tjrasMOM Posted November 1, 2007 Share Posted November 1, 2007 It's been a long, exhausting week. Mom helped so much with the haunted house at my daughters' school. And the same day got great news and bad news. Her tumor has shrunk so much that it's detached from her lung wall. But then with the CT scan they found a blood clot in her lung. Her oncologist said she needed to start Coumadin. But he also wanted her to admit herself to the ER to be watched for a few days. God bless Mom, she said she had to see the haunted house and would check herself in first thing Saturday morning. So, Sat a.m. I took her to the ER. We also knew that this would eliminate some of the financial burden of the new meds. Getting in the hospital makes it covered by insurance. If she were to take it home, it's not covered. And for $500 / per 7 days-worth-of-meds it causes a financial burden!! But after she was almost admitted and moved upstairs, her Pulmonary specialist comes in and releases her...saying it's outpatient stuff...that she didn't need to stay in the hosp. He also gave her some very frank & straight forward information that kind of popped her bubble of being happy about the shrinking tumor. He told her that at stage IV we're "hoping" for 3-5 years. That without treatment it can take ones life within 12 months or so. He said that with lung cancer it just keeps coming back...that there is no cure....blah, blah, blah. I never wanted someone to lay it out like that for my mom. I'm the one obsessed with researching things. She hasn't tried to research anything and she doesn't want people to give her information she's not asking for. She is fighting it with inner strength and if they take her hope away, then she'll stop fighting emotionally. So, yesterday I went to see her after she sounded really stressed and depressed over the phone. Everything is getting to her.......The medical bills, no income to pay everything, ultility companies who won't waive early cancellation charges...even for a cancer patient, her empty house that is just sitting there not making money from a renter because she hasn't had enough energy to sort through her things and get it ready to rent out, worrying about ME and what I will want out of her stuff, planning her path for however long she has...planning for when the day comes that she is no longer here with us.... And to top all that off, her pulmonary dr. almost made it sound like "what's the point....you'll be gone soon enough...." And then...her oncologist gave her the news that he's going to stop chemo. Even though her tumor has DRASTICALLY shrunk, her blood counts have been crashing too much. She's had so many platelet transfusions in the past few weeks. So, her onc. told her no more chemo. She felt like he was saying, "This is it. We've done 6 cycles and that's all we can do." But of course I wish I was there at that appointment because I'm thinking he will start it up again if / when the cancer shows up again. I wish I heard what he said word for word. I just want to know what we can do or what people know about alternative treatment when one is not on chemo???? P.S. Regarding her ultility bill problems: DirecTV said they'd waive the early cancellation fee of $187 when we first called to cancel June 12, 2007. This was 2 days before her 1st chemo appointment. But of course they lost this "information" in their system & don't recall promising this. Mom was sent to collections and has been harrassed and threatened regarding the balance. She wrote letters, sent a copy of her PET scan and explained that she had to move in with her 94-yr-old father in order to pay medical bills. She could not move the service with her as it wasn't her house. They REFUSED to waive her fees. They sent letters saying it was still her responsibility. Yesterday she was in tears over it. Could not fight with their collection department anymore. So, today I called. Again, the man on the phone said "his hands were tied" and that the only thing they could do was have me pay her balance and then they would credit MY own account for the same amount. This would close her account on good terms and wipe out what she owed. It was the only thing they could do since her account was in collection. (I don't always believe that "their hands are tied" but whatever. Well, being as emotional as I was during the phone call, I couldn't see how this was helping us. I felt they were making it more complicated and still trying to get money from us....I said that I didn't understand why they couldn't just cancel her account knowing that she was stage IV cancer. I said, "What does it take? Does she have to die before you waive these fees??" Would you believe that he said, "Yes ma'am, unfortunately that is...um, what will waive the fees. I'm sorry to say but I have seen death certificates be sent in in order to waive the fees." I called him and all major corporations like this one A**HOLES and hung up. Once I calmed down, I realized it was an ok offer. My husband explained how it was fine and said that I should accept it and just be done with it. I called back and got some other call center, God knows where. I asked for a supervisor again and went through the whole thing again. Still crying, but no anger left. I was ready to settle. But then, this wonderful supervisor, named Melissa listened to my whole story. She said very calmly, "I'm just going to cancel the account and waive all the fees." I was shocked. I whispered, "I'm not trying to shoot myself in the foot here, but the last person I spoke to said it couldn't be done..." She said, "Well, HE couldn't do it, but I can." And there it was, done. Her account closed and no cancellation fees to pay. After MONTHS of fighting with collections. Why do they make it so difficult? Why do they stress their customers out so much and refuse to be compassionate even in the worst circumstances?? OK -- this was a very long venting session. Thank you if you've read it this far. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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