Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not My Day

At least not at the beginning. My oncology appointment was at 11:30 and they like me to get there about fifteen minutes early to have blood drawn. The office is about 26 miles away, so I would normally have left home between 10:30 and 10:45. However, I needed to go to the drug store first to get the anti-nausea pill I need to take with the VelCade. The Cancer Group faxed the prescription over last week, but the Drug Store said it had to be preapproved for my insurance to pay for it. Since it was after 5 p.m. and the Cancer Group had already switched their phone to answering service, the pharmacist said she would call them the next day and tell them that. I came home and forgot about it until this morning. When I realized that I had heard nothing from either doctor's office or pharmacy, I decided it might be wise to leave at 9:30. It was! I went first to Davis Drugs, then to the Cancer Group, then back to Davis Drugs with a new prescription and a copy of some pages from a Medicare document that the nurse said should solve the problem. The pharmacy didn't agree with her on that. They had to check their Medicare book and call Medicare about it. They're still not sure how much Medicare will pay, but they dispensed one pill and did not charge me anything -yet! When they find out how much Medicare pays, they will have me pay either $5.60 or $30. They can only dispense one pill at a time, so I will have to call them a day ahead of my VelCade treatments to have one ready for me to pick up before I go for my treatments. They will dispense from that same prescription, but each pill will cost either $5.60 or $30.

OK. So that problem was solved. I got back to the Cancer Group just before my 11:30 appointment time. I checked in and went to the treatment room for the nurses to draw blood through my port. My port and/or my body didn't cooperate, so I went to the lab to have the technician draw the blood from my arm. There was no problem there (I have good veins in both arms), but my blood has gotten very thin. Dr Winkler changed my Coumadin dosage, and I bought 8 oz of broccoli (high in vitamin K, the clotting factor) salad at Kroger and had it for my supper.

But then it got better: The proteins in my blood are at normal levels. Dr Winkler even used the term 'remission' - I'm almost there, but we'll continue the treatment to kill off more of the bad plasma cells.

In the treatment room, I overheard a nurse talking to the man in the chair sort of diagonally across from me. I heard Thalidomide and Revlimid, so I asked if he is a myeloma patient, too. Yep! He said the Revlimid had caused him chest pains so he had gone off it, but is going to try it again. I know I've heard that there are a lot of myeloma patients, but he's the first one I've met.

It was after 2 p.m. when I got out of there, and I hadn't had lunch. I wanted to go to Big Lots and Kroger, so I decided to go out to that area and see what restaurant appealed to me. I got a veggie lover's personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut. From there I went to Big Lots and Kroger for my 'big' monthly grocery shopping (third Wednesday of the month is my Social Security day). Between the two, I spent approximately $100. When I got back in the car to drive home, the clock in the car read 4:35. I couldn't believe it, but my watch said the same. So it was close to 6 by the time I got home and got the groceries put away. Long day!

Although it's only a little after 8 p.m., I think I'll go to bed and read. It will feel good to lie down.

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