After listening to these rude and mis-informed people shouting at our Senator Spector, I must speak out!
As a cancer patient, with metastatic lung cancer, I am walking the walk, talking the talk.
Every time I go into the hospital, I am asked, “Do you have a living will?” and “Is it on file at this hospital?”
Yes and yes. I have had one for years, in which I clearly outline the point beyond which I will have no extraordinary measures taken. My oncologist understands and agrees with me.
I have also talked with a person at our local hospice, and understand what services they will be able to offer. I am comfortable with what I hear. And, it is all covered by Medicare.
I am back on chemo. I have a treatment of chemo (carboplatin and Alimta) dripped in through my port. I also get an anti-nausea drug and vitimin B-12 at that time. I have 2 weeks of rest before it is time for the next treatment. I know how much some of these chemicals cost, thanks to several articles in the NY Times discussing the high cost of cancer drugs. Alimta, they tell me, is $4,000 per dose. Carboplatin is over $1,000 per dose. Neulasta is over $3,000. The drug companies accept lower payments from Medicare, and my co-pay is around $12.
These drugs are very expensive, and they seem to work. I have so few side effects. After my September treatment we will go into a longer rest period and order another scan.
I am feeling well, although my energy is very low. I can’t just “get up and go” the way I used to. There are a number of projects I need to complete (ethical will, memoirs) and these expensive chemicals are buying me the time to do it in.