Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yes! The Answer is No!

No is the Answer! And Yes! Thank God, is all I have to say!

The Question: Do I have cancer?

As of about 20 minutes ago - No! But it sure has been an interestingly surreal and iffy 6 months...

I quietly celebrated my first official year of working from home after being canned from my first (and last!) advertising agency gig last Valentine's Day.

I covered my self-employment tax nut, mortgage and overhead and even managed to get away for my birthday in October and spend an awesome 10 days in Vancouver with my wife and a few dear and very close friends.

I've got a pile of awesomely interesting and fun projects on my plate - not to mention a couple of incredible job opportunities.

In a nutshell, I am, as I have been for 46 years so far, quite Blessed.

The only major hurdle in our lives to date has been the futile attempt at obtaining heath insurance. Due to a misdiagnosis 4 years ago - one which has been corrected in writing by the very same doctor but for some reason is still a delaying factor - I've been waiting since January 2008 to get coverage.

Meanwhile, starting right after Christmas I began noticing small traces of blood in my urine.

While waiting and inquiring for approval and as the blood thing got progressively and visually more evident, I proceeded to get some independent bloodwork done in an effort to expedite things and have results in hand as soon as I did get covered.

(I walked into Health Check USA, the nation’s leading direct-to-consumer medical testing service started right here in San Antonio in 1987 and got both a blood and urine test, fasted for 12 hours and went back for another blood test. 48 hours and $130 later I had my results via the secured site and in hand via snail mail. I sent PDFs of all the results to my buddy Reagan who's dad is a urologist in Austin. He assured me I wasn't dying, but I should see a doctor asap.)

Fast forward to March. Still waiting in vain for coverage and now I've got clots of blood mixed with my already bloody urine. Now I'm really beginning to worry.

At this time I had the bills and my income tax covered, I'd already prepaid the broker that's suppose to be getting my underwriting resolved and I'm waiting for checks in the mail for completed work, but our bank account was getting dangerously close to nada.

Then comes last Wednesday night. I go to pee and it's basically all blood.

Oh My God.

I'm floating above myself in disbelief and realize that although I'm not in any pain, I'm in real trouble. I need help right freaking now and I can't afford to go to the emergency room. Welcome to America!

Ok. Stop. Breath. Think.

I immediately call another buddy, Brent, one whom I should have called months earlier but for some reason I promised myself I wouldn't bother him and call in a favor unless it was absolutely necessary. Duh. (I know, I'm an idiot for waiting, I blame it on the lack of blood to my brain...)

So, within an hour of me calling Brent and having my blood work PDFs forwarded to his brother Brian, now Dr. Given and his colleague, a urologist, Dr. Ralph, I had an appointment for Friday morning along with the assurance, based on the PDFs, that I would indeed be ok for another 24 hours and I'd make it until then.

PDFs Rule!

Next challenge: Money. I decided I needed to spend Thursday morning doing everything I could to expedite some billing and get some cash in the bank.

It didn't take long. I can't tell you how truly lucky I am to be able to pick up the phone and with minimal explanation the first and only 2 clients I called dropped off checks to my home. No charity - all for work completed or in progress. Thank you. Thanks you. Thank you. Chrissy, Brette, Bill, Dalton, Tina, Tish, Bryan, Liz, Matt, Conrad, Garrett, Buddy, Richard, David, Alan, Jacky, Mitch, Amelia, Jackie, Warren, Carol, Hillary, Greg, Emily, Reagan, Brent, Brian, Ralph, John, Jacquie, (I could really go on and on for a while!), thanks to every one for simply just being there.

Long story short, and without insurance or the gnarly details being wide awake and having my penis probed while my wife Chrissy held my hand during the initial examination on Friday morning, Dr. Ralph explained that I in fact had a tumor in my bladder.

I went in Monday for the surgery to have the mass removed and, although I'm still a little sore and on some meds for another day, I just heard from Dr. Ralph that I am AOK and cancer free!

Yes! That's Right - My Guardian Angel rocks!

Sure, I've got follow-up probes every three months for the next year or so to simply monitor the situation but the great news is that I've got the second chance I've (we've!) been praying for.

Yes! Thank You.

Now, I'm not really an astrology reading kind of guy, my wife and I usually like reading ours after the fact and just for grins, but after hearing from Dr. Ralph I just had to look at what mine says for today. According to Linda Black, here's my Libra scope for today, the first day of the rest of my life, May 15th 2008:

"You're back in control. You can assess the situation easily and figure out what to say or do to get whatever you want. Once you decide what that is, make your move."

That's Right!

Thanks for everything y'all.