Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Obligate Runner

Many years ago I had this boss (actually a 'skip' supervisor, the boss I had at the time was also a runner and also occasionally reads this blog)who was distressed that I would go for a run at lunch. You'll be too tired to work in the afternoon. I pointed out that I was only running a small fraction of what I was capable of ( I was running marathons at that time) and it energized me. I soon found an article from the New England Journal of Medicine on my desk about 'obligate runners' linking this compulsion to some variation of anorexa nervosa with a note on it "thinking of you' with his initials. Thanks.

I broke all sorts of running records (for the past two years at least) this week. Most miles in a week (27.4) Most minutes without a break (45)Longest run (6.3). I am happy that it has become easier. The cool weather has helped as I don't do well in the heat. Too little surface area with respect to my volume to dissipate heat i.e. I'm fat, though I didn't do much better when I was thin in the heat. Recurrence rates are doubled for obese TNBC women vs non-obese. I am not sure what their definition of obese is but I don't want to take chances. Recurrence is the BC person's biggest fear. My biggest fear and I didn't even know how to spell it. In this blog, I must have spelled it ten different ways. Why it isn't called 're-occurence'?

The insurance issue has become more complicated. More bills and more denials. I am now up to $1500 in non-reimbursable charges. And those Aetna people answering the phones are idiots.One told Steve that the denial was due to me getting more than 4 treatments a week and that my radiologist would have to justify this. UM quickly sent me a letter supporting the treatment 'standard of care' etc. But now that I have the itemized bill, it is clear that all the denials relate to the numerous x-rays they kept taking to ensure I was being blasted in the right place. Apparently there is a limit to how many x-rays are acceptable. Who knew? I certainly didn't want these x-rays and was puzzled why they kept taking them. So first I will have to go to UM to make sure they didn't keep double charge me (very possible-the same code was repeated several times)and if they didn't, have them write a new letter justifying why they felt it was necessary to repeatedly x-ray me. I am really pissed that I have to deal with this. Average cost per day for radiation: a cool thou. I should at least get credit for sparing them the cost of the usual regimen: 30 treatments vs 16.

I did go to the Wellness Community yesterday for their support group. I debated whether I am still considered a patient as my last treatment was in April but the other woman who was there has been out of treatment more than a year. She still has plenty of issues though. I liked her and we had a lot in common. Once a month, they have a lunch for all in the 'cancer community'. There were a few other survivors of various cancers there.

All this rain has made my garden lush. I've had a few visits from my friendly hummingbird. He ignores my feeder and goes for my impatiens, which don't look like they have any nectar.

Last night I went to the 'moms' group, the post-partum support group for moms of almost 30 year old babies. Our hostess made a fire in her firepit and it was nice outside.We ate barbecued salmon kebabs. Very tasty.

I need to deal with Naomi much more. Lots of issues coming up.


Sarah said...

Wonderful honest post!!I think people forget sometimes that we are our own person, own choices. I "Need" to walk. It lightens my spirit, makes my body hum and my mind calm. Who is to say running isn't your bliss.
I think you are certainly still qualified to go to a support group!! I love the idea of a postpartum group for moms!!! My oldest is 28 and my youngest is 5 (of 5) I need a group like this!!!!
Hope you have a great weekend, Sarah

Sara Williams said...

Being a runner and compulsive exercise freak, I love your blogs. I think that running in your lunch is fab because its a way of getting rid of stress and re-energising.

I am scared of re- I cant spell it either and I am scared of being fat. I was already overweight when I found the cancer due to other health issues and I was dealing with it successfully when BC bit me on the chest!

Again, I say, thank goodness we have NHS in Wales and I am so sorry for your struggles with the insurance, just what you dont know when you have been fighting for your life. They are pigs!

Keep smiling, please keep blogging. Beth and I love hearing about your runnning, so keep me smiling like your note about the hummingbird !


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