Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

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shepdawg
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Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby shepdawg » Mon May 03, 2010 5:07 pm

I have been accepted to a San Diego school, have my housing lined up, and gave my boss my letter of resignation. Stoked! That is, until today. My wife just called me and told me that she had an exam and blood tests that indicate that she may have breast cancer. My mind is reeling trying to figure out how to best support my family now. If we move, I'm doubting any new insurance will take my wife with a preexisting condition.

Should I beg my principal to allow me to rescind my letter of resignation, keep teaching, and forget about law school?
Or should I leave my wife 650 miles behind, where she can try to stay in her job and keep her insurance?
Possibly just move to San Diego and hope for the best (maybe my wife will get a job in a district that has insurance that doesn't care about preexisting conditions)?

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby T14_Scholly » Mon May 03, 2010 5:12 pm

How can any of us possibly help you with this question?

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jks289
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby jks289 » Mon May 03, 2010 5:16 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:How can any of us possibly help you with this question?


Jesus Christ, how about a little f-ing compassion.

OP, I'm sorry to hear that, what an insanely tough thing. I think you should calm down about major decisions until you get a definitive diagnosis. Don't get ahead of yourself. Just go home and be supportive on what must be a terrifying day for your wife. There are ways to make insurance work, her employer might be willing to allow her to work remotely and keep insurance, spouses can be covered on school plans, etc. Good luck, sending you good thoughts!

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Mr. Matlock » Mon May 03, 2010 5:17 pm

shepdawg wrote:I have been accepted to a San Diego school, have my housing lined up, and gave my boss my letter of resignation. Stoked! That is, until today. My wife just called me and told me that she had an exam and blood tests that indicate that she may have breast cancer. My mind is reeling trying to figure out how to best support my family now. If we move, I'm doubting any new insurance will take my wife with a preexisting condition.

Should I beg my principal to allow me to rescind my letter of resignation, keep teaching, and forget about law school?
Or should I leave my wife 650 miles behind, where she can try to stay in her job and keep her insurance?
Possibly just move to San Diego and hope for the best (maybe my wife will get a job in a district that has insurance that doesn't care about preexisting conditions)?

First off, my best wishes to your wife and family while you deal with this difficult situation.

Now, what I would do:

1. Immediately call USD and inquire about their insurance and policies for students and families.
2. Tell your principal what the situation is and try and get a gauge on where they are at in hiring for your previous position. Perhaps he/she can stall the process a week while you determine the best plan of action.
3. I know its tough, but your wife needs 100% of your focus and energy. In no circumstance do I feel you should leave her behind. Worse case scenario is you need to defer a year. Even if you lost your current job, pick up a full/part time gig and be there with your wife!!!

Once again, my best wishes and bring us up to date whenever you get a chance.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Mr. Matlock » Mon May 03, 2010 5:19 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:How can any of us possibly help you with this question?

Sometimes it's best not to say anything at all.

Here endeth the lesson.

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shepdawg
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby shepdawg » Mon May 03, 2010 5:21 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:How can any of us possibly help you with this question?

I recognize that MOST people on these forums are smart, and they are probably able to think better without the emotional baggage that I have right now. Sound reasonable to you?

Mr. Matlock wrote:First off, my best wishes to your wife and family while you deal with this difficult situation.

Now, what I would do:

1. Immediately call USD and inquire about their insurance and policies for students and families.
2. Tell your principal what the situation is and try and get a gauge on where they are at in hiring for your previous position. Perhaps he/she can stall the process a week while you determine the best plan of action.
3. I know its tough, but your wife needs 100% of your focus and energy. In no circumstance do I feel you should leave her behind. Worse case scenario is you need to defer a year. Even if you lost your current job, pick up a full/part time gig and be there with your wife!!!

Once again, my best wishes and bring us up to date whenever you get a chance.

I think I'm going to go talk to my boss right now. Thanks.
Last edited by shepdawg on Mon May 03, 2010 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Big Dog
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Big Dog » Mon May 03, 2010 5:22 pm

First, no blood test is definitive -- too many false positives, and markers do spike from time to time, with no good reason. Thus, until you get a path report, hold out hope its just a false alarm. But, assuming it is not, your are eligible for COBRA thru your employer. It's not cheap -- 102% of the premium -- but the coverage will continue. Alternatively, under the health care bill which recently passed, exclusions for pre-existing conditions have been eliminated for plan years starting after October 1, 2010. Thus, you/she could continue under COBRA until then, and switch to another plan, or at the soonest possible date of their new plan year. So the insurance issue is manageable. Now you have to consider whether she even wants to consider looking for a new job if undergoing radiation or chemo.

And in no uncertain terms do you leave her behind, unless she has a family support group.

Again, without a pathology report from a trusted source, this all could be just a major concern that goes away. Good luck.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Fark-o-vision » Mon May 03, 2010 5:25 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:
T14_Scholly wrote:How can any of us possibly help you with this question?

Sometimes it's best not to say anything at all.

Here endeth the lesson.


