Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hump Day!

Please take a minute and get up from your seat please.  Shake whatever body part you would like and do a quick little dance.  Really.  I'll wait.

THAT was your little celebration of Hump Day!  Tomorrow is treatment #4 of 6, so that means that today is Hump Day in my chemo treatment schedule.  Thanks for celebrating with us!  For fun, I'm attaching a picture of Rory.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Higher Math

After a fairly last-minute invitation, some of our friends and family joined us for coffee and cupcakes to celebrate the start of my 38th year on the planet. I think my math is correct, there... after you've been here a year you are 1, so when I'm turning 37, it's the start of my 38th year on the planet, right?? Regardless, it was cause for celebration and cupcake baking by Jason and Rory. Thanks to everyone who came... it was really wonderful to see you all, especially my parents who made a last-minute trip down!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A little drop of well-wishing

As I was just sitting at my desk, yet another email popped into my Gmail Inbox telling me that someone had posted to the blog (in this case, my cousin Jessica).  I just wanted to post a public Thank You to everyone who continues to "check in" with me and on me via the blog and email.  I don't often get to write back, but I want you all to know that I appreciate it.  It's really touching to see how many cousins who I see once every 8 years and long-ago friends I've lost contact with have emailed or posted not once, but regularly.  It seems that almost every day I get a nice little drop of well-wishing in my Inbox, often from someone I'm surprised to know is even aware of what's going on. 

I am also getting wonderful cards in the mail from people.  Honestly, I'm a little befuddled by it all, as I find it hard to fathom that in people's busy lives they make it a priority to pick up a card, write me a note, and drop it in the mail. 

These types of things really keep my energy and mood elevated, so thank you all so much!

The Cost of Treatment

I've heard before that one of the major causes of people declaring bankruptcy is medical bills.  I am extremely blessed to have insurance, VERY good insurance, but thought I'd share with you some of the sobering details of what treatment costs, because it's astounding. 

For the month of May (May 3-28), my insurance was billed $45,825.  This was ONE MONTH.  It included the first internist appt where I showed him the lump under my arm, testing, seeing several specialists,  outpatient surgery to remove the two lymph nodes (3 hours at the hospital), diagnosis, and my first chemo treatment.  It did NOT include my full surgery yet to come, the remaining five chemo treatments, and all radiation treatments yet to come (30 of them). 

A few line items:
One chemo treatment:  $5,644
ONE Neulasta shot (Jason gives me one after each treatment):  $6,047
Outpatient surgery total (again, I was home by 11am):  $17,042

It is overwhelming to think about how people deal with this who don't have good insurance, or God forbid, insurance at all.  I am thankful every day for my station in life and the fact that this whole situation, as big as it is, is not a financial burden for us.  I can't imagine the choices people have to make if the financial implications are part of their medical treatment decision-making process. 

Here is an article Jason found about the costs of certain cancer drugs (nothing I'm taking).  Interesting reading.  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/health/06avastin.html?hp

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Please sign this petition!


There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require Insurance Companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached. Lifetime Television has put this bill on their Web page with a petition drive to show our support. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the Web site babove. You need not give more than your name and zip code number.