HI, Jill and everyone! It's been a long while since I've posted. It's surreal how time passes and the years go by. Not a day goes by when I don't think of the blessing BFAC has been for myself and so many others. It's good to see and hear from Martha and Elena Rose who went through cancer camp at the sime time I did. It is also amazing and sad to see how many people I run into everyday who have that squamous cell carcinoma, in either head/neck/throat or tonsil form. It is also sobering to know that the outcomes have been different for all.
Having joined the C club on Feb 8, 2008 with an unknown primary, I have gotten my last tests last summer and my oncologist gave me the NED. (No evidence of disease) The best rating I can get, cause in my unknown primary situation, there is now that 10% chance a year it could return. It was the first time I opted to downgrade from the usual PET scan, to just and MRI and CAT scans. Less precise but a lot more affordable. Getting a full PET scan was going to be over $10,000, thanks to my Obamacare plan. I decided not to accept that premise so I didn't get the PET. My premiums have skyrocketd since Obamacare, and the cost of meds have more than double and tripled.
However after paying ridiculous premiums of over $500/mo with $6350 deductibles and being limited to certain hospitals and docs, I found another way. It's called the religious exemption clause in Obamacare. And the religious exemption allows you to say FU to their limited uber complicated and expensive insurance policies that they force you to have!
It is now my fourth month since I've dumped my healthcare insurance Obamacare plan with Oxforfd and got the religious exemption plan called
Medi-Share run by Christian Care ministries. You can use my refereal link: http://bit.ly/1FAiQVK or just go to mychristiancare dot org
Every day that goes by I am so happy to be rid of the government boondoggle bureaucracy. Under the religious exemption clause, I exempted myself legally from the ridiculously expensive plans by joining the Christiancare ministries healthcare program and am now part of a family of over 130,000 members that care for each other, without government dictates or mandates. So abortions ain't covered. No sex-changes, or contraceptives either. But real medical care is what they are about.
My premium with Oxford was rising to over $500/ mo with a $6,350 deductible, I still didn't get the hospitals nor the doctors I had with my original plan Hussein Obama said I could keep, because the plan was no longer compliant. Cheaper plans didn't even cover me out of state or out of country. But fear not, all Obamacare plans offer you sex change coverage and all the contraceptives and abortions you can handle!
With Medi-Share, the lowest deductible I could have chosen was $1250/ year and my monthly woulda been around $320/mo. And it would cover 100% of everything over the $1,250.
I chose the highest deductible which is $10k, for a monthly of $133.
So I've been to the doctor twice so far. One bill was $180 (list price) and the other was $220. Medi-share brought each of those bills down to about $70 each. When I visit a doc I pay a $35 copay-like fee. So my balance on the $70 bill is $35 that I pay to the doc when I get the bill and that goes towards my deductible.
God forbid I were to reach my annual deductible, Med-Share picks up 100% of every thing over that with no limit.
So far I've paid $70 in doctor bills plus 4months of $133 dues =$532.00
Had I been in Oxford I would have already spent $2,000 in premiums plus the doctor bills.
If you need healthcare, or you have your own biz, or are self employed, this is really a terrific option to consider.
Requirements: 1. Must be Chrisitian and believe in Jesus Christ.
2. A non smoker. And that's pretty much it.
What really intrigued me from the start was to find out how easily you could figure out the cost. It doesn't matter what state you live in, you don't need to give your whole medical history. Just plug in your age and the rates come right up. And yes even having recently had a battle with throat cancer I was still welcome!
Read up on it and if you have questions fell free to ask me. It truely is worth looking into. The people are compassionate and helpful and it is a refreshing change from the currrent insurance nightmare.
Meanwhile, on a personal side it has been just over 7 years since my cancer diagnosis of Metastatic Squamous Cell Caricnoma with Occult Primary.
I still have quite limited saliva, and have to resort to a diet that is saucy and goes down easy. My radical neck discection scar from ear to throat, feels tight like it has duct tape on it and is partially numb. I don't have to shave below my jaw which is a plus thanks to the IMRT radiation:) I also continue to fatigue easily and have found that small amounts of Nuvigil help me stay alert and functional. My thyroid glands are failing as a collateral damage to the radiation, so I take levothroxin to compensate.
My prayers to all and I will never forget all the support Jill and my friends here have given me when I needed it most.
You know, God does work on mysterious ways. When I first stumbled on to this I was highly suspicious. But very intreagued at the same time. So i read up on it. Checked out the BBB, what others saying about it and it was all positive. So I decided to call, and got a person very quickly who spent an hour explaining how it worked etc.. the more I heard the more it made sense to try it. I didn't think they'd accept me cause of my cancer. But they did and in less than two weeks with minimal paperwork, I was a on board. And I've honestly never had such a great personal experience dealing with healthcare issues as I have with Medi-Share. I'm glad you are doing well as can be. For me some days are better than others but overall I'm blessed.
