Hello everyone....first time blogging in my life. I have read quite a few of your bloggs and am overwhelmed by your stories and the encouraging comments from everyone. I wish I had the positive and eloquent replies that so many of you have. I am at the beginning of my cancer journey. I had a gallbladder attack April 17th, 2012 and went to the emergency room. I was told thatI would have surgery the next day and also that my gallbladder "didn't look very good"....it was the surgeon's way of preparing us for the news. Sure enough, they told me I had gallbladder cancer and have sent my gallbladder off to be analyzed. Fortunately my cancer stage is a T2...cancer has not penetrated the outer layer of the gallbladder. Procedure is to do a Hecatecomy which is take a minimum of an inch off your liver and lymph nodes. It's funny but the thing I was most worried about is that I do not have health insurance. We emptied our 401K plan and have been struggling getting things paid and organized since then. Every time I get the mail I'm hit with another bill. My husband makes too much money to get any financial help other then a self pay discount so we are setting up payment plans with everyone but now I'm stressing about how we're going to pay it all. My husband is a flat rate auto mechanic and in today's Ft. Myers Florida economy his pays have been steadily dropping. My surgeon said gallbladder cancer is a very bad cancer and that this operation is the worst operation I will evere have in my life...he also said it's worse then heart surgery. I am fortunate that I have a stage T2 as the odds of surviving to and past the five year mark are 28%. I will have treatment after the operation but don't know exactly what yet. I did find out that chemo can be thousands of dollars. I have spent the last couple of weeks getting all our paperwork in order and everything organized so my husband won't be in a mess if something happens during surgery. I am a very positive person and know that I will do fine and continue to live far beyong what the statistics say. My heart goes out to all of you when have lost your spouses and who are young. I have lived a wonderful happy life and my children are growen. I seem to be rambling along here but I'm finished now. Take good care of yourselves and refuse to listen to the statistics. You have cancer...cancer doesn't have you. Thank you for listening.
6 Comments
Contributor
Hi Maggie Mae, Your story does have the good news and that is, the cancer has been caught before it has gone too far. That is something to focus on, and be positive about. Hopefully your medical team will be able to keep it contained, and the survival rate for the 5yr mark is encouraging. The cancer journey is one where we never thought in a million yrs, us or a loved one would be forced to start on. Try not to spend too much time thinking of the financial aspect, keep your thoughts on getting through the journey and achieving wellness again. Wombat4
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New Contributor
Hi Maggie Mae,I believe you do have the eloquent words because they are your words,they are true and sincere and that means alot to all of us in the world of cancer.I agree with wombat try not to stress to much on finances,these things have a happy knack of sorting themselves out.Stay as positive and focused as you are as you walk this journey,like all of us there are tough times but there are good times and funny times to.Huge Hugs and wishes and know there are always people here who care Tina.
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New Contributor
Thank you Tina and Wombat4...is that your real name? I appreciate the fact that you both took the time to read my blog and answer me. I am very encouraged by the stage T2 of my cancer and by the Grace of God had a gallbladder attack and the Doctors discovered it. Thank you again, I feel all warm and fuzzy now. Jan
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Frequent Contributor
Ahh I just read your blog and now understand why you have so many expenses. You live in the USA! Do you have to pay so many bills even if you are in public system?
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New Contributor
I didn't realize I was talking to Australia. Yes our system is very different. We don't have a system. You purchase your own health insurance and pay a monthly fee. You usually have a deductible of $2,500 to $5,000 and then the insurance company pays 80% of the bill and you are responsible for the 20%. My health insurance premium went up to $1,200 a month and I decided to cancel it. I'm very healthy and thought I could make it to 65 before I got on Medicare....almost made it...I'm 63. If your poor you get everything paid for by the system. If I was single I would have everything paid for also. My husband makes too much money to allow us any Government financial help. He doesn't make a lot of money but their limit is basically poverty level. This last hospital bill was over $110,000 and they are filing a bunch of papers to try and get us some help. Can't worry about it right?
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Hi Maggie, I am just wondering if you are still with us? My family member from overseas is going through the same as you and would like to know the results. Hope you are here !

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