Razfrazzle and Other Epithets

Kage Baker would have stared incredulously and said, “Well, fuck all. Let’s go get some malts and sit and look at the sea.”

Wish I could. I may yet get a malt, though I’ll have to drive up to Mulholland to see the ocean. Wouldn’t be the first time for that, though.

Dear Readers, I got the results from my biopsy today. I have Stage 2 serous adenocarcinoma. This is an uncommon endometrial cancer – though not, as my doctor was quick to assure me, as weird as what Kage had. It’s also aggressive. However, it’s been caught quite early and surgery is imminent to put paid for it once and for all.

I may eventually be scared – so far, I am just enraged. This is simply not fair. But then, a hell of a lot of life is not fair. I just hadn’t expected another heaping helping quite so soon.

Luckily, my doctor is also small and aggressive, and is already working on scheduling my surgery.

*********************** INTERRUPTION ********************************

Surgery is no longer quite as imminent …

There are  some difficulties with my Medi-Cal plan. My coverage was changed by the state on December 1st, from “straight” Medi-Cal to an HMO. I have been assigned to a medical  group. They know nothing about me or my health, have never seen me, and are not the doctor who has been treating me for the last two months.

I’ve requested that the pertinent forms to switch me back be FAXed to my doctor. I need to fill some out as well, with my medical history. Then they get sent to Sacramento for review on whether or not my condition is eligible: life-threatening enough, basically. Do I really NEED to see this particular doctor? – style of thing.

How long does this take? No one knows … I was told, “There is no time scale assigned,” which is, I think, a bureaucratic euphemism for Whatever we say it takes. I asked the clerk on the line if she understood my actual condition IS time-sensitive, and she said “What?” I asked her how often this review process is fatal, and she replied that she had no information on that … seems to me someone ought to maybe give some thought to it.

This is part of why Kage died.

I, however, am not going to submit patiently. I’ve spent an hour or so on the phone with various people, getting numbers and forms and permissions and run-arounds. I shall go in person tomorrow. And on Friday. And so on, until this gets straightened out. Cedars-Sinai is a practical, compassionate place, and has other options available for those of us who have had the bad taste to both get very ill and lose their health care coverage: this will work.

I just have to be determined. And I am. That was a lesson hard-learned and never to be forgotten. It’s not that I am asking for a hand-out; I paid into this system for 40 years, and am now requesting only the services I was assured would be waiting for me. However, the system seems bent on not paying anything to anyone  – which would save money, I suppose – until the problem goes away on its own.

They are in for a surprise. The problem is ME, and I will not be silenced.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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22 Responses to Razfrazzle and Other Epithets

  1. Neassa says:

    What the HELL do they think they’re doing? I’ll back you against a bureaucracy any day – but what the hell do they think they’re doing? I am even more glad now that you have a small, aggressive surgeon on your side to push and pull and rage from her side. But, you have more important things to be doing than fighting with *paperwork* right now!


    • Kate says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Neassa. I think I can take ’em. As for paperwork – well, apparently it IS what I need to be doing right now. So I’ll do it. But I must admit, I’m getting angrier and angrier. Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com


  2. Tom says:

    Prayers and good wishes you know you can have in abundance, Kate. Is there anything else you want for this assault on Babylon? Sharpened pencils? Yellow pads? Stamped self-addressed envelopes? A pepper-spray-resistant parasol?

    I think you can take ’em, too.


  3. PJ says:

    I am so outraged on your behalf. Prayers these dragons will be slayed quickly. Prayers for a successful treatment and a speedy recovery.


  4. Kate says:

    Thanks, PJ. I am fighting – something I am good at. Many others are in similar or worse straits, and have none of the support or resources I do. I think I’m pretty lucky, and I am pretty sure I will prevail.


  5. Brad Campbell says:

    Sad news. Mad news.
    I think this requires you to be in full Mendoza Mode.



  6. Kate says:

    Brad – I intend to be channelling Budu. And Mary Griffith.


  7. Bethe says:

    Budu – good choice. Whatever you do, do NOT let anyone push you around and deny you the treatment you deserve, or delay you.

    Prayers and good wishes,


  8. Go get ’em, my girl. They have no idea who they’re messing with and how you learned. but what gall on the part of the Universe to put you through this, and following so close on Kage’s death, too. Dammit!

    In the other hand, I suppose you could head north tomorrow and close Dickens, after all. Yep, queen of the silver lining, that’s me.



    • Kate says:

      Well, to be honest, that occurred to me, Maggie – I could go to Dickens! But my doctor does think it’s an insane idea, and I suspect I will be spending most of Thursday and Friday chasing paperwork. And I have tests to complete, too. My silver lining will be making some government drones miserable!

      Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com


  9. Funny Laura, That’s just what I was going to say, only with the appropriate emphasizing punctuation, ie:

    Give. Them. Hell.

    Like that.


  10. Widdershins says:

    We are not losing you to this bureaucratic bullshit too!

    The amount of rage that is currently being channeled via the interwebs is powerful enough to light the entire west coast right now … that includes Canada.


  11. Jane says:

    I’m spitting mad on your behalf and swearing auf Deutsch which is the best cursing language – Scheist!! as my old German grandpa frequently swore. I’m relieved that you are in full fight mode. Keep a steady intake of peppermint barque going to fuel your fight! And if you need a burrito delivery, I’m right around the corner.


  12. Medrith says:

    Gaahhh! Go get them bureaucrats!! I can’t bring you things from 3000 miles away or so, so I will continue to pray.


  13. Margaret says:

    Keep raging at them, and don’t hold back from using all the cards you’ve got: the ‘I have cancer card’ and the ‘Let me tell you about my sister’ card and the ‘I’ve PAID for this service already, so let’s see it NOW!’ card. And a basilisk glare sometimes works wonders – I’d guess yours could burn through steel right now. My bets are on you vs. the snivelling bureaucrats.


  14. Margaret says:

    P.S. An afterthought – do you have a congresscritter who’s up for re-election? Sometimes they have a local office that delights in sparring with bureaucracy, particularly with an election looming. I had good luck with that approach several years ago, and not even at election time. Mine was all done by phone and involved a corporation not even based in my state.


  15. Cynthia Howell says:

    I am beyond angry! I know that life isn’t fair, but this is totally screwed. Please fight with everything you have, and know that we are pulling for you. If there is anything I can do…


    • Kate says:

      Don’t worry, Cynthia – I am a fighter. And I still have considerable fight left over from Kage, which I mighty as well use now. In fact, I am just back from tracking my Medi-Cal case worker to her lair, and leaving her one very unhappy bureaucrat … but my Medi-Cal benefits per se are now guaranteed for the next year. All we’re still fighting over is the form … and there too I shall prevail. Cancer is a wonderful trump card in these debates. And I have no shame. And after 30 years of doing improvisational theatre, I can cry on cue, like Margaret O’Brien.


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