Thursday, June 12, 2008

Liquid Gold

It's expensive to get sick. This is not startling news. Many of us have felt the burn paying out-of-pocket for doctor visits or God forbid, an emergency room experience. Yikes.

Try getting really sick. Like With The Cancer sick.

Holy Moley.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an itemized bill for my first stretch in the Big House (for which we, so far, don't owe a penny, thank The Maker).

Yeah. Um. Wow. Add Your Favorite Potent Expletive Here.

The total bill was nearly as much as the asking price for our house when we bought it. Almost half that amount was represented by the line item "Pharmacy". Chemo is some seriously expensive poison, not to mention the litany of antibiotics, pre-chemo drugs, and various other pills and such I received as part of my treatment. Apparently, had I been given the choice, I could have either gotten the medicine or for the same amount of money bought a fairly well appointed luxury vehicle.

Obviously, if you want to strike it rich, get into manufacturing chemotherapy drugs. Black gold, Texas tea. Pshaw. More like idarubicin and fludarabine and cytarabine.

Now that I am home, my doc's got me on a one-two combo of highly potent antibiotics to prevent possible infections. One of these medications couldn't be filled by my usual Target pharmacy nor did the hospital pharmacy have it. Our local uber-pharmacy, Westbury, came to rescue. When I went to pick it up, the pharmacist, a charming older man, leaned over the counter and said with a twinkle in his eye, "Honey, you've got insurance, right?" I whipped out that card like I was showing my papers at a dicey border crossing. The going price for 105 mL bottle of this antibiotic (made specifically to combat fungal infections in people with compromised immune systems) is... are you ready for this...


Sweet baby Moses; that's almost a mortgage payment.

Fortunately, we only (and I am using "only" very loosely here people) had to pony up $108 for my eensy bottle. 105 ml ain't a whole lot. Here's the rub: I gotta take a spoonful of this stuff three times a day. I've been taking it for less than a week, and the the bottles just about half empty. I know my doc's going to want me to continue taking my antibiotics at least as long as I am neutropenic. First time through chemo, it took me weeks to get my shitty white cells to eek across that border. So this might mean refill.


All I know is that if I as much as get a freaking yeast infection while I am taking Liquid Gold the manufacturer is going to be getting at least a nasty phone call from me. Maybe I'll sick Zombie Warrior on their butts, screaming for my $108 back.

When I was examining the box the other day to see who makes this caviar of anti-fungals, I came across an interesting fact; it's made in Ireland. That explains it.



ahamos said...

You mean I could have gotten an M3 and left your sick butt at home?!? ;)

Captain Steve said...

Duuude, that is some serious cash. Yay for insurance, even though they fleece ya on everything else.

MelodyLane said...

That is awful. I am still sending happy healthy thoughts your way.

Anonymous said...

Guess what.
I got a letter today from the bloodcenter here in Indiana that "Recently, you were identified as a potential match for a patient needed a bone marrow transplant. This particular patient has a very small number of donors who perfectly match their tissue type out of the more than 5.5 million donors on the NMDP Registry....." anyways, I had to fill out info papers saying that I was still well and OK with it "there is a strong possibility you may be called..." I signed up for this years ago - probably almost 15 years ago or more - because I am adopted. So who knows? I will let you know if I hear back that they need what I've got, ha.
And, as always, here is hoping you are getting better everyday. The pictures you posted were great as well. - Carol in Indiana

d'RC said...

That is messed up. My friend (who has AML) just realized that the med she takes to keep her in menopause is $500. Per injection. Nice.

Lots of positive thoughts headed your way.

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