Pretty heartless I guess, but really true. This is beyond the scope of an internet message board and while I feel sorry for him and his family, this is the sort thing he should be discussing with his wife, and her alone. My personal rec would be to figure how big the Dr. thinks this thing is going to be, but I couldn't imagine not putting law school off for at least a year to make sure she's fine. Unless you both are remarkably independent people leaving her behind sounds like the hugest dick move in history (Not trying to say you are, because I'm sure you aren't, but without knowing you it's sort of how things come across).

CMDantes
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby CMDantes » Mon May 03, 2010 5:29 pm

Wow this kind of thing puts my problems into perspective. Good luck to you man, I hope everything works out for you and your wife.

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jks289
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby jks289 » Mon May 03, 2010 5:29 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:
T14_Scholly wrote:How can any of us possibly help you with this question?

Sometimes it's best not to say anything at all.

Here endeth the lesson.


Pretty heartless I guess, but really true. This is beyond the scope of an internet message board and while I feel sorry for him and his family, this is the sort thing he should be discussing with his wife, and her alone. My personal rec would be to figure how big the Dr. thinks this thing is going to be, but I couldn't imagine not putting law school off for at least a year to make sure she's fine. Unless you both are remarkably independent people leaving her behind sounds like the hugest dick move in history (Not trying to say you are, because I'm sure you aren't, but without knowing you it's sort of how things come across).


Meh, I understand getting bad news and needing to have an anonymous internet freak out about the future before being able to be supportive of another person. He isn't asking us to make a choice, just trying to gauge if feeling like "Oh my god, everything we have planned on just got royally f-ed" was reasonable. No one can say "It's all going to be fine" but in terms of law school and insurance, I think we can give a little bit of reassurance.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Mr. Matlock » Mon May 03, 2010 5:38 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:
T14_Scholly wrote:How can any of us possibly help you with this question?

Sometimes it's best not to say anything at all.

Here endeth the lesson.


Pretty heartless I guess, but really true. This is beyond the scope of an internet message board and while I feel sorry for him and his family, this is the sort thing he should be discussing with his wife, and her alone. My personal rec would be to figure how big the Dr. thinks this thing is going to be, but I couldn't imagine not putting law school off for at least a year to make sure she's fine. Unless you both are remarkably independent people leaving her behind sounds like the hugest dick move in history (Not trying to say you are, because I'm sure you aren't, but without knowing you it's sort of how things come across).

While it may seem strange, there is a small percentage of us TLS'ers that are *cough* a few *cough* years out of college with wives/husbands, kids, pets, and have traveled down some very unique paths. His life has potentially been turned upside down from a phone call, and is looking for someone with a "clearer" head to help him stay focused. Sometimes, every little bit helps.

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pugalicious
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby pugalicious » Mon May 03, 2010 5:44 pm

CA teaching website:

http://www.edjoin.org

Every available teaching job will be posted on this site.

ETA: That site has EVERY district job (I saw "in a district" and assumed "teacher", because...I am a teacher... : )

ETAagain: website url has slightly changed...oops...

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lt0826
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby lt0826 » Mon May 03, 2010 7:39 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:
shepdawg wrote:I have been accepted to a San Diego school, have my housing lined up, and gave my boss my letter of resignation. Stoked! That is, until today. My wife just called me and told me that she had an exam and blood tests that indicate that she may have breast cancer. My mind is reeling trying to figure out how to best support my family now. If we move, I'm doubting any new insurance will take my wife with a preexisting condition.

Should I beg my principal to allow me to rescind my letter of resignation, keep teaching, and forget about law school?
Or should I leave my wife 650 miles behind, where she can try to stay in her job and keep her insurance?
Possibly just move to San Diego and hope for the best (maybe my wife will get a job in a district that has insurance that doesn't care about preexisting conditions)?

First off, my best wishes to your wife and family while you deal with this difficult situation.

Now, what I would do:

1. Immediately call USD and inquire about their insurance and policies for students and families.
2. Tell your principal what the situation is and try and get a gauge on where they are at in hiring for your previous position. Perhaps he/she can stall the process a week while you determine the best plan of action.
3. I know its tough, but your wife needs 100% of your focus and energy. In no circumstance do I feel you should leave her behind. Worse case scenario is you need to defer a year. Even if you lost your current job, pick up a full/part time gig and be there with your wife!!!

Once again, my best wishes and bring us up to date whenever you get a chance.


1st of how very stressful. I am so sorry you and your wife are going through this and I hope this worry is for naught and that she is cancer-free.

Mr Matlock's advice is very good I think. I don't think you need to forget about law school but for something like this you may be able
to get a deferral from San Diego in the worst case - and possibly even renew the deferral a 2nd year if needed.

Also UCIs website had a lot of detail on the their health insurance plan - San Diego may as well

Good luck with all this.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Mon May 03, 2010 7:52 pm

Personally, I would get a deferral at the very minimum. Having a loved one battle breast cancer and going through your first year of law school sounds absolutely horrific.

I'd try to get my job back and wait for circumstances to play out. Best of luck to you. Hopefully everything turns out alright.

