What’s that saying about things going wrong? Anything that can go wrong, will…or something to that effect. And for us, it’s really felt like that. Each time the cancer grows or spreads, each time we rush to the hospital, each time another treatment fails, each time insurance falls through, we attribute it to Murphy’s Law. I’m not even surprised anymore. Disappointed, yes. Sad, definitely. Angry, abso-fucking-lutely. But surprised? Not really, not anymore.
Last week insurance dropped the ball. The max allotted days to get from request to approval/denial for pre-authorization is 15 calendar days. It’s never taken this long before, but since several people told me it could, I made sure the request was marked “urgent.” Brenda made it clear that if it’s marked thusly, it will take a max of 72 hours. When I didn’t hear anything, I assumed it was taken care of.
MD Anderson called us the day prior to chemo to let us know nothing had been done. First, I lost my cool. Then I got on the phone with Brenda Two. Brenda Two basically told me that it had been escalated to the highest level, was awaiting the medical director’s approval, and there was nothing more I could do. Meaning, there was no one I could speak to or email or get in touch with in any way to make anything happen faster. And goodness no, she couldn’t give me the medical director’s number because no one gets that number. So even though they messed up AGAIN, even though they let it slip through the cracks, even though it was only escalated because MD Anderson called to check on it, there was nothing else to be done – not from me and certainly not from any of them. Naturally, I still asked to speak to her manager who promised to update me the minute she heard anything. SPOILER ALERT: She didn’t.
Anyway, long story short – after a denial, a peer-to-peer to overturn said denial, lots of back and forth between me and insurance, a very snippy rep who, when I explained for the 137th time that I was upset nothing was done correctly, asked “Well, what do you want to do about it?” and TWENTY SEVEN days from the original request for approval, it’s done. His chemo is approved. And here we sit, in the MD Anderson Ambulatory Treatment Center, thinking once again about Murphy’s Law and how all of the things that could have gone wrong, did.
Originally, I planned to write something about how Wikiquotes adds the part about things going wrong if you give them a chance, and end this on a brightish tone, but how? How when I feel so completely and utterly helpless? I can’t cure cancer. I can’t get insurance to do its job. I can’t make chemo happen in a timely manner. Lately, I can’t even seem to pull myself together for longer than a day before exploding into weird emotional fits of sadness or rage. I. Am. Helpless.
I know it’s okay to end it there, to let myself feel that, but I’m reluctant to. I’m totally fine writing an entire blog of dark realities as long as I leave a little light at the end, but I hate ending on somber notes. It makes me feel icky. I’ve struggled all day to find a little bit of light in the dark, but it wasn’t until the nurse went out of his way to find me a more comfortable chair (because chemo is seven hours long) that I had a revelation.
I may, at times, be helpless, but I am not without help.
I am surrounded by people who help me – they set up meal trains, they send gift cards for food, they check on me all of the time, they watch my kids, and make me laugh. They show up for me, for us, every single day. They care about us and they love us so hard. And there’s the light. You all are the light. (Well, you and the two little monsters waiting for me at home.)
And I know that even if everything goes wrong, I won’t be alone when it does. So bring it on, Murphy’s Law – we’re ready for you.