Tuesday, May 25, 2010

--insert twilighty zone type music here--

in perhaps one of the weirder twists of fate ever, our insurance provider, Humana, decided to reverse Matthew's pre-existing condition decision and will start paying his medical claims.  During my daily interweb verification of my financial demise, I noticed that Humana had claimed to have paid about 190K worth of the over 600K of outstanding medical bills.  This seemed very strange as they had previously said all bills related to Matthew's leukemia were going to be denied.  The dude on the phone said they had further  reviewed the case internally and had decided to reverse their decision.  Perhaps they got wind of the legal team I had put together which included the likes of Johnny Cochran, Abraham Lincoln, pre-scientologist Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men, and Matlock.  In all sincerity, my buddy Josh in Elmhurst did provide a great deal of guidance and time in reviewing the facts around this whole mess. My only conclusion after becoming semi-intimate with Illinois' insurance law is that the entire healthcare/insurance system needs a bomb dropped on it and should be rebuilt from scratch.  You would be hard pressed to find anything remotely more f'ed up than this.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Matthew: 1 Cancer: 0

The results from last weeks bone marrow biopsy have revealed zero cancer cells.  This is best scenario we could have hoped for.  He is feeling great and has more energy than the rest of the family combined.  In fact, he is going to make an unscheduled special guest appearance at his Aunt Mary's wedding next weekend.  Aunt Mary does not know this yet, nor does anyone else for that matter.  :)

In completely unrelated news...my brother Mike and I were kicking it in our usual celebrity laced social circles this week.  Here is a photo of us rolling with Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Graduate and Civil War Days

Some recent pictures of the last few days.  Yesterday was Claire's graduation from pre-school which was a terrifically awesome event.  Claire and her fellow alumni sang songs and celebrated their graduation from Happy Times Preschool.  Claire has loved going to Happy Times and has better teachers than we could have wished ever for.

Claire and Miss Sherri

Elise, Claire, and Julia

Claire with her Grandparents!!

This gem is of Matthew sitting on his new toilet in the hallway wearing Claire's shoes.  Complete with reading material.
On our way to the Civil War Days.  You can almost see Matthew concentrating on finding a way to make this trip blow up faster than a confederate musket.
My BIL Anton joined us.
Civil war reenactor is an interesting breed of person.

The South won this battle although we were ensured that the next day they would not be so fortunate.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wanted: Erin Brockovich

**I have been informed that the lawyer movie I was actually thinking of is the Rainmaker and not Erin Brockovich.  I hate to disrespect a Julia Roberts so I will keep the original blog title and hang my head in shame at the incorrect movie reference**

Its been a few days since my last post due to general busy-ness and enjoying everyone being home for the first extended period of time in a while.  Since we last spoke a few things have happened including Matthew's last bone marrow, my nearly murdering a women in downtown naperville, and our insurance company screwing us.  I will dive into each of these a little further for your enjoyment.

First and foremost, Matthew had what is expected to be his last bone marrow biopsy EVER yesterday.  He did awesome.  The results of this test should be back in about a week or so.  His counts are recovering nicely and he has ALOT of energy.  He loves being home, spending time outside, and playing with Claire.

I took Matthew for a walk last Saturday in downtown Naperville.  It was a little chilly but his head is starting to grow hair again and it very itchy.  I tried to put a hat on him but he kept pulling it off.  We were standing in front of Starbucks and a woman in the passenger seat of a red prius stuck her head out her window and said "put a hat on your baby".  I turned around to look at her, kind of confused.  She said again "put a hat on your baby", and then she drove away.  I was stunned and eventually, so completely pissed off.  Matthew and I spent the next 30 minutes or so walking around downtown Naperville looking for this Bit$h but could not find her.  A nice dude who works at Marbles came up to me and said that he heard what she said and could not believe it.  I eventually calmed down after finding solace in the fact that this woman may be lying dead in a ditch somewhere or will somehow, and very painfully, learn a lesson to keep her fing mouth shut.

Finally, I started looking through some of Matthew's open insurance claims (totalling just short of $600,000 so far) and noticed that some had been Denied due to the existence of a pre-existing condition.  I won't get into the long story but when I started my own company, our insurance company changed effective on 12/1.  Matthew went into the hospital on the night of 12/1, at which time we had never heard the word leukemia nor had cancer ever been discussed.  He was admitted the early morning of 12/2 and was eventually diagnosed on 12/4. Humana is calling that a  pre-existing condition based on the symptomps that he was showing in November.  So now the appeal and presumably legal process begins.  Exactly what I feel like doing right now.

Do I have a sign on my back that says "Kick Me...as hard as you can...repeatedly...in the nuts!!!"?  I must.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


The bacterial infection was believed to be in Matthew's PICC line so this afternoon, they took it out and sent us home.  His ANC continues to recover (over 500 now) and his recovery looks to be on track. 


the bacteria infection is confirmed and he is on antibiotics designed to kill it.  Unsure currently of the seriousness.  Will probably be in the hospital for a few more days. 

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


he is on his way to the hospital now as a precaution.  they want to monitor him while they conduct a few more tests.

- - insert deep sigh here (not the good kind of deep sigh...the frustrated one)- -

so...the little dude is home but we have a new late breaking development.  the doctor called late last night and said that something had started growing in one of matthew's latest blood cultures. from the looks of the bacteria, it appears to be something that would be topical so the thought is the blood sample was somehow contaminated. He is staying home but being put on a short term antibiotic while a new blood culture is taken.  aside from being crabby, he is acting normal otherwise.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Matthew should be going home tomorrow (monday) barring some sort of unforseen problems.  His ANC level, which is kind of the magic number we monitor, has gone from zero, to 23, to 68, to 98 over the past 3 days which is great.  Normal values are above 1,500 but we have to start somewhere.  He got a blood transfusion and platelets today which really boosted his energy level this afternoon. 

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Claire! Miss you!!

A couple of nights ago Matthew and I, from the hospital bed, Skyped Nicole and Claire while they were at home.  Matthew saw Claire on the computer and kept saying 'Hi Claire!  Miss you!  Miss you Claire!"  It was very funny.  He would then grab the computer screen and try to kiss it over and over.

A few more pics of the little man painting.


Matthew is still in isolation but seems to be doing a little better than he was at this time yesterday.  Isolation is where you are in your own room (good) but you are confined there and can't leave (not so good).  As soon as the doctors get the results of a few tests indicating he does not have anything dangerously contageous, he will be moved out to a regular room.  He had a fever up until last night and was fever free for all of yesterday and so far this evening which is a good sign.  He is on a steady cocktail of several different antibiotics which are designed to combat pretty much anything that is causing him this discomfort.  He wasn't eating anything really up until this morning when he was able to muscle his way through a few donut holes and then it was encouraging this evening when he at his mac n cheese by sticking his foot in the bowl and then eating the noodles off of his foot.  Difficult to say how long stay will be but getting through this recovery period should be the last hurdle.