Good morning! Sorry I’ve been a bit busy lately and haven’t had a chance to post much. I had chemo and a doctor visit yesterday; everything went fine. We are still working out the details of the genomic testing, but more about that another time.
In October I decided to apply for disability retirement. I’m part of a pension system at work that will pay me a portion of my salary as well as allow us to keep our health benefits for a reasonable, non-COBRA rate. Please don’t be alarmed – nothing has drastically changed for me healthwise. Technically, I’ve been “disabled” since my stage 4 diagnosis in April 2012, but I’ve continued to work because I like to and it keeps my mind active and busy. I also wasn’t sure how we would get health insurance.
Since my stage 4 diagnosis, I’ve had a number of little health issues come up. Each one taken separately is no big deal, but they add up to be a bit challenging. For example, I sometimes have trouble getting my thoughts together and I am completely unable to focus with any background noise or conversations. Probably I’m the only one who notices. Also the 2nd round of radiation seems to have caused some permanent damage to the muscles around my right hip, so I have to use my arms to lift up my leg to do things like put on my sock or get in the driver’s side of the car. I’ve mostly adjusted to these kinds of things, but the start of IV chemo brought on new challenges of fatigue and a poorly functioning immune system. I started to feel like I was pushing myself too hard and not having much energy left over to devote to the kids. All of these things together led me to start seriously looking into disability retirement.
I made some calls and did some online research and Mike crunched the numbers on our finances. I learned that the four of us could keep our health insurance by paying a small portion of my pension check, so my retirement wouldn’t be a problem for us financially. That was a huge relief. But I really decided to go forward with it when I read that the approval process could take up to 8 months! Yikes!
I put in my application expecting I would keep working until next summer, but somehow the paperwork went through quickly. This is the state government we are talking about here, so I was shocked. Anyhow, I’ll get a final answer next week, and if all goes well my last day of work will be January 30.