Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stitch Removal Day!

Graphic Content's just a little blood, but please beware.

Wednesday, October 29 was stitch removal day! It was a very busy day in the Regenstrief Health Center at Wishard Hospital where Dr. Shapiro's office/clinic is located. The lobby registration/waiting area was teeming with patients. And each visit is like the first. They don't seem to maintain your information so you have to go through the same registration process each time. Even though Dr. Shapiro is the only doctor I have ever seen there, my registration form always lists the doctor's name as "Dr. Walkin." Go figure. We were finally cleared to proceed to Dr. Shapiro's clinic the sixth floor after about 45 minutes of sitting around. Once there, it was only a matter of minutes before we were back in the examination room and the stitches were coming out.

Yesterday - Halloween - was my last day on steroids and I cannot wait until I return to "normal." Although I did not blow up to Jerry Lewis proportions, the disgusting camel-like hump on the back of my neck and around my chin is clearly visible in the video. And I just seems to feel generally lethargic. My legs feel like they each weigh a thousand pounds. I am anxiously awaiting those side effects to disappear.

So what next? My neuro-oncologist has scheduled the next round of chemotherapy to start on Tuesday, November 11. This will be the combination of Avastin and irinotecan. As it has been explained to me, the whole procedure takes about 90 minutes and is administered intravenously. I have been told that most people tolerate the Avastin pretty well, but there is a chance of some of the more unpleasant side effects with the irinotecan. We'll just have to give a whirl and see what happens!

We still awaiting word from my insurance carrier, Anthem, as to whether they will cover the treatment since Avastin is not FDA-approved for treating brain tumors. Although Anthem has paid for the treatments for others in the past, it does not mean my treatments will be approved. And so we wait.

At $10,000 per treatment, administered every two to three weeks, the hospital is being a bit of stickler that they are going to get paid before hooking me up. Isn't that nice? My doctor has offered no alternative treatment at this point so we're keeping our fingers crossed.

If coverage is denied, we'll need to get a shitload of bake sales in the works, I suppose.

And there you have it!


Jill said...

Excellent cinematography!

You can count on us to protest in front of Anthem if need be.

Sara said...

I'll start baking brownies just in case. Not exactly hungry after the video though - at least I won't eat up the profits.

SallyB said...

This is why we need universal health care, so that critically ill people do not have to face just such dilemmas like yours. If you're sick and you need treatment, you should get it, no matter what. To make someone try to scare up $10,000 per treatment for cancer is criminal, in my opinion.

But that's my opinion, so take it for what it is. Anyway, count on a STRONGLY worded letter of protest to Anthem from yours truly if they do not approve your treatments. Wish I could march on over there and protest in person, but failing that, a letter of protest will be forthcoming if they don't pay for your chemo.

So there!

Love, your cousin Sally in Ohio

Patty Cottingham said...

I'm gonna skip the video, but will gladly purchase a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies and a pan of brownies, with nuts please.

John Mocker said...

I also skipped the video, however I will probably watch it after I finish my oatmeal and OJ...Lets hope Anthem takes care of this, or I will also get nasty with them...

Anonymous said...

Well Terry, I just heard and now just watched (OOOH)about you! I'm sorry you and your family are going through this, you can count on me for the Bake sale!!! (or anything else) sorry I missed the race but read about you a day late!We will pray for your complete recovery always!
Sheila (kahre) Lankford

Larry said...

A true multimedia extravaganza in 5,4,3,2,1--complete with a theme, an original work and examples of all, how many are there now 8-9-10? multiple intelligences. Are there any questions?.............
SO pleased things are going well. We love all of you there Harpers. And remember... Machen sei ihrer Kapf serh gut, bitte. Prayers and thoughts right by your side, friends. Love,love-Turner/Rea-Turner's