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I really need this
Old 04-13-2008, 10:28 AM
 
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As I've told you all, I've finally decided to retire and am even getting happy about it...WELL... I had a routine mammogram and now I find that I need a biopsy. Perfect timing. Do I go ahead and retire... what pension option... provide for spouse???... Do I hang in there and take my 325+ sick days??? What about my insurance while employed, about $260,000. If it turns out that I'm checking out soon I would like to provide what I can to my family. I'm not jumping to conclusions but the longer I wait the better my imagination is.

Incidently, I'm starting to hate the medical establishment. I had the mammogram about 2 weeks ago. Had to wait for 2 weeks for the "additional views" and ultrasound. Now I'm waiting for SOMEONE to call me to tell me what to do next. Does good insurance, multiple coverages result in LOTS of appointments? It's so frustrating and irritating to know that when you have these tests, the techs and doctor involved know what the likely outcome is and don't/can't say. I hate being out of the loop when it's me that they are dealing with.

Sorry to go on... but I do feel a little better.


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Thinking of you
Old 04-13-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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I am so sorry this has happened at the time you are preparing to retire. I am hoping that the biopsy will show a benign tumor or something else harmless. I would not make any big decision concerning retirement until I knew more. Then if you get a bad report, you might want to discuss your options with your building rep (or union rep), not a representative of the school system. I think they look at it from the viewpoint of the system and not your best interests. You have clearly been a person who gave your all to the system (as indicated by your accumulated sick leave). I had 278 days and thought that was exceptional. I would want to have the best insurance (I haven't had to depend on Medicare and supplemental insurance for anything major yet, so I don't know how good the coverage is). Basically I might not want to be changing insurance when facing possible major problems.

I think what I have written is not very well organized. My main point is you don't have to make a decision about retirement (unless you have already signed papers to do so) and I would wait.

I hope things go well for you and that you get a better report than you seem to expect.
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Thanks, Phyllis
Old 04-13-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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I appreciate your reply. I haven't signed anything yet.

I didn't mean to sound dismal! I have been blessed with good health and hopefully I'll get good news. It's just that the timing is making things difficult. I'm a past vp of our union so I'll be able to look out for my best interests. I've kind of put everything on hold for the moment. I'm just feeling lots of stress right now!
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thinking of you
Old 04-13-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you have this worry at such an exciting time. My prayers and thoughts are with you. I agree about waiting to sign anything or make any decisions. It is sooooooo frustrating to have to wait for an answer to your ultrasound and additional views. I'm hopint this will soon be just a bad memory for you and your doctor's reply will be a happy one for you. Time can seem very long when you are stuck just waiting - waiting for your life to go in the direction you had planned, waiting to make time for yourself, waiting to enjoy all of those days ahead with less pressure and more laughter. I'm hoping that very soon you will have the answers you want and the joyful retirement you deserve. Keep a positive thought.

It does feel good to share the anxiety.
I'm here and so are so many more people who care.
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You would have . . .
Old 04-13-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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. . . had dozens of responses to this if you had posted in the Teachers' Lounge. People on this board are so supportive! We will be pulling for you. Hopefully being busy and involved with your class will help the waiting go faster. You will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.


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Sending support
Old 04-13-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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My sister-in-law acts as an advocate for people who experience the same anxieties and frustrations as you are having. She is a firm believer and encourager of taking charge of your health care. That means "be the squeaky wheel". She would advise you to keep calling until you get an answer. She is a survivor of breast cancer and her experiences taught her to be tough in these situations. This is your life, and you have permission to get actively involved. That would be my advice to you. You need answers NOW, not later.

Other posters have given you advice on the retirement issue. If you are worried about health insurance, I wouldn't think that would be a problem. I stayed with my school's insurance, so I had no changes in coverage. The summer after retirement, I had some surgery and had the same coverage as before. Do you have that option?

Finally, I want you to know that many of us are with you in spirit and prayer. Continue to come to this board and share your feelings and your progress. I will think of you in the coming days.
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Thoughts and Prayers
Old 04-14-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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Susan, so sorry you are going through this now. The waiting is the worst part. A good friend of mine who strongly advocates for her medical issues taught me that when you go for a test, you ask when it will be read. She also always picks up the copy of it that day to keep for her personal files. Of course, you probably won't understand all the language but you will get an idea and then call your doctor immediately. The squeaky wheel does get oiled. I didn't find out about a nodule on my thyroid until two months later when I just happened to go for a physical. You need to stay on top of things. Remember, too, that they biopsy everything today just to make sure. It does not have to be a poor prognosis. You've got plenty of time to deal with whether to retire or not. I know in my system you can rescind until the paperwork has been sent in to the state. You have options with all those sick days, too. Use them now to get the first available appointments!Know that you are in my prayers and keep us posted.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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Thoughts and prayers for good health are headed your way!

((((((HUGS))))))
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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My doctor called on Monday with the name of a specialist. He said that the report said that it was a POSSIBLE fibroidadenoma. That is not a definite, of course, but I'll admit that I do feel a bit more relaxed now. I'll call today for an apointment. THANK YOU all for the support!
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So glad you feel better
Old 04-15-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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I'm glad you are feeling more positive. I will keep thinking of you as you.
I have heard that, if that is the problem, some patients elect to have it removed just to be on the safe side.

