[cancer] Chemotherapy, day one of session three

The chemo infusion number three was harder today than the first two. Not sure if this is cumulative effect, or a ripple from the massive sleepfails earlier this week. I am feeling rough and ragged tonight, and have made rather an ass of myself once or twice, including to .

Dad, Mom and took me over there. was there a while. likewise. H— dropped by with some goodies. We watched a barge being launched from the shipward next to the clinic.


Photo © 2010 M. Lake. Some rights reserved, noncommercial permission to reproduce granted.

Mother of the Child’s extended family is (mostly) in town (for the first time EVAR) to celebrate her n0th birthday. It was officially last Tuesday. She has a huge shindig tomorrow night which I will likely not make it to, much to mutual sadness. If I have the energy, I’ll put in an appearance, but it’s a 45-minute round trip to the ballroom she rented, and starts at 7 pm. Which is pretty much a deal killer for me given my energy levels these days, especially while I’m still on the chemo pump.

So I went next door for a little while to visit with various in-laws and cousins. still has a bad cold, so she stayed well away from me. It was the right thing to do, but it made us both sad.

I have been told that my various blood counts are holding up remarkably well. But the leading indicator for white blood cells is down as expected, so in a few more weeks, the flatlining of my immune system will be far more serious. I have to treat it now as-if, even though we aren’t quite there yet.

Also, ironically, I got the first billing letter on my chemo sessions today. $16,900 for pharmaceutical and lab costs, exclusive of billing doctor costs, facility costs and nursing care (none of which I’ve seen yet). Call it $18,000 per session for twelve sessions. There’s $216,000 spent this winter and spring. Thank Ghu I have good health insurance, but my direct and indirect out of pocket is hitting me to the tune of $12,000 per year these past two years, and I don’t expect it to be any easier this year. That’s a sucking huge hole in my cash flow. Frankly, I supported healthcare reform years before I got sick. But now with lifetime coverage caps and pre-existing conditions, and my out of pocket expenses, it’s personal. Deadly personal.

Oi. So much to deal with. Stoopid cancer.