Friday, August 15, 2008

Drowning in Paper

Boy, cancer requires a lot of paperwork! And so does poverty. I have a big box right here in the living room that is full of file folders. It's the Cancer Box, and it includes...

Medical bills.
Medical test results. Every month I have an elaborate version of "a poke and a piss," and get 3-5 pages of results.
Insurance statements. I gave up trying to pair these with the medical bills, and just created a separate file.
Insurance correspondence. Everything but statements.
Food Stamps. Boatloads of paper for twice-annual "re-certification." It requires any combination of utility bills, bank statements, mortgage statements, medical bills, vehicle registration, tax returns, birth certificate, etc.
SS Disability. Everything Food Stamps requires, and much more. I've received my "automatic" denial; 8 months later, I'm in the process of my first appeal.
Financial Aid. With a very high deductible (yeah, hindsight, eh?) and no income, whatever assistance I get makes a big difference. I owe thousands of dollars to three hospitals, and they all require tankerloads, aircraft carrier loads of documentation.
Leukemia Society. Big hugs to Foodie Lynn for telling me Multiple Myeloma is one of their cancers. I have also applied for financial assistance from two different funds they administer.
Drug Company Brochures from the company that makes my chemo drug.
Attorney. The first thing I did after getting my diagnosis -- and I mean the next day -- was get my Ducks in a Row.
Misc. General info about MM, treatment overviews, caregivers guides, etc.
Extra copies. I try and save myself time by having extra copies on hand of tax returns, utility bills, drivers' license, birth certificate. Doesn't matter; whatever someone requires is always the one thing I don't have in the file.

A couple of months ago, a friend came over for a visit, bringing her little dog along. With barely a glance at Molly, he marched right over and peed on the Cancer Box. My thoughts, exactly.


josh williams said...

Love the dog peeing story, well told.
I just read a book which is the second by Jim Darrlington he travels with his wife and dog,a whippet, (kinda like a grey hound but smaller.)
Their dog vomited on Christmas presents under a strangers tree, the strangers ( friends of friends) took it well and feed them well and even let the Whippet stay inside and acclimate to southern hospitality, which the English apparently find quite charmed by, I suppose if your dog vomits on your gifts and you are still fed and lodged then why would you not be charmed?

La Cootina said...

Ha! Sounds like another author I should add to my list.

Anonymous said...

Hugs back at you, and even though he wasn't mentioned by name, I know that had to be my Zeek that you told the pisser story about. I still feel bad about that, but at least it was only the statement he made that was big mere drops that he left as evidence.... Peace, Lynn :-)

La Cootina said...

As an editorial comment, it was quite astute. As a houseguest, though... needs work. ;