Saturday, August 08, 2009

Staycation almost over

And boo to that, indeed. My plan to win the MegaMillions jackpot last night, allowing me to have a forever staycation, did not pan out - I did not have even one stinkin' number correct. Ah well, nobody else won either so I have a fresh chance on Tuesday night.

It's been a fairly quiet week but very relaxing. Originally the plan was to go to PA for a couple of days to take the girls back to Idlewild, but Jim was somewhat indisposed last weekend and traveling was not advised by his doctor. He is better now and I am hoping we can sneak away for an overnight trip so that the girls can still go. They were really understanding about missing the trip but still want to go, which is more than fair. We just have to plan around everything else, is all. In general, we all benefitted from some down time. Today is Jim's birthday (Happy Birthday, sweetie!) and we are celebrating by going to the annual 'old dog party' hosted by one of our favorite organizations, Sanctuary for Senior Dogs. I had to miss the party last year since I was just 3 days out of surgery; I am really looking forward to it this afternoon. Fingers remain crossed that it doesn't rain. Tomorrow we will celebrate August birthdays and anniversaries at Jim's folks' house. Our monthly family dinners are always a lot of fun; the cousins get to run around and play together, while the adults catch up with one another. When I was growing up, family celebrations consisted of my nuclear family (mom, dad, sister Barbara and me) along with my paternal grandmother and uncle. My mom's parents lived in western Pennsylvania, so we didn't get to see them that often. Then my grandmother died when I was seven, and our contact with my grandfather grew more sporadic. He remarried and moved into his new wife's house; she was a very nice person but we still didn't feel a great connection. My mom had one brother, who I last saw at my grandfather's funeral in 1980. I have no idea where he is, if he is even still living. In recent years, one of my mother's cousins reached out to Barbara and me, and so we have gotten to know her and her family, which has been lovely. But I am so grateful to be able to be part of Jim's larger extended family. Not only are they welcoming and wonderful people, but so are the other in-law families that make up the big extended family we all share.

Ok, so enough with the sentimentality for now. I am gearing up mentally for my visit to The James later this month. Yesterday I received a packet of information about my visit, along with a bunch of forms to complete. I had to laugh when looking at them, as the information they are requesting is all the same stuff I gave them by phone when I initially contacted them! *sigh* In good news, I contacted my health plan administrator at work about how to get any treatment at The James covered at our tier 1 rate rather than at the tier 2 rate. Since the HDIL2 treatment is not offered at any of the Cleveland Clinic hospitals, it's possible to have it covered outside CC as though it were. My administrator contacted Dr. Rini and Dr. Olencki at the James and it's all worked out. The hospital part will be covered at 100%. Doctor visits are $25 copay. As tier 2, I would have a $500 deductible, then 70/30 coverage with and out of pocket max copay of $5,000. And if treatment should run into 2010, those figures reset. So I am super lucky for sure. One of my online RCC friends says that IL2 is about $10,000 *per dose*, and people can get up to 15 doses in a treatment cycle. Wow...

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