Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Steroids Are My Friend

Today is the first day I've felt pretty much normal since I came down with that cold, or bronchitis, or whatever crud it was. This was a tough one to put down. My usual regimen of echinacea, Vitamin C, and sleeping with a vaporizer wasn't going to do the trick in time for my last big public performance this Sunday. It was time to call in the big guns.

I remember how a good friend of mine used to come down with something every year, right before a big production. So he would go to his doctor and get a steroid shot. Fixed him right up so he could get through the hours he'd have to put in. So I called my primary care doctor, and he couldn't see me until sometime next week. That wasn't going to work for me. I wasn't sure what to do, so I called my oncologist's office to ask if they could help me. They not only said they didn't have what I was looking for, but that I should stay away from their offices while I'm sick. Oh yeah, there are chemo patients there, dummy. Can't go there.

The nurse there told me to go to an Urgent Care facility. It was my first time going to one. There's one very close to our house, so it was convenient. The consensus was that I had some kind of bronchitis, though they didn't take a throat culture to make sure. The doctor just wrote me a prescription for a steroid (methylprednisolone) and an antibiotic. I've finished taking the antibiotics, and I have two more steroid pills to take. Beware my 'roid rage. But I feel pretty much at full strength now. I still have a bit of phlegm going on, but my singing voice is back. And not a moment too soon. I have one of the two remaining rehearsals for Sunday's performance today.

Years ago, my wife had to take Prednisone for something, and gained five pounds in three days. So she stopped taking it immediately! When I started taking mine, she guaranteed that I'd gain weight from it, but I haven't. Not one pound over five days. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

I'd feel good about that, except for the probable reason why. It's not just because I'm naturally thin. It's also because cancer is driving my weight back down. It's eating me up one cell at a time, as my nutritionist confirmed a while back. Gaining weight has always been difficult for me, and losing weight very easy. It's been a great advantage for me my whole life until now. It wouldn't be too hard for Gaunt Cancer Guy to make a reappearance. But I won't keep taking steroids to avoid it.

With the coverage I have now, my trip to Urgent care cost me a two dollar copay. Another two dollar copay for the prescriptions. That's it. Under the old system, that would not have been possible for me. That trip to Urgent Care would have been two hundred dollars. I have no idea what the prescriptions would have cost. A few years ago, I probably would have had to call this show off.

When I said in my last post that all I was concerned about was being able to get coverage for my pre-existing condition, that wasn't entirely true. I'm also concerned that I will have to buy insurance from a company that can charge me whatever they want because I'm in their highest risk category. The 100% risk category, as a matter of fact. To me, that would be the same thing as not being able to get insurance at all. Right now, I get a lot of help from the government. I doubt that same amount of help, if any, will be forthcoming next year. I really hope I'm proven wrong.

But in the meantime, I still have coverage now. I got my steroid pills in time to get me right for this performance. I'll still have coverage when it's time for my next Lupron shot in January. Hopefully everything will stay in place for a little while longer. Who knows? By the time things change, it may be a moot point for me. I hope not, but given how my cancer has behaved so far, it could happen.

But I'm not gonna think about that right now. Right now, I'm looking forward to this gig, followed by the holidays. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I want to tell you about it. It's a good day. It's the first day I've woken up in a good mood in a week. It's the first day I've not felt sick in twelve days. I finally feel like myself again. Steroids are my friend. #waroncancer


  1. So glad you are feeling better, brrak a leg!

  2. Great news! We are praying this will be a wonderful weekend! Love you!

  3. I haven't been around the past few posts! I have been up to my eyeballs in crafts getting ready for the craft shows, I am glad your feeling much better from the crud, it went around here pretty fiercely glad it's gone!

  4. Good....glad you're better. Correct drug for problem....wife just had bronchitis.
    Stay healthy please! Tom