February 1st, 2005

Update: medical and financial.

I saw my surgeon, Dr. Doherty, this morning. The pathology results are back, and the tumor was solidly centered in the middle thyroid, which means it is unlikely to have spread to the tissues next to the thyroid in the neck. Additionally, they looked the lymph nodes and the thymus, and they tested clear.

My health is, as it has been all along, quite notably good. I can now handle the area of the scar, so I can start doing massage to the site. They'll be talking to me in a few weeks about the radioactive iodine scan. Based on the pathology results, though, I wouldn't be surprised if the scan is going to come up essentially clean. (Which means I won't have to spend an extended period being radioactive.)

It's a little premature to say I'm cancer-free. But odds are good that I'm pretty damn close.

I went down to the U of M billing office while I was on medical campus. I believe I am now caught up on all my presurgery bills for testing and office visits and the like. Blue Cross covered a good chunk of it, but there was still about $850 left to pay, which I paid today.

It looks like my surgery cost a little over $9000. It remains to be seen how much Blue Cross will cover, and how much will be left for me. But, again, *thank you* to all of you who helped with the fundraising. Being able to go down and write a check for the presurgical stuff today was a very real relief.

Update: personal.

Temporary/immediate: The surgery crisis is mostly over. I have leisure to fall apart for a while, and odds are good I'm going to be functioning at less than full capacity for the next 1-7 days. I apologize in advance, should I inflict irritability, flakiness, or lack of focus on any of you.

In the longer term, a scare like this gives you lots of incentive to think about your life.

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Small confession time.

Just to get the little guilty voice to shut up:

To all of you who have helped me out during this time by contributing to the CritterCare fund in one way or another, I have a confession. On Sunday, I was at a Native American art exhibition, and bought a necklace. Mother of pearl and hematite, less than $20. Pretty, hangs low enough not to interfere with the scar site. It is a cost-effective morale purchase; it is durable, relatively inexpensive, and it is getting a fair bit of wear, with resulting repeat morale-boosting effect.

I don't have a jewelry habit, nor do I plan on acquiring one during my rehab period. Right now I'm still living off my IRA money, so I'm being pointlessly guilty, but still. To any of you who might be offended by this when I'm gathering support money from other people, my apologies. It is my intention to be a good steward of the donations I have received.