Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 24

Living with Cancer

INSURANCE PROBLEMS

Disability?

M

BY L I Z Z I E DAV IS

y husband, Justin, and I would describe 2019 as an
extraordinarily challenging year...which is saying
a lot considering the past decade of trials we have
endured together from severe health issues to losing
our first home in Hurricane Harvey. Our challenges
started in 2010 when I was diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer just
months before our wedding.
After nine years of both fighting cancer and successfully continuing
my career in the oil industry, April 2017 marked my first ever grand
mal seizure which was a direct result of my past intense treatment. I
quickly returned to work; however, I was walked out of my employer's
office by the nurse practitioner because of the company's rule that you

must be three months seizure-free to
work. This triggered the need to take full
advantage of my short-term disability
(STD) because we needed more time
to find the right mix of medications to
stop the seizures. Once my STD was
exhausted, I was able to participate in
my employer's long-term disability
(LTD) program in October 2018 as
my medications had yet to prove
successful in getting my seizures
under control and many other
chronic illnesses had surfaced and
needed treatment. This meant that I
still got 60% of my salary, my medical/
dental/vision benefits, as well as my
life insurance. My desire to further my
career, and my need to allow my body to
rest and heal were in direct conflict with
one another forcing me to reluctantly put
my health needs over my career goals.
Despite a youthful and seemingly
healthy outer appearance, I was unable
to function typically four to five days a
week, but sometimes even six to seven
days a week! I think one of the hardest
things about my cancer journey has been
the silent suffering that comes along with
"invisible illnesses." Cancer is not always
a disease that causes a bald head, extreme
weight loss, or loss of all things attractive
on your body like most people picture the
cancer patient "poster child" to look like.
Cancer, and cancer treatment, wreak havoc
on your body internally, yet can sometimes
give a false appearance of health if you were
to look at a picture of me or see me dressed
in my Sunday best on days when I am able
to make the effort.
As we fast forward through a few more
years of tests, diagnosis, prescriptions,
therapies, and survivor retreats, we reach
a point in my and Justin's journey in
February, 2019, at which I had seen
improvements, but I was still experiencing two to three days a week where
normal daily function was at a low. Increasing my number of "functional" days was
a huge success in my personal health goals as I

"Despite a youthful and seemingly healthy outer appearance,
I was unable to function typically four to five days a week"
24

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2020


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Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Contents
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Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 1
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