Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On to Plan C

It wasn't the news we were hoping for. There has been growth in two of the existing tumors. One was .6 centimenters and the other a little less than a centimeter. Still, it means the chemo wasn't working.

But Dr. Neel wants to try two new things. One is a chemo drug that is taken as a pill. It's used for head and neck cancers. The other is a new infusion chemo that is primarily used for breast cancer but is having success with other cancers. The reason Dr. Neel likes it so much is that it tends to be successful in cancers that have been resistant to traditional chemo. Sounds like what we need at this point.

But of course, nothing is ever simple with this stuff. The fancy new chemo costs $11,000 a dose. The doctor's office is working with our insurance company and the pharmaceutical company to see if they can get it approved. We may know something by the end of the week. He would probably start early next month.

In the meantime, he's supposed to be doing one cycle (two weeks on, one week off) of the pill chemo but we're having trouble getting the prescription filled. Turns out a one-week supply costs $500. We're trying to work with the mail-order pharmacy that our insurance uses. It will cost less that way, but he's supposed to start it tomorrow, and that doesn't seem likely now.

We were in good spirits with all of this until we started running into the insurance nonsense...

We were happy to hear that there was something new to try. My prayers this week were for hope. No matter what the scan showed, I just wanted to leave the doctor's office with some hope. And I feel like we got that. Dr. Neel told us that the cancer is not life-threatening at this point. But it's clearly growing and we need to find something to stop it.

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