Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wait, what? ~ Part 6

Wait, what? ~ Part 1
Wait, what? ~ Part 2
Wait, what? ~Part 3
Wait, what? ~Part 4

Arriving home from MD Anderson 100% certain that I wanted my surgery done there, I placed a call to the surgeons nurse early the next morning. We tentatively scheduled surgery for Sept. 17th-providing the other surgeons were available that day.

I hung up the phone excited that we had a plan- yet with a giant pit in my stomach because I couldn't help but wonder what I would do if my insurance denied me having the surgery there. I knew that since it took forever to get a single visit covered, that getting brain surgery covered- at an out of network hospital- was VERY unlikely. 

Since I work for a school district, our calendar year begins Sept. 1st. We were in our open enrollment period for benefits and as I went through my selections {that very afternoon} I came across the short term disability option. Now I knew that since my brain tumor was now a pre-existing condition, there was no way I could add this coverage but since our sweet insurance lady's office was just around the corner I thought I'd go ask, just to make sure. 

What happened next can only be explained as a true miracle from God. I went into her office and asked if I could add short term disability- knowing the answer was no. And of course she said no.  She asked why I would need it and I then explained that I had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and told her the struggle we had had with our insurance and how worried I was they would deny the surgery at MDA. 

She immediately said "Well you just need to change insurance!" to which I replied "If only I could! I'm pretty sure they wouldn't accept me because of my pre-existing condition. Who would knowingly cover a new member with a brain tumor?".  

She then explained that they had no choice- since it was continuous coverage- they had to accept me! {Had I been a brand new employee, they could deny me- but since I was just changing my option under existing coverage with the district- I could change. She then pulled out the book that listed all of the options and showed me one that had MDA as an in network hospital and even figured out what my maximum out of pocket costs would be.

Who but God could orchestrate that? Seriously.  I wish you could have seen me- I was almost jumping up and down I was so excited! {Well, as excited as one facing brain surgery can be I suppose!}  I left her office, when back to mine and immediately logged in and chose my new insurance.

During the next few days she called that new insurance company, had them input my information as an urgent case (it doesn't take effect until Sept. 1st and normally they don't take any information until then), and even contacted my insurance advocate at MD Anderson to give her all the details.  I've actually already even received my new insurance card in the mail.

How cool is God to work out so perfectly the details? I know that we often read of miracles in the Bible and it's easy to think that He no longer performs them. But oh how He does!

So we are now confirmed for surgery on Sept. 17th which is 3 weeks from today.  To be honest- I am terrified and running around like a crazy woman trying to get all of my work life and home life in order.  Not knowing how I'll be after surgery and how much recovery I will require is scary to me.  As someone who loves to have all of her ducks in a row and a plan for everything this is a beyond frustrating.

Although I don't know what life will be like when I wake up from surgery what I do know is that through this God is in control and I just need to trust in Him.  In His timing and in His plan.  So I'm clinging to His promises....

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

—Isaiah 41:10

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wait, what? ~Part 5

Wait, what? ~ Part 1
Wait, what? ~ Part 2
Wait, what? ~Part 3
Wait, what? ~Part 4

So after miles and miles and miles of red tape I finally got an appointment at MD Anderson  Luckily I have sweet friends with connections which allowed me to get in the MDA system fairly quickly.  The real hold up was getting my insurance to approve a visit there. After multiple phone calls by more friends with connections, they finally approved a visit.

Once again my sweet Daddy went with me and we arrived at MDA early on a Wednesday morning. The waiting room in the Brain and Spine clinic was full and I realized quickly that I was lucky.  Lucky because I was only dealing with a brain tumor and I wasn't dealing with cancer- as so many people sitting in the waiting room obviously were.

As I sat waiting I got a funny text from Madison who was at home an hour and a half away.
It simply said: There are people in our front yard. 
I replied and asked what people and what they were doing.
She said: Your friends. They are praying in our front yard. 

As I sat in the waiting room at MDA some of my sweet friends were standing in my front yard praying for me.  How absolutely precious is that?

And so I sat in that waiting room with tears running down my face.  I cried because I am so very blessed to have some of the most amazing friends ever.  Seriously.

Later that day sweet Madison tweeted this:

I couldn't agree more. That is definitely one of my prayers for her. 

I had heard that MDA was an amazing place and it truly is.  They are so totally patient focused and truly think of everything to make your visits as easy as possible.  Each patient has their own social worker, insurance person, and advocate.  There is free wi-fi, signs in each waiting room telling you if each doctor is running on time or behind (and how much), and they have carts they bring in to each waiting room periodically with coffee and tea.  If you have to be in a hospital, this is the hospital to be in. 

We met with Dr. DeMonte and immediately loved him.  He was very knowledgeable, very kind, explained everything very thoroughly.  In between my visit with the surgeon in Temple and this visit and had done quite a bit of research so I didn't get any new information but he answered every single question I had planned to ask every before I asked it.  His stats regarding possible facial paralysis were less than 5% which varied greatly from the surgeon in Temple.  {Loved his numbers much more!}  When I asked how many of these surgeries he had done he said he couldn't count  because there were so many but at that very moment he had six other patients waiting to be seen with the very same tumor.  He truly is an expert.  

By the end of the day I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted Dr. DeMonte to do my surgery there at MDA.  I was certain but so very scared that my insurance would not pay for it- since they had a surgeon who could do it at one of their hospitals.  

And it turned out....I was right to be worried.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Thank you so very much for the precious comments
 and emails and most especially for your prayers.
I appreciate and treasure each and every single 
one more than you could possibly know.
I am humbled by your kind words, your sweet prayers, 
and the scriptures you share with me. 
I am truly blessed. 

I promise to write Part 5 soon 
(writing each one is a little harder than I thought it would be)
but I wanted to share a song that I have listened to 
countless times in the past few weeks.

It's beautiful and it's words are so very true.

Such a great reminder that when we don't know what to say, 
we can always pray to our Heavenly Father. 
Because He is ALWAYS there 
and knows our hearts
and our every need. 

And I don't know about you, but I am so so so very thankful.