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Monday, December 1, 2008

Anonymous Angels

Tomorrow, I start Taxol.

I am anxious about the side affects. But there is no way to know how I will react.

I am trying to remain open-minded and relaxed. Easier said than done.

Nevertheless, what will be, will be.

I will also be receiving Herceptin. Tomorrow is the latest that I can continue taking Herceptin, without needing a "loading dose." My health fund, Maccabi, denied our initial request for coverage.

I am putting together an appeal, which we will send to the ombudsmen of Maccabi and the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, some anonymous angels are taking care of me, and making sure that I get what I need.

My regular dose is 570 mg, and Herceptin comes in 440 mg bottles. So I need two bottles tomorrow. Leftover Herceptin can be used for up to 4 weeks. So, in three weeks, I will need only one more bottle. Essentially, I need 3 bottles, for every 2 treatments. Each bottle costs 11,221.85 NIS (approx $2,805). (Herceptin costs even more at this government approved pharmacy, which sells drugs that are not covered by the health funds)

Several years ago, when I had the opportunity to purchase private insurance covering medications, I decided to forego that added expense. After all, I thought, how expensive can medications be?

Little did I know....

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


rutimizrachi said...

You're in my thoughts, dear one, and the subject of a nice, fat chunk of my prayers. With lots of chocolate on top, for extra flavor. (Maybe the angels that deliver prayer like a good bribe as well as the next angel...)

Engineering Goddess said...

Good luck tomorrow with your Taxol. I was very very nervous with my first dose due to the things I had read about allergic reactions. But not to worry, they gave me an IV drip of Benadryl before it and I was too out of it to care after that! I did not like being semi-sedated with the Benadryl though because I really wanted to read a book instead. The good news is that my cancer responded well to Taxol and it shrunk my tumor to half it's size before I had surgery. (sending happy, healing thoughts)


Batya said...

refuah shleimah

G-d willing, prayers from Shiloh.

Baila said...

May I ask about the private insurance for medications--if it's not prohibitively expensive, perhaps my family should purchase it....

I am so glad there are anonymous angels in this world and that you are getting the medicine you need.

Refuah Shelaima!

Shevy said...

I keep saying tehillim and davening that the Taxol works well and that the side effects are not too bad.

I'm glad the Herceptin seems to be continuing for now. It's funny, but you're the 2nd person I "know" who is in the midst of having to pay to have a form of antibody therapy. (The other is a 2 year old boy in the US whose family needs to come up with $125,000 pretty well while standing on one foot in order to pay for his treatment, as their Medicaid won't fund it.)

It's just amazing how much money these treatments can cost and how insurance can balk at paying for something so important.

It's like, we have something that might save your life but it's pretty expensive, so I think we'll have to pass. Say WHAT?

Why should only the incredibly wealthy deserve to get better?

Good luck with the letter writing!

RivkA with a capital A said...

RutiMizrachi -- you never know...

Hilary -- yup, they gave me the Israeli version of Benadryl (Fenergan) and I was out! They give you a full dose twice, then a half dose, then a quarter dose, then you just get the Taxol. I'm hoping it does a real good job on my tumors. (hopefully lessening my pain....)

Muse -- amen

Baila -- all I can say is that it's only a waste of money if you don't need it.

If I would have purchased the extra insurance, it would have paid for itself within the first dose.

Shevy -- yeah, the system sucks! So, I'm going to try and battle the windmill! My destiny calls....

Anonymous said...

are you sure the extra insurance would have covered the herceptin?
BTW the dose is much closer to 4 bottles for every 3 treatments than 3 bottles for every 2, if the opened bottle is finished and the newer bottle is akways saved for the next time.