Today is my 1st Cancerversary. It was tough deciding which date to celebrate such an important milestone. Many choose the date of diagnosis, but my cancer had been growing long before that date. To me, the most important date was the day I had my first chemo treatment and began taking back my body and its cells from cancer. In the process, I lost my hair, my breasts, and my energy. I learned a whole new vocabulary and underwent many new procedures and tests. I met many caring doctors, nurses, techs, and office staff who did their best to make me feel comfortable. I racked up enormous medical bills.
One year later, my hair is back and my energy is returning. The cancer is at bay and I am still dancing!
I am very grateful to my outstanding medical team headed by Dr. David Riseberg at Mercy Medical Center and also to everyone who sent encouraging messages, prayers, and donations for my medical expenses. I couldn’t have done it without you.
The costs of fighting cancer are enormous – even with health insurance. It has been called the hidden side effect of cancer. In addition to things insurance doesn’t cover, deductibles and co-pays reset every January. This will give you an idea of how expensive cancer treatment is:
Total cost of my treatment: $334,157. Cost of chemotherapy & maintenance drugs: $237,483 (71% of cost) Insurance paid $308,339. My family paid $25,818.
Below is a list of the procedures, treatments, and diagnostic tests I received in the last year. Because cancer treatment is so hard on the body, numerous diagnostic tests and scans are ordered regularly to make sure the patient can continue treatments.
1 mammogram 1 sonogram 1 breast biopsy 1 2nd opinion consultation 1 lymph node biopsy 1 breast MRI 1 bone biopsy 1 port insertion 1 flu treatment 1 chest x-ray 1 double mastectomy 1 radiation consultation 2 brain MRIs 3 PET/CT Scans 3 Echocardiograms 6 Chemo treatments 12 maintenance treatments
I have kept all of my hospital bands from the past year. They are kept in a small vase on my dresser. Today was the 1st time I took all of them out, in the vase it doesn't look like many but when they are laid out it is a lot.