There are many changes afoot for our family. Some are good, and some present challenges that I am not yet sure how to face.
Scarlett is almost done with the Induction phase of chemotherapy. We have been told that the next phase, Consolidation, is a bit easier on her (chemo is better tolerated) and us (only a few days of hospitalization each month!) After two months, we will move into Maintenance, which is all outpatient and oral chemo! By the end of summer, she should not need to be hospitalized any more (just clinic visits for blood draws, check-ups, MRIs, hearing tests, etc..)
We are also arranging therapy to begin. She currently qualifies for physical, occupational and speech (yes, even at 7.5 months) therapy, in addition to hearing intervention. From what I can tell, this will be at least a few days a week, in addition to her regular appointments. There are other activities, like swimming, that may be tough to fit in, but that I would love to get her started on that will benefit her development, too.
We made a big decision about my job: I quit. I have been on disability since I went on Maternity leave in September, and I was so lucky to have that hold us over through the school year, but I can't do that next year. I can't be the teacher I want to be while I am worried about Scarlett's medicines or appointments; my students deserve more than that. Plus, my current job is 45+ minutes from home with the daily traffic, and Scarlett can't exactly go to day care while on chemo. However, I am considering a part-time teaching job closer to home (know anyone who wants to job share 1 or 2 days a week in Newark?). If that doesn't work out, then I will look into tutoring or some other way to make ends meet and still be available for Scarlett.
Giving up my job means a big change in insurance. My insurance is very good, and has covered everything for Scarlett (including 100% of her hearing aids!!) Chris' job at Starbucks offers insurance, but due to some paperwork error when she was born, Scarlett is not enrolled. We have been asking around to make sure they can't deny coverage when we try to enroll her during open enrollment in August...she's a high risk for insurance. Even then, it will be a different type of plan, one which does not cover nearly as much as our current plan. We are beginning to plan how to make the most of my insurance (like refilling expensive prescriptions) before it runs out, and we have already talked to the hospital financial counselor about state insurance and Social Security for Scarlett if we have any problems in the transition.
These are huge issues that we have never really had to think about before; we have been lucky to always have jobs and insurance, but never really need much more than the basic coverage. Scarlett needs anything but basic coverage! Now that we have her to worry about, we can't ever be without insurance or jobs that keep us afloat. I want to be able to do everything she needs without worrying about how much it costs or how we will pay for it. It's a lot of pressure, but we are trying to take it one step at a time. I hope that it will all begin to work itself out soon.