The cost of chemo

Literally: $23,000 per treatment on average before insurance. Okay, I’m exaggerating. $17,000 of that is for the immunotherapy drug, Rituximab (which was denied by our insurance as not necessary at first; thank you to the City of Hope for fighting that fight for us!). But still. Between medical bills and the sucky economy we sure won’t be going on any big trips this year, other than to City of Hope. *sigh* Good health sure ain’t cheap! On the topic of health insurance, we received our annual renewal notice and our rates are going up about $150/month. Woohoo! Seriously, I do wonder what someone who was uninsured and diagnosed with lymphoma would do. But I guess the answer is that they would never have gotten it diagnosed, until it was too late to treat. That makes us among the lucky ones.

The other cost of chemo: we’re starting to really see the impact of chemo on Chuck’s energy. Not that it hasn’t taken a toll every time – it has. But with every treatment it takes him a bit longer to start to feel even kind of like himself. It’s now almost a week and a half after his fourth treatment and today is the first day where he felt mostly human. It’s hard to be a bystander – I want to help but there’s honestly not much to do, other than listen when he wants to gripe (not that often) and try not to baby him too much (he hates that). I am, however, getting officially paranoid. During the last treatment the doctor told him that if he ever woke up one morning and was too tired to get out of bed, he should come in for a blood test as he might need a blood transfusion (due to an overly low white blood cell count human oops, typo – makes him sound like an alien). So now every morning I look at him and ask, “Are you too tired to get up?” Oh, and every time he coughs I ask if he has a sore throat or a temperature.

My grey hairs are increasing daily. Because, of course, it’s all about me… 😉 Meanwhile, life goes on.


  1. I so feel for you! And also relate. MS is such a hard one because you never know what might be an attack. Much love to you both.

  2. You know we’re thinking about you – and I wish I could be there in Long Beach with all my heart. After being in England now it really shocks me our country’s health insurance policy…even more than it did before. Love you both soooo much.

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