Waiting for Savasana

Still Standing

3 Comments

Gosh steroids are great.  I was so scared to take five of them but let me tell you.  They are helping so much.  My right arm is still tender and it often aches.  I do my lymphatic massage several times a day and my arm is still achy.  Steroids take that all away.

The day I went shopping, I was appalled my the three way mirror.  My arms and legs are so swollen, so inflamed from chemo that they looked full of cellulite.  My skin has been stretch so taught because I am just inflamed.  Every inch of me is inflamed.  I told my acupuncturist that my skin feels like it’s been dipped in pepper spray.

Steroids took care of that.  It takes the inflammation away.  My arms are still chubby but they don’t look like bags of cellulite.  Gross.

And my arm is almost pain free- yippie!

The “bone crushing Pain” is supposed to arrive tomorrow.  To combat that I am taking L-Glutamine powder, Benadryl and Claritin as well as some B6 and B12 all oncologist approved.  I will let you know if it helps.

My birth mother went through this a year ago, and during taxol, she iced her hands and feet and eyes to prevent neuropathy and nail loss and to try to keep her eyebrows and eyelashes.  Her brows and lashes fell out on her last treatment.  I opted to ice my hands and feet. So we brought our cooler full of ice packs.  The nurses scoffed at us a bit but went along with it.  I was only allowed to ice for 10 minutes at a time because she didn’t want me getting frostbite.

I watched movies and also began to watch Game of Thrones.  I have listened to the first book on audio and wasn’t in love with it but I found the first episode to be much faster paced than the books so I seem to like it for now.  Not sure I want to invest in the entire series.  I kept myself entertained.

Today I have my Neulasta shot.  Chemo destroys white blood cells, Neulasta makes your bones create more white blood cell so i get a shot the day after each chemo session.  So far my WBC’s have held strong.  I wouldn’t be able to do this dose dense chemo without Neulasta.

My husband was looking over our bills (everything has been covered by our insurance that I used to complain about but now am so grateful for) and discovered that one Neulasta shot costs $8000.

That is not a typo.  The little shot they give my in my chubby tummy costs more than the chemo (about $3000 a pop).

Thank goodness insurance covers it.  In fact, it looks like they get a discount on it.  They pay about $5000.

So what about the people who don’t have insurance?  What do they do?  How do they manage this?  Are they refused treatment?

I am horribly naive about all of this.  I didn’t even realize how expensive having cancer is until I got sick.

But what do people do when they can’t pay for this stuff?  Do they just lay down and die because of money or lack thereof?

$8000 a shot.  Yowza.  We’ve rack up $40k already.  And why does our insurance company get a discount?  I don’t understand any of this.

How do people without insurance survive?

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3 thoughts on “Still Standing

  1. Some ladies in our group who have been unemployed/uninsured at diagnosis have been somehow fast-tracked onto Medi-Cal. I also have great insurance, and was grateful for it during my treatment.

  2. Happy the steroids are making you feel stronger and healthier for now. Enjoy but don’t over-do. It’s such a “catch 22” drug…haven’t I said that before? In the short run it’s very helpful, but it the long-run it ruins just about everything. (I take 5 mg a day and every few months get an injection )

    Don’t get me started on insurance but know that people without insurance don’t usually get the same quality of treatment, get billed for the non-negotiated prices, and yes, often end up on a government program when they have totally exhausted most of their resources or have to quit their jobs. Please support Obamacare, with all it’s faults at least it is an attempt to make sure everyone has access to health care and that you can’t max out your benefit or be thrown off your insurance if you have a major illness.

  3. Glad you are feeling good…. Keep up the positive attitude. Mateo too nupagen (sp?) shots …. 5 a week at $1500 a pop during certain stages. It’s mind boggling….. Mateo’s first year of treatment was billed at about $3.5 million (technically uninsured rate), but “negotiated rate” was about $2.5 million. I have met folks with no insurance, a single mom who had to quit her job to care for her very ill son…. He was on California kids insurance and she scraped by with help from family. We get LOTS of flyers for low income assistance, especially as Mateo’s treatments have continued. You can definately see why people can loose everything when they get sick. It was really eye opening for us

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