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Box Score: VA - 14 Dean - 0


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I wasn't going to post this (or much else) today, but a couple of folks have asked "where have you been" notes so:

The last few days have NOT been all that good. I hate to sound "whiney" but it would be REAL nice if something went right for a change. Went through a depression at the begining of the week, then didn't feel very good physically for a couple of days.

And finally, to top everything else, had to go to the VA medical center today. It's a 70 mile round trip. And of course my appointment was at 9am so I had to get up very early (for me). Did I get a good nights sleep last night so I'd have as much energy as possible for this little adventure? Of COURSE not! So the alarm goes off at 6am, Gay and I stumble out of bed and get a half cup of coffee to try to get going. We head out down the road right in the middle of the morning rush hour and right into a big ol' fog bank. Stop ... go. Stop ... go. Almost all the way there. We get there right at check in time for my appointment, get the "perliminaries" taken care of (temp, weight, etc), take a seat the waiting room and ..... wait. Not too long. Only 20 minutes late for my appointment. Talk to the doc for about 30 minutes. He prescribes me some meds and calls down to see if the scooter people can see me. "Sure", they say ... at 11am. Ok ... The doc says that gives me time to get my meds at the pharmacy. Oh sure! The VA pharmacy?!! You need a free day and half and a flippin' TENT if your going to try to get your meds at that pharmacy. But before I can even go to the pharmacy I have to be checked out of the clinic by a nurse because some of the meds I'm getting are new ones. Huh?! So back to the waiting room and ... wait. Finally get called in by the nurse. Takes two flippin' minutes for her to tell me I have to be seen by the clinics pharmisist before they'll send the perscriptions to the pharmacy! So back to the waiting room and .... (starting to see a patern here?) wait. At 10:30 I go to the little office the clinic pharmasist uses and let her know I have anothe appointment to go to. She talks to me about my meds for all of 5 minutes and off we go to see the scooter people. (By this time I KNOW I'm not going to be waiting in any line for my meds so I get her to set them up to be mailed to me).

Go to the office where the "scooter people" hang out. Is the guy I have to see there? Dumb question. He is NOT. But he'll be "right back". Sure, and I suppose you have a bridge in Brooklynn for sale at a REAL good price, huh? So we take a seat and ... (am I boring you yet?) wait. We wait so long that my portable oxygen goes dry (spare bottle is in the car ... didn't think I'd need it. Wrong!). Gay isn't feeling well (stomach problems) and still we wait. Finally I say, "That's it!" and out the door we go. I said to he** with it. If I don't get the scooter it's ok. It's just not worth this kind of hassle.

We were at the VA for over 3 and 1/2 hours and actually DID something for about 40 minutes. Add the commute and we were gone from home over 5 hours for things that the hospice nurse could have taken care of right here at home. I told Gay on the way home I would NOT go back to the VA again. If it can't be done here at home by hospice I guess it just won't get done. I simply do NOT have the strength or the energy to do that anymore.

Box Score (update): VA - 14 Dean - 7

Decided to call the scooter person at the VA and find out why they weren't there when they were supposed to be. Got an answering machine (anybody surprised?). Left my name and number. SURPRISE ... he called back! Yes, I'm getting a scooter. No, it isn't in yet. Yes, it will be delivered. In the course of the conversation I happened to mention that I'd worked with a lot of disabled folks and knew quite a bit about electric chairs and scooter. So this joker says, "Oh! Well then, you don't need to come in for this orientation thing after all." GGGAAAAAACKKKK!!!!!! Gay and I sat around that place for HOURS waiting for an orientation that I didn't even need in the first place! I simply do NOT believe how screwed up that place is.

So the upshot is that I will have my scooter deliverd sometime within the next couple of weeks. What the heck ... it's only been over SIX weeks since I first applied for one anyway, what's a couple more?

I did ask what kind I'm getting. It's a Golden Technologies Companion II. I looked it up on the web. Nice looking scooter. I think I'll enjoy it. If .... and when :)

So that's what's been going on. I hope to catch up on posts and PM's and such over the next couple of days. My legs are already hurting so I'm sure I won't be going anywhere for a while.


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Glad to see that the scooter is (cough) on its way to you. Wait a week. Upon the end of the seven days (five business days), start calling the contact guy - twice the first day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon. Don't sweat it if you're leaving messages, start with the important stuff and then start talking about the weather, the Super Bowl, the price of gas these days... Day two, call twice in the morning, twice in the afternoon...same drill, important information first, then "filler".... Day three, call every hour.... Day four, every half hour.... (Dialing a phone can't take too much energy, let your FINGERS do the walking...) If you fill up the time on his answering machine, he won't be getting "important" calls, like the ones from his boss or anything regarding his paycheck. He'll put your case on the front burner...won't really like you (but in the long run, who really cares? LOL)..

OR, give Gay that little hammer... :wink:

Sounds like you did get things accomplished on your day out - meds are on the way, scooter is on the way....and you remember why democracy is such a WONDERFUL institution (yes, as a matter of fact, I AM due for my weekly beating, I'll inform the big guy...)

Take care, rest up...and order that air gun online to paint the flames on your scooter!



