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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Medical Update (Doxil + Herceptin)

Between trying to manage my health and trying to plan a simcha (celebration), we are all at our wits end!

We have had lengthy discussions with three oncologists regarding my upcoming treatment.

My main oncologist recommends Doxil.*

The oncologist with whom we had a phone consultation made several recommendations, all involving Herceptin.

And our semi-local "second opinion" oncologist (who is in the Tel Aviv area), with whom Moshe always insists we meet before beginning any new treatment, agreed that I should switch to Doxil + Herceptin. 

She also said that, according to the current (and new) laws, both should be covered by our health fund.

We are not finding the health fund so forthcoming.  We are challenging the health fun.  At the same time, we are applying to our supplemental insurance for coverage of the Doxil.  The supplemental insurance won't cover Herceptin, because I took that drug before I signed up for coverage.

Meanwhile, my markers are shooting through the roof, but we know there is progression, so no one is getting all excited about that.... except Moshe and me.  And I am so scared about what has been going on inside my body since my last tests showed progression. 

We just cannot play this waiting game.  So, we are looking into funding the first few treatments on our own (with help, of course).

Once we get approved for funding, we should be reimbursed.... ("should" being the operative word)

Meanwhile, I am in pain, and sometimes the pain can get quite serious.

Like now, when my hip hurts so much that I cannot sit, or lie, comfortably, and my thigh muscle is having some sort of electric spasm!

My head is exploding with all the things I have to do tomorrow!!!

Our daughter's Bat Mitzvah is THIS SHABBAT!!

She will be reading ALL of Parhsat Balak at our women's Tefillah group! 

I am so proud of her!!!

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

With love and optimism,

* Doxil was developed in Israel, by Prof. Alberto (Avraham) Gabizon, who is currently the head of oncology at Sha'are Zedek.  (See # 69 and # 70 in this list of Gabizon's professional publications)


Robin said...

I hope the health fund comes through quickly, how to pay for your treatment should be the last thing you have to worry about right now.

Mazal tov to all of you on your daughter's Bat Mitzvah!

My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

Bernie said...

Oh sweetie, I do not like to think you are in pain.....I do hope your insurance kicks in soon enough so as not to cause you any finanacial pressure....you just don't need that right now.
Congratulations to your daughter, I do hope she has a wonderful day and I know you will have done all you could to ensure that she does.
Please take care sweetie and know that your blogging friend in Canada is praying for you....Hugs

Sarah said...

We all just have to pray, pray, pray. And pray we are doing.

Can't wait to see you on Shabbat!

love always & {{hugs}}

mikimi said...

always the bureaucracy is what gets us in a tizzy! i hope you get on the best treatment possible with the least damage to body mind or pocket!
enjoy shabbat!

Der Shygetz said...


Refuah shelema! I think I remember you from Columbia - I graduated in 1988 and lived in East Campus - was friends with Josh Brickel who I think you knew quite well...am posting from my parody account because laughter is the best medicine but if I am right that your maiden name begins with a Z and ends in an N you might well remember me.

Baila said...

Wishing you a great big Mazal Tov and virtual hug. I hope you feel great this Shabbat and pray that everything comes together for you...

Gila said...

She did a fantastic job reading today--was lovely seeing her and sharing your simcha. And the dress totally rocked! :)

rickismom said...

refuah shleima and mazal tov!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Robin, Bernie, Sarah, Mikimi, Baila, & Ricki's mom -- THANKS!

Der Shygetz -- WHO ARE YOU??? I am still in touch with Josh, who just had another baby, but I do not remember who his roommates were. Please email me at:

Also, how did you find my blog and figure out who I am?? (not that it's a secret, I am just curious!)

Gila -- I saw you (even got a hug), but, later, when I looked for you, you disappeared!

Leora said...

Mazal tov ... may you continue to have simchas and not pains in the hip.

Batya said...

praying for a refuah shleimah

You are so amazing. Keep fighting!