Sunshine and Smiles Hugs and Prayers for you
Perhaps if you had a new physician with a fresh perspective they might help you find a solution.
Today I manage to still choke at practically every meal. If it ain't saucy or slippery or full of butter, it will get stuck just before going down the chute. If I kept my mouth shut and didn't talk then I would avoid half of those incidents:) Often a pat of butter slicks up my throat and allows a few bites to go down easy.
I see Elena Rose on Facebook from time to time and she seems to be doing very well. Also Martha Cohen is on Facebook and still pushing hard doing a lot of running.
Regarding the energy factor. I don't know that acupuncture would work as its one of those things where I have really good days, and others where, for no particular reason I can think, I am just plain exhausted. I still haven't pinpointed the "why" that is happening. The cause and effect concept. So I just go with what my body is telling me and don't push it when I don't feel up to it. Prayers and hugs to you up in beautiful Canada :)
I do have dilations which do help to open the tube for short periods of time and will have to have them for life which is a small price to pay because I am probably eating as much as you are and more than most after dilations. I am overdue for one now so my ability to swallow is not great at this point, and hopefully very soon I will be having my next one. My doctor has many contacts with who he brainstorms with all over the world in cancer of the head and neck issues. In hopes to find something new that may help me and people like me out. The conclusion from him and all of them is I either stay on the tube or have an Esophagus transplant, which is very radical and serious surgery! What that entails is for my gastro surgeon or any gastro surgeon to remove part of my intestines for Dr. S. to transplant into the Esophagus area. My attitude is that that will only happen as a final option. Like I said at this point I am eating not bad, (had spaghetti and meatballs for lunch. Not bad eh?) and maintaining a weight of 110 pounds which is light but not dangerous.
What I need the tube for I don’t think is a big deal and wasn’t complaining about because at this point I am very thankful to have it. Mine mainly is used for medications, and I do use it for back up when I am having a hard time! The tube is like a wheel chair thank God the technology is there for us who need these things. Would you say to someone in a wheel chair if they tried harder they would never have needed it, even though you’re not the doctor and haven’t seen why they need a wheel chair? Because, basically that is what you just said to me! You know yourself swallowing pills can be hard for anyone, but if a pill gets stuck it can be very dangerous and can scar the esophagus which if that happened to me it may just put my case to the point where I don’t have the option of a tube and would need the transplant! Yeah I really won the “Radiation Lotto” as they say, because of the amount of issues I have had which could and do happen to a lot of us no matter what cancer we had! I do however feel very blessed and thank God that I am still here, tube or no tube to be able to talk about it because I don’t like the alternative!
It was good hearing from you and like I said I am happy you found an insurance that works for you, and glad you are doing well.
Hugs and God Bless
P.S. As for acupuncture at least I know it is one thing that does work so I don’t have to add fatigue to my issues, if you have read some of my past posts you could see it is hard for me to sit still so fatigue is not an option...
Each one of us goes though some variation of hell tailored just for us. I will never fully know what youve gone through and are living with. But the blessing of this blog is that we can all sympathize and relate to each other, knowing that we all have been marked for life by our experience and collateral damage from our treatments.
There are so many things I am grateful for having fought for extra time. Ever time I try to swallow or turn my knock there is that little reminder of "oh yeah that's from your cancer", but I am blessed to have my wife at my side and a beautiful little goat farm full of loving animtals bring joy to my day.
Yes I have collateral damage, but I can only say that I have been truly blessed with the time that God has given me.
Hugs and prayers to yiu:)
This plan is perfect for me and has been living up to what I hoped it would be. Certainly, read up on their site. And make a call to them and talk to someone. I have found the people to be full of knowledge and insight. They don't call it "insurance" but "cost sharing".
Yes with Medi-Share you have to be a Christian, however people of other faiths have their own "religious health ministries" allowing for the same escape from the chains of misery doled out by Obamacare.
God bless & hugs to you!
