp has not yet informed Prudential that Honey has been terminated. His life insurance still indicates that he is on long-term disability. This only caused me minor panic. I worry – especially now – about his having life insurance. Mostly b/c we’re fucked if it lapses. I don’t want to be one of those women standing at the freeway off-ramp with a sign saying, “Husband just died, can’t afford funeral. Please help.” And, yes, we do see that here – only it is usually mom who just died.

So, things are better here (stop it with that face, it’s all relative).

Oh, and speaking of relatives… Honey’s sister will be arriving from GB on Monday at 4:00 and his mom and step-dad are driving down from North Carolina within the next couple of days.

I don’t expect I am going to have much time to focus on worrying with all that will be going on. (I Hope.)

Will let everybody know anything new as it presents itself.

fingers crossed, oracle readings, prayers, good thoughts, healing light, we are taking it all.

Remember, please, in my father’s house there are many rooms. Let’s try to make sure Honey’s name is being spoken in all of them.

Love you (like you can’t begin to know)