Friday, August 3, 2012

The Last Chemo

It's August 3, that date I've mentioned once or twice around here. Though you are all so excited for me, I'm not there yet. From my perspective, chemo isn't over until the worst of the side effects have passed, so that'll be next week sometime. Even then, it's not like I get to walk away from this building forever knowing that cancer will never be back.

I'm a party pooper, huh? But let's talk about something a little off topic that is amazingly, life-changingly wonderful: The awesomeness of the health insurance plan provided by Syracuse Research Corporation (Paul's work).

Check out the bill from the double mastectomy's hospital stay:

I giggle just looking at it. Keep in mind that this is just from the hospital. There were similar looking bills from the surgeons for their work that day.

Then, each of these days that I sit in the chemo chair, the drugs going into me and the expertise of the nurses cost literally thousands of dollars. I pay a $10 copay each week, no questions asked. I don't know the exact figures, but I have one example of what we're dealing with. A couple weeks ago we had to do my Neulasta shot at home (thanks to Linda, a neighbor who's a nurse who came over on a Saturday). Here's the prescription we picked up from Wegmans:

That's a $4600+ shot. The 10 day supply does not mean I got ten of them. It was ONE syringe that lasts 10 days in my body. I received 6 of these over the course of my chemo and paid $0.00 for all of them except for this one that we had to bring home.

Thank you Blue Cross/ Blue Sheild Excellus plan!!! (See, three exclamation points there.)

I KNOW that we're among the few lucky ones. Do a quick search for blogs of cancer patients, and many, many of them have had to make lifestyle changes or ask for help from friends and strangers due to insurance plans that are not as comprehensive. I'm not going to turn this into a political debate, so I'll stop there.

Speaking of blogs, if you didn't see on Facebook, some random website called found my blog and decided you are currently reading one of the Top Breast Cancer Blogs of 2012. My theory is that the author Googled "best breast cancer blogs" and the search found my title quite easily. However, I am listed first, so she must have liked it once she got here.

Since I'm speaking of blogs, I know that bloggers like to cross-reference with one another to get more readers. Although that's not the point of me writing (I just like to keep people informed), I've been given shout-out by other bloggers, so I'm going to do a little payback. My friend Chuck writes about things to do in Syracuse at Another woman from Maggie's preschool was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, too (unfortunately proving the 1 in 8 theory, being that there are 14 kids in Maggie's class) and she's blogging at Finally, I just yesterday I checked out one of the other blogs on that Healthline list and emailed the writer because our diagnoses are very similar. She is adding me to her blogroll, and since I don't know what that is, I'll let you know that she blogs at

Finally, remember that picture on April 12? I'll leave you with the after photo of me right now. The IV pole isn't hooked up yet because they're running some extensive bloodwork (liver function, pregnancy test (HA!), etc), but that Taxol will be running soon.


  1. Three cheers for good insurance. Can I say Ms. Shari that you look marvelous. The smile while still cautious is priceless. Thank you for sharing your journey with such honesty and humour. I continue to send you nothing but good thoughts and warm wishes from the west!
    Nina(one of your many invisible bbc friends)

  2. Ugh I thought I commented! You may not know a lot about me but I do not lie. It's a curse really because I do not have a filter. You look fanfreakingtastic! I mean how can someone getting chemo look that good? Your smile lights up your eyes. Be ready to celebrate this year because we both have a lot to party about. Great job breast buddy!!