"Once I cut it out, you will never have to worry about it anymore"
This Quote from an eye-cancer specialist was made to me way back when I first posted the diary in the link. I never wrote about the verbal quote in the diary or mentioned it due to my strong belief that this issue would never rise to the level it has today.
Following a successful surgery last Wednesday to remove a small growth in my eye that is the issue I will write below, another issue has come into play over my required post-surgery medications that has me on edge. I continue to wonder if this will ever stop.
A bit of background to this story:
Following my June 23rd diary linked above a decision was made to have an eye-cancer specialist remove a small growth in my right eye. I agreed to undergo surgery after the quote by the doctor that I would never have to worry about it after that. It was at this point that the eye-cancer specialist made the remark verbally that I never wrote about.
"Let`s go for it Doctor", was my response that day. The surgery was scheduled within thirty days and was done last Wednesday the 30th of July.
In the weeks prior to surgery the doctor prescribed some eye drops that I should use four times one day prior to surgery. Another vial of eye drops was to be used four times a day after surgery to prevent infection. So I was set and very optimistic.
Or so I thought.
A week or so prior to surgery I received a phone call from a receptionist at the eye care specialist office with a message from the doctor. He wanted me to get some eye drops that would cost me `out-of-pocket` money over two thousand dollars because my insurance (which covers his earlier eye drops prescriptions) would not cover these.
Of course I objected. And with a valid reason. I could not afford those type of eye drops.
And if that wasn`t enough, I would have to pay for a re-fill because I could only use the first batch for fourteen days. After that I would need another prescription. I told the receptionist to give the doctor my reply. "I can`t afford that". I will not pay for eye-drops that the doctor can prescribe where my Medicare Part D covers.
The doctor then sent me another message through the receptionist. I was to get another more cheaper brand of eye-drops, costing me one-hundred and nine dollars out of pocket - with the same refill requirement as the earlier ones mentioned.
My response was the same as the first.
This eye-drops controversy ensued and nothing was settled. I was still armed with the original eye drops that the doctor prescribes initially.
Fast forward to surgery day:
Unlike cataract surgery, this one included anesthesia to numb pain along with the IV in my arm with a solution to calm me down as I would be wide awake during surgery. Today my eye resembles a half ripe strawberry, red on one side of the pupil and white on the other. Normal according to the doctor. In a few days all will be back as it was prior to surgery.
Granted, the doctor was ecstatic the next day following surgery and gloating at how successful he had been. He could not seem to get tired of examining his work while telling me that my eye was now perfect. Nary a word about cancer by the doctor. Not a single time would he go there.
The redness and soreness is normal he said. My eye pupil dilating is also normal, but the light and sun in my eye makes me understand exactly how Dracula must have felt when the light of day hit his eyes. I am walking around wearing these dark solar shield sun glasses, even inside of my house.
In between words, the doctor came back to the eye-drops. 'don`t worry`, I am working very hard to get your insurance to cover for the eye-drops..But remember, If I am unable you will have to pay for them.
And I blew a fuse.
"Doctor, I brought you information from my insurance provider whom I spoke to over the phone. I even have a phone number where you can call and submit a `Prior Authorization` form and my insurance will cover. All you have to do I call this number". I had the info written down for him.
He glanced at the information, which I am sure he is aware of, and dismissed it, with:
Don`t worry. I am trying and will try harder.
Unfortunately our exchanges about the eye-drops turned into an argument. I asked him to tell me what he had found about the growth under the microscope.
I still am waiting to hear from the lab. I ask you to come back next week August 7th, and hopefully by then I will resolve the eye drops issue.
Considering terminating treatment:
It is now Friday morning two days post-surgery as I write. I have really convinced myself that even if the small growth had any cancer, it was removed cleanly as indicated by the doctor. I am currently using the eye-drops initially prescribed by him and following his directions on how to use them.
What makes me mad is the doctors insistence that I spend money for top shelf eye-drops when he himself prescribed some for the same purpose that my insurance covers. I believe that once the small growth was cut out of my eye, I can roll the dice with more inexpensive eye-drops that their only purpose is to block infections. I think that I can fairly say that there must be more powerful eye-drops than the ones I have in my possession that my insurance can cover.
Knowing that my doctor has the power with his `prior authorization` form signing, and he can even call my insurance at the number I gave him, his insistence that I cough up big money that I do not have irritates me. I felt and thought about it last night as I was thinking of what he told me: He said that the eye-drops were for a life-or death situation, more important than the disease I am suffering from my heart.
I took his remark as a misguided one because I know about heart disease and also eye infections. I don`t think there is anything more dangerous than a heart attack. Specifically, I am sure he does not know anything about a heart attack if he has never had one.
I don`t know why I have become so enraged over my health faults lately. I just don`t know why my doctor has to be part of my rage. I am even mad having to write about my doctor and my confidential information. It is my information and I must air it out.
Maybe I have been overly enraged lately seeing as my life and also my wife`s coming at us so fast. I see our lives whistling by like a missile ready to explode. I don`t know.
On a side note: I am doing good as far as using my eye (batty to light) as time goes by. My eye is coming back to normal and the redness is slowly disappearing, which is normal too...So I am good really. If only this eye pupil dilation quits, I will be fine.
So I am thinking very seriously that when I see hims next week, if he has not resolved the eye drops issue either way....I will divorce the eye care specialist and call my treatment finished.
I made clear earlier in a comment that if I did indeed have cancer, I will never undergo radiation or chemotherapy. So I am hoping that the results from the lab come back negative..For my family`s sake.
Feel Free to kick me, scream at me, tell me anything you want. That is why I am here.
But please know that I am not an ungrateful man, lacking gratitude for those who have made my life easier. I have always respected and loved my doctors. Today I guess I am just tired of it all.
To be honest, I am mentally exhausted. I just wish I knew why I am so enraged to all around me in general knowing that all my senses are intact, so I`m not cracking up. The last thing I need is advise to see a psychologist. Please don`t go there.
Anything you say I will still respect you in the morning.
P.S. EDITED UPDATE: 3:00 P.M. Friday as I write
I just received a call from my insurance provider. It appears that my doctor has submitted a `prior authorization form` asking for approval of a medication otherwise not covered by my insurance. The call was to inform me that the request was denied.
If he insists on this type of medication `mitomycin` 5mg pill, he has to resubmit a reconsideration authorization form. (He should know this as well). Only then will it be covered my my insurance. I note that now it is a pill, and not eye drops...Oh well, I will wait for his call because I talked to the receptionist that serves as his messenger and gave her the news. She said she will pass it on.
Unfortunately, she told me: He won`t be back until Tuesday! I will continue to hope that the doctor succeeds in getting me that medication he wants so that there will be no divorce and I can continue with follow-ups.
Monday Night Cancer Club is a Daily Kos group focused on dealing with cancer, primarily for cancer survivors and caregivers, though clinicians, researchers, and others with a special interest are also welcome. Volunteer diarists post Monday evenings between 7:30-8:30 PM ET on topics related to living with cancer, which is very broadly defined to include physical, spiritual, emotional and cognitive aspects. Mindful of the controversies endemic to cancer prevention and treatment, we ask that both diarists and commenters keep an open mind regarding strategies for surviving cancer, whether based in traditional, Eastern, Western, allopathic or other medical practices. This is a club no one wants to join, in truth, and compassion will help us make it through the challenge together.