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smashley

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  • City
    Denver
  • US State (if applicable)
    COLORADO
  • Country
    USA
  • Gender
    Female
  • Status
    Lung cancer patient/survivor

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  1. Wow, lots of great info there to process. I am fortunate(?) that I haven’t taken vacation in a long time, so I have close to 480 hours banked. Our short-term disability is handled by Sedgwick and I’ve heard… really bad things, so while I will try to initiate the process I think I might just hang my hat on the hours I have banked. I was completely mixing up CU Medicine with UC Health, so I’m glad I got that straightened out (thanks to Googling Dr. Camidge) and it does look like they accept my insurance “for CU Medicine Specialists Only” which I would assume this is, but will confirm. I think you’ve convinced me to bring my parents in on this. They’ve been through a lot this past year and I really didn’t want to stress them out any more (and will probably wait until AFTER my brother’s wedding next week), but my mom’s been through the wringer with breast cancer twice, so she probably knows a lot about navigating the health care and insurance system. Plus she is a way stronger advocate than I am… (I once negotiated myself into a lower salary at my first job during college) Also, can I just ask how have I lived this long without knowing about a wedge pillow?! They look amazing and I’m getting one now, with or without surgery. Thank you for everything!
  2. Thanks Michelle— So from my understanding, the PET scan is useful for detecting glucose uptake indicative of cancer activity everywhere in the body except the brain since it naturally utilizes so much. And the MRI supplements that scan by looking specifically at the brain? It’s a little ironic, about 4 or 5 weeks before the diagnosis I had a mental breakdown at work and started some anti-anxiety counseling through our Employee Assistance Program and specifically said I wasn’t interested in any meds. Definitely going to do a 180 on that. I really thought that this was going to put things in perspective and make me stop caring about work as much, and to my own frustration, it’s had the opposite effect and I keep on trying to figure out how to schedule appointments so they don’t interfere with major reviews. I haven’t told my director yet because I’m still waiting to see what treatment plan we put together since it seems like it could be relatively minimal impacts (like VATS + targeted therapy pill) and I don’t want to scramble the troops and then have to walk them back. The coughing along with the anxiety are making sleep a complete nightmare. I usually fall asleep for 2-3 hours and then wake up wide awake staring at the ceiling and drinking tea until around 4am when I give up and go into work. Every third day, I am so exhausted that I manage to sleep for 6-8 hours and then the cycle starts again. My health insurance and PCP is with Kaiser, but after the initial indication, most of my appointments have been with SCL Health. I’ve heard that Kaiser is very hard to get a second opinion with, but a friend of mine mentioned that SCL has some kind of partnership in place with National Jewish which might make that process less painful. Any other suggestions? I guess I’m not familiar with who the “Big Dogs” are. Also haven’t gotten my first bill yet and kind of nervous because we have a high deductible plan at work and I don't really know what to expect. Can I ask for a quote before the PET? Should I just brace myself to have to cover my max out of pocket for this year? Thanks for the other recommendations for support. I will reach out. — Ashley
  3. Thanks LexieCat, that is good info although it kind of makes me cringe… just the thought of coughing after surgery like that. I’m assuming the pain meds make it somewhat bearable? Yes, a sample was sent out for biomarker testing, should have results any day now. Besides the presence of a mutation, which seems like a prerequisite more than anything else, what other factors are there to take into consideration between targeted therapy and chemo that would make one more effective than the other? Could you do both as a double whammy or would that just ruin a person?
  4. Sorry 5cm! I’m (supposed to be) an engineer so that is super embarrassing. I hope you get out here too. I am from Florida originally, been in CO for about 5 years now and there’s nothing like a White Christmas.
  5. Greetings all, 33F here, just diagnosed with adenocarcinoma after biopsy of a ~5cm mass in my left lung. I have a PET scan next week, and from what I’ve been reading that is the last bit of info needed to determine the stage of the cancer and whether or not it has metastasized? I have cough-variant asthma so coughing for 8 weeks at a time isn’t abnormal for me, but knowing what’s causing it makes it feel worse this time. Trying to sleep is the worst and I have so many caring coworkers who like to comment on how I’m sounding this week. To be honest, I’m probably lucky that work hasn’t kicked me out for the persistent coughing due to risk of COVID, but I am vaccinated and able to produce negative COVID tests weekly so… all of this to say— the coughing is driving me absolutely insane psychologically as well as physically. If surgery is an option (and it sounds like it is provided the PET scan comes back good… holding my breath) can I expect instant relief from the coughing? Any tips for the meantime? Historically, the only thing that has absolutely silenced my coughing has been cough syrup with codeine, but I was hesitant to ask for a prescription and went with the doctor’s recommendation of Tessalon Perles which have basically done nothing. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions these past few days, and right now I am feeling oddly exhausted and unemotional but I do want to say that it’s been extraordinarily helpful reading through this website and forum and all of the questions I wish I had been rational enough to ask my doctor and all of the ones that I’ve written down to ask next time. ✌️
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