Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2 down...

and I don't know how many to go. Yesterday, Dec. 7, marked the two year anniversary of my Multiple Myeloma diagnosis. It has indeed been an eventful two years. Since my diagnosis I have undergone several rounds of chemotherapy, an autologous stem cell transplant, remission and relapse, and more chemotherapy. Now I find myself in a literal life and death struggle with my insurance provider.
My best option for further treatment is an allogeneic stem cell transplant, with stem cells provided by my younger sister.
I know the statistics, I've read the literature, I understand the life expectancy of a person with this disease. Even knowing all of this, even in the face of the insurance company's intransigence, I still have hope, I still believe. I believe that I will be fine no matter what happens. I heard a great sermon this morning about unloading all of your baggage by giving it to God. I have tried over these past two years, not always succesfully, to give the baggage that is MM to God. Today I renew that commitment. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, a great family, and better friends than I deserve, all of whom have been on this road with me. When I was diagnosed, I wasn't sure I would be around to write this. Now I look forward to posting on the 20th anniversary of this date, and the 30th. Will I be able to do that? I don't know, but I do know that with God's help and the support of my family, my friends, and all of you, the journey, how ever long, will be a great ride.
Deacon John
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Dec. 8, 2009
St. Peregrine, Pray for Us
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for Us

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Appalling Appealing

Ok, I have been as patient as I can, waiting for my insurance company to reply to my first letter appealing the denial of my treatment. Here's a copy of my latest letter, the last nice letter I plan to send:
On Nov. 2, I mailed a letter appealing your denial of my request for treatment of Multiple Myeloma using an allogenic stem cell transplant. I asked at that time that certain documents be sent to me, documents that your denial letter stated I was entitled to see. I also asked that a reason for the denial, other than the vague ones given, be presented to me. I have yet to hear from you, almost four weeks after my request. Hopefully this letter is moot and the requested documents are on their way to me. Should they not be forthcoming, I hope this letter will serve as a reminder that I have requested this information and I do expect to receive it. It is my sincere hope that the next time I correspond with you it will be in response to the requested information. I also wish to remind you to send this information to my doctor as well, letter appealing their denial of my treatment.
I await your reply.
I think I have been patient enough. I have had a couple of calls from the nurse case manager, urging me to contact my doctor and press him to change the treatment plan to one they can approve. Since I did not go to medical school, I think I'll let my doctor make treatment decisions. I'll give the insurance company a couple of more weeks before I write again. The next time I'll not be nearly as nice, and the letter may have a few more adresees.
Deacon John
The Second Sunday in Advent
Dec. 6, 2009
St. Peregrine, Pray for us
Blessed John XXIII, Pray for us