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Sangiovese
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Sangiovese » Tue May 04, 2010 8:49 am

I agree with the deferral recommendation.

You also need to talk to someone in HR about insurance... because I am almost certain that any preexisting conditions will be covered by your new insurance... as long as the person with the insurance was covered by your old insurance. The problem with preexisting conditions generally occurs when someone who is uninsured has a condition and tries to initiate coverage. It shouldn't impact your ability to change insurance providers. Get some advice about this from someone in the field.

Best wishes to you and your family for a quick and successful treatment and recovery.

PoliticalJunkie
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Tue May 04, 2010 8:59 am

OP: That's tough, if it's true, hopefully they catch it early.

I am very skeptical that any new insurance would take your wife on - assuming that the preliminary tests are correct - and tat she has breast cancer. My recommendation is to talk to the LS and your employer first - without committing yourself to anything and explain the situation.

If the Breast Cancer is caught early you should be able to get through this very successfully and move on to law school. However is the cancer is advanced, then it may be worth the effort to defer LS for a yr and attempt to rescind your resignation.

Disl: I have a fam member that was recently diagnosed with a very advanced form of cancer. While not on my insurance and so not an issue for me as it is with you, I have yet to make a decision on whether i will attend law school and will do so in the coming months as I know where this condition goes

Just don't make a knee jerk reaction to the situation and get as much info you can.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue May 04, 2010 9:13 am

Sangiovese wrote:I agree with the deferral recommendation.

You also need to talk to someone in HR about insurance... because I am almost certain that any preexisting conditions will be covered by your new insurance... as long as the person with the insurance was covered by your old insurance. The problem with preexisting conditions generally occurs when someone who is uninsured has a condition and tries to initiate coverage. It shouldn't impact your ability to change insurance providers. Get some advice about this from someone in the field.

Best wishes to you and your family for a quick and successful treatment and recovery.
This is my experience too. Definitely call USD and find out about their student insurance. I got insurance through my school because they were the only people who couldn't turn me down because I had a pre-existing condition. My husband's plan through his job also has to cover me. My understanding is that group plans - unlike individual plans - generally can't refuse to take you on, and as long as you have a letter of creditable coverage extending up to some window of time before you start with the new insurance, they also have to cover pre-existing conditions. On the other hand, the plans offered through universities are often stingy or not very comprehensive, so get a list of the plans available and a full explanation of benefits.

LurkerNoMore
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby LurkerNoMore » Tue May 04, 2010 9:19 am

On the insurance front:
Call up your law school. Issues with pre-existing conditions greatly improved when HIPAA went into effect in 1996. As long as you don't have a *gap* in your insurance coverage, it is much harder for plans to exclude pre-existing conditions. You should be able to easily find out what the school's coverage policy is by calling them up and explaining the situation.

If your wife does have breast cancer, then you will want to be sure you never let your coverage lapse. This means whenever you change jobs, you will want to make sure to pay for COBRA until your new insurance kicks in (there is a 60 or 90 day grace period before lack of coverage counts as a gap, but I can't remember exactly what it is). You should get more flexibility once the pre-existing condition portion of the recent health care bill kicks in for adults in 2014.

On the health front:
Take some deep breaths. Screening tests have high false positive rates. Their job is to screen out, not screen in. When is her biopsy? Don't make any decisions until then. You may very well want to defer law school for a year while your wife is in treatment if it turns out she does have breast cancer. It is much easier to "numb yourself" to a job than it is to law school and if the road gets rocky, poor performance at a job will have much less of an impact on both your futures than poor performance in law school.

Best of luck.

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shepdawg
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby shepdawg » Wed May 05, 2010 2:36 pm

Life is good! Diagnostic Mammogram showed no cancer.

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romothesavior
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby romothesavior » Wed May 05, 2010 2:42 pm

shepdawg wrote:Life is good! Diagnostic Mammogram showed no cancer.


Congratulations! What a relief. Now go kick some ass in law school.

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Sangiovese
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Sangiovese » Wed May 05, 2010 2:43 pm

shepdawg wrote:Life is good! Diagnostic Mammogram showed no cancer.


Awesome!

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Bert
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Bert » Wed May 05, 2010 2:44 pm

shepdawg wrote:Life is good! Diagnostic Mammogram showed no cancer.


Congratulations!

Best of luck to you two in San Diego (or wherever else you end up).

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Mr. Matlock » Wed May 05, 2010 2:46 pm

shepdawg wrote:Life is good! Diagnostic Mammogram showed no cancer.

:D Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... and breath. Now go tell your wife she owes you the best massage she's ever given for making you go through that!!!!! :lol: :lol:

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Rand M.
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby Rand M. » Wed May 05, 2010 2:49 pm

Good to hear everything turned out alright. My heart sank when I read all that stuff.

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lt0826
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Re: Breast Cancer - A monkey wrench

Postby lt0826 » Wed May 05, 2010 3:16 pm

shepdawg wrote:Life is good! Diagnostic Mammogram showed no cancer.


YAY!! I am so happy to hear that. What a stressful last few days you must have had.




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