Yikes. The day is almost gone and I nearly missed my daily blogging promise. Time to write.
Let’s talk about the outrageous cost of having cancer, can we? Since my diagnosis last year I have paid quite a lot of money out to Brigham and Womans, Winchester Hospital, Dana-Farber and then of course the separate bills that come from each doctor: Christian, Hergrueter, Anderson, as well as each resident and intern that assisted in the surgery rooms, anesthesiologists, pharmacologists, pathologists….the list is endless. We are lucky that we have insurance, an 80/20 plan that on the surface sounds reasonable, but with each procedure and each subsequent bill, my 20% is starting to add up.
Here are just a few of the numbers that came in the mail this week just for the last surgery I had (remember I have had 5):
Breast reconstruction – $1968.00 – for Brigham Woman’s hospital
Breast reconstruction $7401.00 – for Dr. Plastic
Implant – $2625.00
Recovery room -$2530.00
And my favorite of all:
Operating room services, which I guess is just for the luxury of lying there unconscious: $23,075.00
The total for this bill was $32,155.47
Now mind you this is just one week’s worth of bills for one surgery. The numbers boggle my mind. Here is another that I just can’t get my head around. I don’t even remember what the bills were for the first 6 rounds of my chemo but this week when I got the bill for my Herceptin I almost passed out. I get Herceptin every 3 weeks for a year –one treatment, just one ,cost $12,500.00!!! This is why the US is the only country that authorizes Herceptin treatment for a year. Other countries are fighting for it but their governments will only give the drug for 9 weeks — though I think the Aussies just won that battle.
So my question is: How in God’s name does anyone without insurance pay for all of this? I don’t understand it. It doesn’t seem right, the cost of health care is out of control. Even with insurance the payments are huge. There are too many people out there who forgo medical procedures for a lack of funds. If it comes down to a choice of putting food on the table for your family or getting a much needed MRI, many will choose the former. It’s a shame.
Good thing I got that waitressing job. I wonder if tomorrow night I can make $12,500.00 in tips to pay for my Herceptin. To do that I am going to have to serve an awful lot of Martini’s.