– I just saved you a bunch of money…

I just had my 2-yr anniversary of NED (no evidence of disease) after my terminal diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer. Yay! So I asked my oncologist at what point I could think about not taking Herceptin and Perjeta every 3 weeks. They had told me “for the rest of my life” but that was back when they thought I had less than 2 months to live. Those infusions cost the insurance system $20-25,000 per infusion! I’m one of those who gets more than I give to the insurance system and so feel a little responsible to try and save when I can. (Thank you, by the way, to all of you who contribute to my healing by paying premiums when you may not use them. Hopefully, karma will reward you when you need it.)

Plus, I’m feeling cocky… I actually feel like I got this… like “the snarling wolf” might actually be dead. OK, not cocky enough that I will just walk away right now from immunotherapy, but I want to plan. I don’t want to be chained to my chemo port forever. I kind of thought that maybe she’d say I could quit after 5 years but that 3 weeks is the only approved frequency. I didn’t know what the research showed. Turns out, there really is no research that corresponds to my case, I’m in uncharted waters, I’m a sample size of 1, I’m supposed to be dead, twice now, not NED. She suggested we go to every 4 weeks, instead of 3, and continue to monitor. Hopefully, if the wolf awakens, I could still tiptoe quietly and get it back to sleep.

So, we’re going to try weaning me off. On the way home, I did the math in my head. If I actually go once a month, that’s 12 treatments a year, instead of 17+. That’s 5 extra days per year of my life I get back! And, that saves you, the premium payers who invest in my health, about $120,000 a year! Not insignificant. You’re welcome. : )

… and, again, thank YOU! The bad news is that I’m still costing you over a quarter mil per year. Am I worth it?

Now we just have to figure out how to cap the outrageous costs of pharmaceutical therapies and insurance premiums and stop funding corporate jets and executive yachts!


The Snarling Wolf

You don’t “beat” stage IV breast cancer.
The most you can do is grab the snarling wolf by the throat and hold it at arm’s length,
trying not to be intimidated by the fangs and the spittle and the intensity of its desire to rip you to pieces.

If you’re lucky, you temporarily tame it, or it may tire itself out for awhile,
but you are always on your guard, knowing it will eventually awaken and attack again.

Right now, he is snoring softly at my feet. Be vewy, vewy qui-yet.




1 comment

  1. Bette

    I continue to marvel at your courage, and tenacity.

    Love you,


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