Archive for March, 2009


$15,950 Bucks

That would be the billing error on the current oncology bill. Actually, it’s a bit more because the total patient responsibility listed is based on the first two items and we should only be charged based on the first one. Why? The medication (Bevacizumab) is the treatment that TB gets and because it’s still in the trial phase it’s FREE!!

On the statement (sorry, can’t get the dollars aligned properly):

Chemo, IV Infusiion, 1 Hr                                         $   622.00

Bevacizumab Injection                                              $15,950.00

Disc, Medica Choice                                                   ($  9,012.10)

Medica Choice Payment                                          ($  7,160.31)

Patient Responsibility                                                $     399.59

Imagine my near heart attack when opening this bill yesterday. The patient responsibility amount should be in the $50-$60 range because it should only be based on the $622 charge. Holy shit. Pardon my language but good god, nothing like freaking out on a Saturday when you can’t do anything about it. So tomorrow is chat time with the billing office. My assumption is that this is just an error because that med IS approved for other cancers, just not yet for kidney cancer.

Other than issue we’re meandering along, holding steady.

More later when I have other news.


I Will Love Him Forever

The love of my life passed away peacefully on February 28, 2010. The fight he put up through this tough journey is truly commendable.

Though I am sad at his passing, I am so grateful for the time I had with him, our families and our friends. The memories of our times together will sustain me forever.

I think this quote, shared with me by a loving cousin, sums up how I feel.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

My Cancer Hat

I'm a person who hates wearing hats, both literally and figuratively. Now I will be wearing a caregivers cancer hat because my husband has cancer and I need to be strong for him. But I also need a place to vent, look for support and find strength.

Hopefully, this blog will enable me to deal with the process and meet others who are going through a similar challenge.

TB’s Cancer

TB, my husband (TB is his nickname), has kidney cancer, stage 4. He had a kidney and the tumor that was in it removed in 2005. We discovered in September 2008 that it had returned and has now metastasized to his bones, specifically his right femur plus spots on his skull, his spine and his ribs, the inside and outside of his lungs, his brain. He is not curable.

TB was originally participating in a clinical study that would provide him with a treatment that would halt, for an unknown length of time, the proteins from getting to the cancer cells. So in essence, slowing but not curing, the progression of the cancer. There is no question he will die from this, the unknown factor is the 'when' it will happen.

Unfortunately, TB had to be removed from the study as the metastases have grown. He was placed on a new regimen of Aerida and Sutent but that didn't work out. It made him too ill. Now he's on a daily regimen of Afinitor - "Plan C" as we call it. Basically, we're working to extend his life but in a manner that will allow him to still enjoy it and maintain his dignity.

1/27/2010 - At the suggestion of our oncologist, TB will no longer take any cancer medications as the benefits do not outweigh the possible negative side effects a new medication would have. He will be transferred soon to a facility where he can receive rehab, as he is extremely weak due to the pneumonia and inactivity. Our goal is to improve his quality of life as best we can.

2/21/2010 - Frank is now home, we've begun hospice care.

March 2009
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