Shannon’s Journey 9

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Today, about a month into her journey, Shannon and her daughter driver Shelby, are at Renown Regional Medical Center, in Reno, Nevada. They’re in the Institute for Heart and Vascular section, because chemo is hard on the heart and since she’s had it before, they want to check her heart out to the max.

In this photo, because they’re looking up at the camera and because light was coming in the window, I couldn’t get a shot without a horrible, awful glare coming off of Shelby’s glasses. So I reached over, like I was going to adjust ‘em and I snatched ’em for the photo.

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Here is Shannon’s calendar. When you have breast cancer, you got a lotta doctor and hospital visits and you have to keep track of ‘em.

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act made it against the law for insurance companies to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, so she was able to get coverage. But, even though she had the best coverage she could get at $600 a month for insurance, there was a problem with the plastic surgeon. However, her insurance company said they’re gonna work it out.

Can you imagine would life would be like for Shannon if she hadn’t been able to buy that insurance? Say what you want about Obamacare, but without it, this woman, who played by the rules her whole life woulda been up the creek without a paddle.

But she’s still gotta pay her deductible and all her other bills while she can’t work.

I asked her if their was any help for her from her government and she said because she’s not permanently disabled, she’s only eligible for a hundred and fifty bucks every other week. Big whoop, our generous government will help her out to the tune of three hundred dollars a month. Still, it’s better than nothing.

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Later on in the day, after they check out her heart, Shannon’s gotta have a bone scan and a full body MRI, so she’s gotta drink the stuff in that bottle. The one that’s partially covered by that cup, so that the machines can better see inside her. She said it tastes like sweet tea, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t sweet tea.

And can you see the IV port in her arm? She said they’re going to inject some kind of stuff in there to light her bones up so they can see if there’s any cancer in ‘em. Brrr.

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Here Shannon’s going through the paperwork for today and checking out today’s bill, which was twelve thousand dollars and change. They swiped her card, but she only had to pay five hundred dollars, cuz that was the rest of her deductible.

Oh yes, that twelve grand is the hospital’s money. The doctors are independent contractors and they’ll be billing her separately.

There’s a moral here. Don’t get cancer. It’s expensive, even if you have the best insurance you can get. Or, if you’re gonna get cancer, make sure you earn a whole gang of money first.

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They got a Subway and a Starbucks and a whole lotta shops at the Inn at Renown. That’s right, they got a hotel right in the hospital. Here Shannon’s just finished a Subway breakfast sandwich and downed a quarter of the sweet tea stuff that’s not really sweet tea.

She’s gotta drink it throughout the morning, so that when she gets those bones scanned, they light up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

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Waiting, watching the view. This is a program I’ve never seen, cuz of all those years we didn’t have a TV. They got Whoopi Goldberg on it and she’s pretty funny, but I couldn’t hear the sound, probably because of all those years I played my music way to loud.

I blame Mick, Melissa and Bruce.

Still Shannon can hear it, so apparently the cancer hasn’t affected her hearing nearly as much as it’s affected her wallet.

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Here she’s about to get an echocardiogram. I’ve had ‘em. They’re painless. Actually, this whole day was going to be a painless one. Boring to beat the band, yes. But painless. 

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Here her heart is being seen, just the way an expectant mother can see her unborn child.

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One down, two to go and, of course, more waiting.

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And since I so rudely pulled off Shelby’s glasses for the first photo, I felt I should include one where she’s wearing ‘em. Apparently she doesn’t see so well without ‘em. But maybe, after her eye exam today, which Shannon has to take her too after she gets out of the hospital, she’ll get contacts.

And if you’re reading this, Shelby, contacts got my vote.

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And lastly, if you read my first post, back when Shannon started this journey that no woman ever wants to undertake, you’ll know that she’s a girl who doesn’t wear lipstick.

But she’s worn it for every single exam.

And it looks good on her even if seeing it on her in this photograph just makes you want to cry.

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