Persistance Pays Off.... in more ways than one...
We have always raved about the wonderfully proactive and thorough care we have received from Dr. Patranella and now we have yet another reason to rave: Ever since we had the PET scan back in December, she has been trying to get us reimbursed for it. (If you recall, Chris spent many hours on the phone trying to get it covered by insurance, only to sit on hold or get routed to incorrect people, or cut off after 20 minutes.) We got a call last week that Aetna had finally accepted the appeal and would respond within 30-60 days. Melissa, from Patranella's office was on the case. We all knew it should have been covered because this was the test that prevented either surgery, or more chemo, and in either case, saved Dante from unnecessary treatment and/or surgery, and saved Aetna at least another $30K.
Yesterday, Dr. Patranella left us a personal message on my cell phone that Aetna had decided to reverse its decision and cover the PET scan! That was $2000 out of pocket, so what good news! We can't thank them enough for following through.
Finally found out Dante's AFP today: 2.7!!! I asked Pam, "Did you say 10.7?" "Nope, 2.7." It's supposed to be below 7.9 and had been pretty close to that the whole time (or slightly above. You'll recall on Dec 26th it jumped up to 18 - scary). This is good news. His Osmotic Fragility Test (I just had to say that) came back negative. That was the test to see if he had a couple of different forms of mild anemia. I guess we'll just go the fact that he has a lower than normal hemoglobin level - hey, somebody's got to be at the bottom of the scale.... or that it just hasn't quite recovered yet?
We don't go back to the doctor for a month. I think I will keep a closer eye on him this month and see if he gets pale or weaker, and then call up the clinic for a CBC if he does. I noticed last month he had a couple of days where he seemed real low, and that was right when we did his CBC.
Dante and Carina had some sleep-over time at Nonni's house and Kim's house, while Chris and I escaped for a few days. Big thanks to Nonni, Uncle Mike, Kim, John, and Uncle Dave for making that a possibility. They both had a great time and sufficiently reminded everyone what it's like to have young children.
Both kids seemed to have really grown more hair this week. They're in a sort of race to see whose hair can grow long faster!