The first signs

I don’t know how it goes for others when they first find out they have a monster in them, but I had a feeling something was wrong because of my body telling me. I would get a little pressure in my chest and then also in my back behind my shoulder blade. I thought I just pulled a muscle so I went to the urgent care and saw the doctor. Everything looked like I strained a muscle so I got some pills went home and layed on the couch for a day. My pain was gone the next day. about 3 days later it was back again, and I noticed I couldn’t take deep breaths with out it hurting in my chest and back again. I made an appointment to go see a family doctor and he had me do a battery of test. Mammogram, chest x-ray, and blood test.

His office called me on a Friday, lol yep a Friday and said the x-rays showed an abnormal mass in my left lung and he wanted me to get a ct scan right away. They would call me back when they new if my insurance would cover it. I told the lady that called me to please don’t call people on Fridays to tell people this kind of information. I told her she was lucky it was me and I take things with out panicking. This kind of news to someone that can’t do anything but worry till Monday now has their whole weekend to stress and think about the worst, and how this could have a whole family loose a weekend together having fun because now they have to wonder.

It gave me the weekend to look up abnormal mass on the computer and I got the idea pretty quick. I started looking up the best cancer treatment centers and reading all I could on it. Well, they called me Monday and I got into get the ct scan done. Then my doctor called me into the office and said I need to see a pulmonary doctor, and they got me in fast to see him. Next thing is that I need to do a biopsy and they got me into that really fast. They did it yesterday, and then my pulmonary doctors office called me today and said that he wants to see me Wednesday as  soon as he gets back into town. I found out that my insurance will only pay for one surgery a year, and then it is only up to 4 thousand. They won’t pay for any treatment if I need radiation or kemo. So now my stomach just got really tight and I started to think I don’t have a chance to beat this.

Then I remembered…….Miracles happen all the time here at HEART, and where there is a will there is a way. The horses have taught me that you never give up, and people have taught me that prayer is one powerful thing. I have never thought for one moment why me? I have thought however why not me? I am strong, and I have a lot of faith in the power of healing, and love. I also think that maybe I can help someone else that might be going through this like me and they are scared, and don’t know what is in the future. I want to let everyone know exactly what I go through so they can know what to expect if god forbid they ever go through something like this.

The biopsy:  Becky drove me into TMC Pulmonary where they told me that my insurance wouldn’t pay for the test. I had to pay cash but they would give me a discount and it would only be 1,500 hundred dollars. Then I was told that my insurance would pay up to 2,000 of an out patient surgery once a year. I thought whew, then it was followed by so you will only have to pay 1,500 for the other costs. And how much can I pay today, and that they usually require half up front before they can do the procedure. At this point I stood up and said I don’t have that kind of money and so I can’t do this biopsy. Becky told the receptionist that she had a hundred dollars would they take that and bill me for the rest. They said yes and proceeded to send me to the other office so that they could start.  They had to numb my throat and nose so they had me gargle lidocaine. OMG that is some nasty nasty tasting stuff. Then they put it up my nose so that they could numb where the scope was going to go. Yep up my nose and down my throat and into my lung. Thank god I got drugged for that one. I woke up, Erica drove me home and I slept for the rest of the day. While I was there at the office I invited all the staff to HEART of Tucson so that they could see what we do, lol.

I felt pretty good today so I spent the day down with the horses getting their feet done with our farrier. Gabe ran all over the place like a little kid that didn’t want to get a bath. Gabe finally gave in and let Sophie catch him and bring him over for his trim. I spent time with Gifted scratching his neck, and playing ball with Geevers. We did turn outs for the horses and laughed a lot watching them be silly.

Our local news team for Channel 9 came out to talk to me and I think it is a good idea that they can air this. It might just be the chance that I need to get help so that I can be around for a long time for HEART, and if it works out that I can’t at least people will have the chance to help keep HEART alive and healthy for all the horses and the people that need to come here to get that feel good feeling and make a difference for the horses.   Night all, see you tomorrow.

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17 Responses to The first signs

  1. Janine says:

    I’m saying a prayer for you every day. Your photo is going under my baby crucifix where a photo of Gifted has been placed since last November (and look how well he’s doing!). I’m not surprised about the insurance because I have very good insurance and am still responsible for many things (it’s almost useless). I know you’ll get through this…plus you have ALL of us out here in the world. Ask for something and we’re there for you!
    Prayers for you. You’ll get through this…I know it.