Please let us know how it goes.


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Better News
Old 04-16-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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So glad you are feeling a bit better about this. You are still in my prayers. Keep us posted.
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Amazing! That's My Story
Old 04-24-2008, 06:35 AM
 
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Susan! You are telling my story. This is year 35 for me and I thought it would be my last. I flunked my first mammogram on 2/12. Rechecked, then sent for a stereotatic biopsy. I thought this would be fun, you lay on your stomach with your boobs falling through a hole in the bed, then they lift the bed and work under you ..... like a lube job! Next was a fancy MRI and finally an ultrasound. More doc appointments, including a surgeon. I think all the appointments are to cover all the bases, make sure nothing is left out. I knew right away that it was cancer and they scheduled all of these appointments quickly. So, Susan, since they are moving slowly with you and haven't said right off that it is cancer, you are probably going to be just fine.
My cancer is called Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS). Many docs think of it as precancer. I get to keep "the girls" and take tamoxifen for several years. This is my fourth week on that drug and the only side effect is being a bit tired (could be from stress). My younger sister had a masectomy two years ago, so I am going through genetic counseling and testing. I decided not to retire until all the work is done. If things work out before school starts in the fall, I can still retire. I don't want to switch insurances in the middle of all this. If you can wait to decide whether to retire or not, that would be wise.
About using your sick days depends on your diagnosis or when all your medical procedures are completed. I am certain that you will be fine, Susan, but I am anxious to hear.
The up/down side of my story is that my situation prompted my mother to get a mammogram. It found an early stage of invasive breast cancer. She had a masectomy (at age 76) on Tuesday. She is home and doing really well.
Susan, this is a stressful situation for you. Stay calm. My thought is that when the docs move slowly, they believe you are safe. Let me know.
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My latest...
Old 04-27-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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FINALLY, I had an appointment with a breast surgeon. I have a biopsy scheduled for May. Right in the middle of state testing, of course. Oh well...

Because the area to be biopsied can't be felt, it will have to be located with an ultrasound and marked with a wire. Then the surgeon will remove it. THEN I'll wait 5 more working days for the results. In all it will be nearly 2 months before I have an answer to this.

I know that doctors are healers. I realize that they have legal issues to consider. I am aware of the pressures that they are under... BUT I'm beginning to hate them all. It seems like so many of them play this game... ask the right questions and I'll give you the answers that you need. I'm disgusted with it. I really don't want to play.

In my profession, I've always tried to be straight with people. I tell parents how to get what their children need from the system. I have always tried to be an advocate for them, sometimes at my own peril. I guess you can tell that I'm annoyed! :-)
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Shoot me now
Old 05-01-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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I just hung up the phone after flipping out at the breast surgeon's nurse. Now I have to find a new one.

Last Monday this nurse called to say that I'd had an abnormal EKG, soooo the biopsy was off until I got a cardiologist's OK... and of course she could recommend a cardiologist. My general practitioner said the EKG was fine, unchanged since 2002, even consulting with a cardiologist.

The nurse said that the anesthesiologist insisted that I go to a cardiologist any way. I had a colonoscopy in August using the same facility... same anesthesiologists. At that point I'd had enough and told her what a racket I thought they had and that I would be finding a group of doctors that I could have confidence in. She said that she was sorry. I said that if I had a bad EKG last week, that it would be even worst now after dealing with them. She was sorry again, for about the 10th time. I said that now we had established that she was sorry and that I was disgusted.

I guess that I also established that I'm either a B**CH or I'm losing it.

So I'm back to square one.

Last edited by SusaninNJ; 05-01-2008 at 02:12 PM.. Reason: addition
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What's The Latest?
Old 05-02-2008, 01:45 PM
 
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Susan, amidst your frustration (ad I don't blame you), you do have a great sense of humor. Your conversation with the nurse gave me a chuckle. I agree. It's one thing after another, but in your case it's very difficult waiting for those results. I just called to make an appt. with a rheumatologist (4 month wait). In the meantme I will go to my PCP and have the blood tests for RA, but the rheumatologist will still order her own. It just seems that some things could be simplified. Have you had heart issues that they are making you see a cardiologist? I hope things get better for you.
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Heart issues
Old 05-02-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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No, I've never had heart issues. Besides teaching full time for 38 years, with 325 sick days, I do aerobics twice a week, getting my heart rate up to 140-150 beats per minute. I've done this for 30+ years.

My family doctor says the EKG is fine. I'm not seeing a cardiologist as I trust my family doctor's opinion and I feel fine. Heart issues have symptoms.

I have an appointment with a new doctor. Her claim to fame is that she doesn't accept any insurance. No wonder I could get an appointment for Wednesday. You must pay up front and submit to the company yourself.

Sometimes a sense of humor is a saving grace... and my talk with the poor, sorry nurse did make me feel better. If the doctor were really caring, as the nurse claimed, then it would have been the doctor who called me.
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