Jan 02, 2011 - 10:05 pm
My dad (age 75) was diagnosed with Stage IVb EC last November. Because of the Medicare HMO plan he was on, things have been moving at a very slow pace. Several road blocks have also been put in our way in the form of request denials and a laughable number of oncologists within network. There has been no treatment, though my dad has been eager to start treatment.
The insurance company sent someone over about a month after his diagnosis to discuss end of life care while we were still fighting for them to approve a second opinion. With this in mind, I suppose I can't accuse them of doing nothing.
Because of Medicare's open enrollment period, we were able to switch my dad's insurance plan to a PPO which will dramatically change his level of care. He's now seeing an oncologist we were referred to by a thoracic surgeon at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. We feel we're finally on the right path with the right team in place.
The new oncologist has recommended aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. The radiation will be five days a week for five weeks and chemo will be once a week. When I asked the doctor if this would knock my dad flat on his #$%, the doctor said the effects can vary from patient to patient. I should have followed-up by asking what side effects we should expect. Unfortunately, I didn't.
I would truly appreciate feedback from those of you who have undergone chemo or chemo/radiation (or have seen a friend of loved one through treatment).
My dad has been kicked down but certainly hasn't been kicked out. He's a little weak and tired (physically and emotionally). Now that the HMO doesn't have him on a leash, he finally feels a little better about things.