    • Judy says:

      Thank you Janine.

      • Janine says:

        And further, you never know where “mass” can go. My sister had a “mass” in her lower female area. My sister was scared to out of her pants! After a couple of minor procedures and a change of diet – that “mass” went away.

        Hope hope hope. So many of us are praying for you!

  2. The ‘Babes are thinking about you. God speed.

  3. Sandy O'Brien says:

    Judy,
    You are in my prayers. I understand what you are going through. I was diagnosed with lung cancer in June. I have had the surgery to remove the lower lobe of my left lung. If you need any recommendation of doctors, I had wonderful ones. You are right, the power of prayer is amazing and we all will be praying for you. If you need anything, let me know.
    Sandy O’Brien
    (Daniel’s mom)
    829-8018

  4. Janny Mallard says:

    Will share your journal with an online pal who is going through treatment for lung cancer. He is doing pretty well, and says there has been a 60% reduction in the size of his tumor.

    Miracles, yep, they happen. Love and energy to you and your ‘herd’, horses and volunteers both. LOL People will step up to take care of the HEART herd, and the ‘head mare’ Judy too.

  5. Sharyn says:

    Do you think Channel 9 would help sponsor a fund raiser? I have another idea, too, but do not want to make it public until I can see if it is a feasible thing.

  6. Terry says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Maybe your local commissioner can help tap into funds available for people with inadequate insurance or help write to the state insurance commissioner.

    The cancer society website has some information for people with cancer-
    http://www.cancer.org/MyACS/Eastern/AreaHighlights/cancernynj-news-aca-guide

    Since the ACA was signed into law on March 23. The new law will ensure that people with cancer will no longer:
    • Be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions;
    • Be charged more for their coverage because of health status;
    • Be faced with annual or lifetime coverage limits that cause a sudden termination of care; or
    • Have to choose between saving their life or their life savings because they lack access to affordable coverage.
    Also the American Lung Association-
    http://www.lung.org/your-lungs/affordable-care-act/

    I hope the publicity from the news story will generate some additional resources.

    • Judy says:

      Terry thank you for that valuable information. I hope that what I go through helps many other people that are in the same boat but with no where to go. That is why I want to post this all and make this available for all people that are just finding out that they have cancer. Being informed is half the battle. I didn’t know about the links you just sent me. Thank you

  7. Bill E says:

    Hi Judy, Hope you are feeling well today. Since we talked last week I haven’t been able to get your situation off my mind. I have been following all the posts every day on the Alex Brown site and there is so much love and prayers coming your way to get you through this and that can only be a good thing. Please do not worry cause we will get you through this together. I will talk to you early next week, bille265.

    • Judy says:

      Thank you Bill, I will talk to you then. You are so right to about all the love and prayers. I believe in the power of prayer very much and I can sure feel the love and strength you all are sending.

  8. diane says:

    Judy, there’s so many things insurance companies don’t cover, I don’t think even an attorney could sift through all that’s “not” covered. If the insurance companies printed what they actually do cover, the list would be short & easy to understand. And probably a lot of people wouldn’t buy it then.

    • Judy says:

      That is true. We had no idea that ours only would cover 1 surgery a year up to 4k and that is it. Mark pays 78.00 a week for this and it is really limited. What I am wondering is if we can apply for another insurance and if I would be covered with it since we know now that there is a condition. Will that new law really get me in? We are about to test it. lol

  9. Sharyn says:

    CancerCenter in Phx. Specializes in high stage cancers, lung including. Read cancercenter.com and see if what insurance you have is good there, or how they can work with your insurance carrier. CancerCenter has great reputation.

  10. Dana Hoyer says:

    Dear Judy,
    Just remember the most important thing about getting well, you need to stay nourished. The therapy will kill the good cells as well as the bad so you need to make sure you eat healthy. Cancer Treatment Centers of America focus on the whole body not just the tumor but regardless of where you go to get treatment remember the same goes for us as it does for our horses, if they are eating during an illness then they can beat it.
    My prayers are with you, your family and friends and to your horses that you so diligently care for.

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