Lincoln Financial Group is the shitty short and long term disability company that Stella & Dot uses. They have made my life hell from day one. Even when the state paid the bulk of my short term disability and Lincoln only had to contribute about $200 a month, they were up my grill.
The first official “fuck you” they lobbed at me was in connection with my long term disability claim — they accused me of lying about my cancer diagnosis date — they told me that they wanted to be sure it wasn’t a pre-existing condition. Yup. You fucking read that correctly. I’ve had to jump through countless hoops and provide all my medical records and Walgreens prescriptions to them dating back to 2011 (keep in mind I was diagnosed in October of 2012). They went so far as to ask for my fucking Walgreens prescriptions. As if I was sneaking cancer meds back in 2011. ASSHOLES.
Today I was dealt the latest blow. They called to tell me that my long term disability claim has officially been flagged and is still pending. It will be going to their “doctors” for review, but that “since I am only receiving taxol weekly now — and can probably work — they’ll likely discontinue my disability benefits as soon as Taxol is over”. That is pretty much a direct quote.
Never FUCKING mind that I haven’t even allowed myself to think about having cancer yet — because I am too FUCKING busy fighting it. Never FUCKING mind that I am extremely fatigued and it will take months for my body to recover from that. Never FUCKING mind that I still have expanders in and still have to have another invasive surgery to swap them out. Never FUCKING mind that I’ll need tons of therapy to deal with the inevitable fear of recurrence and PTSD many cancer survivors, but TNBC survivors, in particular, experience (I hear it can sometimes become crippling). Never FUCKING mind that I go to physical therapy here in the city twice a week. Never FUCKING mind about all of that. Because some bunch of paper pushing fuckers have determined, based on their chemo flow chart (wtf is a “chemo flow chart” anyways?), that I can go back to work the second the last bit of Taxol drips into my veins.
She also spared no condescension when she said “well you are only getting chemo one day a week right now, so what’s your average day look like?” Are you trying to assess whether I can sit at my desk and perform my highly stressful job right now? The answer is NO. I AM ACTIVELY BEING TREATED FOR CANCER AND STILL CURRENTLY RECEIVING CHEMO AND THE SIDE EFFECTS ARE CUMULATIVE — DO YOU KNOW WHAT “CUMULATIVE” MEANS? What sort of asshole asks such a question? [Just so you know, I didn’t say any of that to her]
I really felt like it was a trick question because I do force myself to try to get out there and exercise and live as normal a life as possible. Isn’t that what a cancer patient SHOULD be doing? Pushing themselves so that the treatment doesn’t go sideways? Well, I feel like following doctor’s orders and trying to stay positive, active and healthy has backfired on me. I’m not going to be allowed any cushion of time to lick my wounds and deal with the aftermath of cancer.
Oh, and she asked when we were going to start IVF again. NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. That isn’t covered by insurance – we pay 100% out-of-pocket for that. Oh yeah, and did I mention I HAVE CANCER? I’m sort of busy dealing with that right now, not really focused on IVF. Double asshole.
I have news for you Lincoln Financial. Cancer does not end after your last chemo infusion. Whether it’s by pill or IV (yes, she had the audacity to ask me if me chemo was taken by pill — as if that would make any difference in the side effects — what a fucking whore). I am going to face a shit ton of physical limitations (extreme fatigue – my heart rate hits 160 when I walk up the mini hill we live on, my chest aches from my expanders, after my swap out surgery I’ll still need PT 2/week to ensure my implants don’t become infected etc) and emotional crap that I’ve been stuffing and burying way deep down. I had to avoid all of that stuff in order to survive the day-to-day of my life since last October.
She then went on to make it crystal clear to me that she doesn’t understand what adjuvent chemo therapy means. Yet, when I tried to explain it to her, she made sure to tell me “I know, I’ve been doing this for years” Well then why the FUCK are you explaining it to me incorrectly. I’m the one with cancer — I SURE as hell know what it means. This bitch needs to be transferred to another department. She should NEVER be allowed to talk to someone who has cancer again. She was the WORST.
I AM SO MOTHER FUCKING LIVID RIGHT NOW.