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Sorry you had such a rotten outing. My Dad has been qualified for Disable Veteran's benefits for 10 years..........how many times have we used the VA hospital???????? ONE TIME!! Your example is exactly why we only used it once. (And we weren't even trying to do anything like get a scooter, just see the Dr.) (Fumes coming from my ears!!!) It really is ridiculous. So, my Dad relies on his medical insurance. If on this journey through lung cancer we max out his medical insurance, then I guess we will have to go to the VA.(Our VA hospital is a 4HOUR round trip!!) I hope you feel better and recoup from that trip. Glad you are back!! We miss you when you are away!


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HI Dean,

Welcome back.Sounds like you are in a tie or taking the lead in this VA game to me.Got your meds and your scooter coming.Proud for ya man.I can see you getting ready to sticker that baby up real good.I look forward to your posts.So glad to see you.I haven't dealt with the VA yet but I am a veteran so I can imagine what goes on there.I may have to deal with them before this is all over though.Thanks for all your posts.Keep em coming.TBone

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Dean, that just plain sucks. The VA care is a national disgrace. All Washington pols should have to get their care from the VA - that would change things so fast it would make heads spin (and roll).

My husband says, if it were him, he'd bring a machine gun next time. "What are you gonna do, kill me? Get in line!" He was a vietnam-era vet, but spent his tour in Europe - probably because his uncle commited suicide after his own service experience.

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Guest Karen C


You are NOT whining! I got real mad reading your post - not at you, at those idiots.

I swear, it's notjust government run medical medical staff that do this to you, we get the run around with everyone - the staff in Faith's plastic surgeon's office - the staff in Dave's oncologist's office - and so on and so forth. I think I got so mad because I could relate so well!

Glad you're back with us, see, even a day or two off the board and you are missed!

Hope Gay is feeling better, too.


Karen C.

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Dean...I think you should just turn this whole matter over to Gay! She likes to hit things with a hammer...right??? Just let that little gal walk in there and let it fly!!! Hey...she's stressed out by your illness and the low quality of care you've been receiving! Sounds like a plan to me. It would certainly make front page news and bring lots of attention to the HELL our vets have to endure while trying to get medical attention!!!

Anyway, on the positive note...THANK GOD THE SCOOTER IS COMING!!! I'm glad you had a chance to let them know you're an experienced driver and can bypass the drivers ed program! Now...can you righ up a side car for Gay??? I need to come out and walk with you and Gay. Walking alongside the scooter would be a great idea for my weight loss program! Wonder if that would work with the Harley...think not!

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So sorry to hear of your trip. I wondered about you all day, I remembered that you had your appointment.

You are not whinning. You have every right to be angry and to expect to be treated with the respect that you and all people deserve.

here's praying the scooter arrives and the new meds treat you well.

I am sending you prayers and smiles.


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Hi Dean,

So sorry to hear about your day - what a shame our vets are treated like that. My Dad is a WWII vet and I send him flowers every Veterans Day just to say thanks. I would like to thank you too.

I sure hope you get that scooter soon and that you don't have to go back there any time soon. I love reading your posts, you have so much wisdom to share. My prayers are with you.


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Hi Dean,

Can understand your frustration but as you have told me - need to keep the faith and scare those blues away. I miss your postings and words of wisdom. You have been a great help to me in facing our common adversary and have been there for many of us that gain strength from sharing our experiences. Get those fingers typing again – they are your brush and the computer your canvas. GET THE PICTURE?

God Bless,


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So sorry you have been getting the run -around Earl. It is bad enough dealing with all these hitches when you aren't ill, I can only imagine what it's like when you are feeling so worn out.

Dave and I have spent a great deal of time in Dr.'s offices recently too. I always insist we get there at least fifteen minutes early, (early training in punctuality dies hard,) and then we end up waiting at least two hours or more! The other day Dave had to go for a cat scan . We waited for the customary two hours and then they told us the machine had broken down. We, and a bunch of other patients, were told to walk over to the hospital -where we waited another two hours :!: I don't mind so much when things can't be helped but an apology or a smile would be nice, it would make you feel more like a person instead of just a number, don't you agree?

Hope you get your scooter soon, you have been so patient. You absalutely have to have a photo taken for us when you do :!:

Prayers and positive thoughts for you and Gay,


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I am soooo sorry that you had such a bad experience on your last visit to the VA! Ugh. To have to wait is hard enough, but to have to wait when you aren't feeling your best is torture.

My mom is being treated at a VA and we are so very thankful for her care. We just cannot imagine what we would be doing since she has no insurance nor financial means for all that she has endured due to the cancer. She has a wonderful oncologist who has taken a personal interest in her care, he tells her to call him 24/7, and she has had to do that on occasion.

The VA has it's ups and downs. Sorry that you had to experience some of the downs! When my mom was there in the ER after her last chemo and we were waiting a lonnnng time for a bed, my family just looked at each other and said, "Well, we're glad that this country doesn't have national health care!" LOL. : )

I hope you are having a great week and will be scooting around very soon!



Mom dx with sclc limited stage 0l-02

5 months chemo (carboplatin & etoposide), radiation, no pci

Recurrance 06-03 found with follow up c/t, chemo (carboplatin & etoposide) began then stopped due to severe reaction

07-03 pet scan concurred ca in sternum

09-03 ct shows ca spread

09-03 Three 28-day cycles of cisplatinum & cpt-ll

12-03 some tumors responding, began 2 more 28 day cycles cisplatinum & cpt-ll

01-04 CT showed no recent growth/no recent shrinkage. On 6 week break from any treatment. Will do another CT end of 02-04.

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