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1st Follow-up Scan - (Journal Date: October 17, 2005)

10/17/2005

I have been doing a little better with the diet and exercise. Have taken off 11 pounds of the 30 total pounds gained during treatments. Have also resumed giving some golf lessons part-time.

Both of my daughters play basketball, and this year my oldest tried out for the middle school volleyball team and make it. We enjoyed being there for her first game on Oct. 13.

It's that time of year again when we rent out our house for the International Home Furnishings Market. On Friday evening, the day before we moved out, I was mowing the grass and got stung by 4 bees again. This happened previously in July (1 sting) without too much consequence. But when it happened again in August (1 sting) I got to spend the night in the emergency room with a terrible allergic reaction (anaphilactic). This time I was prepared with an Epipen and had to administer my own shot within ten minutes of the sting. We immediately dialed 911 since we were fearful of my reaction to multiple (4) stings this time. The ambulance came and checked over my vitals and I was doing ok. I stayed home and took it easy for about 5 hours. About two hours after the sting was the worst, with some tightness of the chest but no serious breathing problems. I did experience extreme hives over about 90% of my body. I stayed on 50 mg of Benadryl constantly and the hives finally let up after about 36 hours. Thanks to my wife, we got all packed up and moved to our camping trailer just as our guests arrived. Looking forward to camping for a while. After a couple of neighbors pitched in to help finish the mowing, we did pour a gas/oil mixture into the ground where the bees were coming from and we torched those little *&$#!'s so noboby will get stung now.

Today I had my first follow-up CT Scan which I have been looking forward to because I am confident the Lord has healed me. Previous CT Scans have been of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. My original insurance company paid 100% of the claim and there wasn't any problem. Then my employer switched to CIGNA Insurance and there has been nothing but problems. It seems that not only is there a co-pay of $250 for the scan, but they consider it four separate procedures even though I go in the machine only one time. It seems crazy to pay four co-pays ($1,000) for one trip into the CT machine, so we are fighting that battle. I would advise any of you facing this procedure to try to get the proper coding worked out with your health care provider as early as possible. I could understand patients skipping this procedure based upon cost, and that is the last thing that should happen when catching cancer early is the best method of survival. I don't understand the insurance industry.

My CT Scan today was combined with a PET Scan on a new piece of equipment at the Cancer Center at High Point Regional Health System. There was no need to take the Barium Sulfate and contrast dyes during this procedure. It still had the radioactive sugar/isotopes injected by IV, but it only took about 90 minutes for the whole procedure. Also, this combined procedure should be more acceptable to the insurance...although it remains to be seen!!!

Got to visit briefly with my old buddies...the crazy chemo nurses. They didn't hardly recognize the "new guy" with the full head of wavy hair. We warned them that we would be back in a couple of days to get the good news from the scan and we would probably have to bring them some baked treats. I also got an opportunity to let them know about this blog site so that they might pass the web address to anyone that could benefit from the journey that I have traveled. My main purpose for doing this blog is to share information and experiences with others facing the same cancer journey. Also, to let folks know that there is hope, since today's medical treatments are so much better and more effective than those of just a few years ago. It is a tough road, but if you surround yourself with a great medical team, a positive attitude, a loving family, loyal friends, and especially a strong faith, there can be a happiness on the other side!!!

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