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One of the things that I’ve said time and time again – “Thank goodness it’s the 21st century.”  With my husband’s diagnosis, I am certain that I would have lost my dazzle if I had been dealing with the mountains of crap that come with cancer in the 20th century – even the very late 20th century.

For example, in the late 20th century, we didn’t have smart phones.  So when you wanted to check the patient’s calendar with the caregiver’s calendar with the doctor’s calendar, you all had to have your paper planners together and talk it through.  Now, we have online calendars in our magical phones that sync with each other, requiring not dozens of dead trees, but a few minutes of search and swipe.  One headache solved.

A second joy is that in the 21st century, head and neck cancer patients don’t have all of their teeth pulled automatically.  Apparently, just a dozen short years ago, that was pretty common place.  My husband likes having all of his teeth, and intends to keep them as long as he can.  Dentures shouldn’t be a necessity in someone under 40, and with these most advanced, 21st century treatments, they are not.

And of course, a third is that in the 21st century, cancer isn’t a death sentence.  That’s one of my very, very favorite things about living in the 21st century.

So all of this said, why am I required to stand in front of the fax machine sending a 59 page fax to the insurance company?  My options are to mail it (and it can get lost in the mail), or fax it (requiring me to hand feed each page into the fax machine to ensure that it all gets through and the pages do not stick together).  Again, waste of trees, waste of time, waste of technology.  Why can I not e-mail this thing? The insurance company has told me “well, it could get lost in the e-mail.”  And it won’t get lost via fax?!  So they send it to me, I print it out, enter the data, and then mail it back to them.  As if one of these precious printed pages won’t go missing on their end.  And then what will happen when they receive it?  They will scan it in and send it around their office as they deem appropriate.

So maybe I should just be thankful that all of these extra steps protect a few more jobs in who-knows-where central office of said insurance company?

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