Dieseling toward the end

9/4/2014

Long time no news, but it’s all good.

I received a formal letter from Social Security saying that they are looking into my request (the one where they are politely asked to fix their fuck-up) and that my monthly benefit will not change until everything is resolved. From what I gather from online sources, this takes months. So, sigh of relief.

Had my last follow-up visit with the radiation oncologist today: everything looks fine, no external sign of any continuing cancer, and I am healing well. We’ll know more after the PET scan in October, but everyone is optimistic about that. Me, I just want to get it over.

I have been losing weight at a tremendous rate: almost 20 pounds since the beginning of all this, and 10 just within the past month. Since I probably had about 30 pounds I could safely shed going in, nobody is worried as long as the appetite loss doesn’t interfere with my healing. Bought my first pair of size 10 jeans in close to three decades, and am feeling rather smug about that. I have a pile of size 14 jeans and shorts to truck down to the local thrift shop. Nota bene: I do not recommend chemo and radiation as a weight-loss measure.

I’m hoping that if nothing lights up in the next PET scan, the oncologist will decide to get this port out of my chest — the slimmer I get, the more it sticks out and it’s sensitive, especially when one of the cats walks across it. I’ll be happy to see it go.

Further reports as events warrant.

… later

Apparently I typed too soon: this afternoon I got a call from Lorena at Social Security in Hilo, who said that my request for a waiver had been turned down, but she was willing to make me an offer whereby instead of snatching my entire benefit, I would only have to pay them $500/month. I pointed out that the original error was not my fault; she said it was still earned income. I told her I wanted to file an appeal and she said she’d send me the papers. Not the kind of hassle I need, but I can’t survive on $1400/month, not unless I eat the cats.