That Medi-Share healthcare option is indeed very cool. It reminds me a lot of the support I found here at BFAC, only they are oriented to providing healthcare that makes sense. The don;t call it insurance but cost sharing of al members expenses. They also offer prayers and inspirational messages. Instead of trying to limit you, I sense they actually empower you to learn how to shop wisely for the best care and cost. Prescriptions have become absurd. There is no rhyme or reason. Celebrex for arthritis used to be around $40 / for 30 pills. Now it over to $250. There is a PPO called PHCS that negotiates down medical and tests. And with prescriptions, they show you how to shop around. It's slightly more work and requires some thinking, but the result is I feel more in control of my healthcare with this Christian ministry than I ever did when I had any conventional health insurance company. Every step of the way was a battle. One cool trick I discovered regarding shopping for meds is using coupons. I never thought of that ever. Some real expensive meds will give you a free or $5 script when you start out. Then there are websites like goodrx.com Medi-Share told me about this. Anybody can go to that site, put in their prescription details. Quantity strength, number of pills etc. Then you pick a radius around your zip code and you find the best price. Print the coupon and hand it to the pharmacist.
It's truly amazing but I now do it all the time and it works. Why and how a website would offer prescription discounts to anyone without asking anything in return is stunning. I have no clue how it works, but it does. I suggest you give it a shot. See what happens. Sometimes a med is cheaper through the insurance, but often you are better off using the coupon.
On a brighter note, our little goat farm is hoping. Lots of baby kids to be born in June. I'll post a few pics. Hugs love and prayers to you Sabina!!!! :)
A few weeks ago in the news, there was a pizza place was forced to shut down because they didn't want to cater a gay wedding. Because of their religious Christian beliefs the media pounced an created a scandal. Next thing the story went nationwide and they raised some $800,000 here is the story on forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2015/04/07/crowdfunding-raises-800000-for-memories-pizza-parlor-what-it-means-for-donors-future-campaigns/
I think might be worth looking into and put out your predicament on gofundme and see what happens?
It's great to catch-up with you again as well. It's passed my bedtime. To be continued. Hugs, love and prayers to you:)
Sorry I overlooked your post. But I wanted to reply to your comment on the healthcare option I was describing. Indeed it is not considered insurance and they make that quite clear.mtheu call it "cost sharing." As part of the program, members monthly dues or premiums go to pay the pool off medical expenses of other members. However the statement that you make that the is no guarantee that they will pay is not accurate. With conventional health insurance there is certainly no guarantee that they will pay fo a procedure. I for one have been turned down multiple times for PET scans and other tests. The insurance companies use a company called CareCore, whose job it is to find a way to deny you.
Now Back to Medi-Share. They can't call it insurance as they have to play by the rules of the obamacare dictates. So they call it cost sharing.
Your annual deductible is called your "annual household portion." It can be as low as $1,250/yr for a $325 monthly, or as low as $133/month for a $10,000 deductible, aka annual household portion. That's the option I chose.
If the annual portion is met, then they cover 100% of medical after that with no limit.
My latest X-ray test bill came in and the radiologist fee for reading the X-ray was $50. But because I still am benefiting from the PPO negotiating power, I only owe $17.50.
Quite honestly having quite a good track record of experience with insurance companies and my fights with them from all the bills from my cancer, this Medi-Share plan, beats the insurance companies hands down. And I'm saving thousand in ridiculously expensive premiums I don't have to pay. I've looked into other religious exemption healthcare programs, but Med share is among the best. Friendly, easily accessible by phone and a far cry from the bureaucratic nightmare of Oxford or Bluce Cross!
Admiralty I was skeptical at first, but time and experience with using to the doctors stc, have shown me that this is a blessed option, because it does not have to conform to the absurd obamacare mandates, like covering you for sex changes, or charging you more depending on which zip code you live in. If you have more questions we can talk private or here. Hugs and prayers to you Linda!!!
Medi-Share is associated with the natiob's largest PPO known as PhCS. When you need to go to the doc or have a procedure, tiu just give them a quick call as a heads up. No authorization number required. They have a comprehensive list of all participating doctors, labs and hospitals that are in the PHCS network. They recommend you go to those docs if possible. (Btw all my docs and hospitals from my oncologist to my hospitals are associated with them.
However if you can go out of network and they still will accept your doc or facility. The costs maybe a bit higher but you are not flat out banned like in many HMOs. Also you are covered out of state and out of the country. So thing which I thought was a given, until I discovered that the lower end obamacare plans did NOT insure you out of State, which to me is stunning!
A funny little story.... For the past 20 years , there is this woman in our town who I know casually, who is known as the "birthday queen." Everyday, for the last twenty years, she makes phone calls to all the people on her list that are having birthdays and even half birthdays. So, every June 11 and Dec 11, without fail, she calls me to wish me a happy birthday. I am far from the only one who she calls on my birthday. A very cool, wonderful thing to know, that someone is thinking about you:).
Meanwhile all is good. Our little goat farm is doing well. Between now and early July, 8 does will be delivering lots of bouncy little kids. Tonight Luna, is in labor and sure to wake us up at 3am. We have the baby monitor hooked up. When we here the cries, we know it's time to jump out of bed and be there in case she needs any help!