Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16, 2011 (2)

I just received my statement for charges from my insurance carrier for my Zometa Infusion on 6/27/2011. I have a Medicare A, B, D plus supplemental provided by my former employer. For the Zometa Infusion, the clinic billed Medicare $3609.00, however of this, Medicare excluded $2,583.23 and only paid the clinic $976.27. My co-pay was $50.00. This included the infusion plus all of the blood work. Since this was my 25th infusion, billings would have been over $90,000 with actual payments being only about $24,400 and my out of pocket being $1250 over a 2 1/4 year time period.

While I don't like to pay more, a $50.00 per infusion co-pay is unrealistically low. Doubling or tripling the co-pay is no big deal.

American seniors are treated like royalty; and the working folks with children must bear the pain of taxation and much higher health insurance. Virtually every senior I know is living like a king taking cruises, weeks at the beach, dinner at nice places, new cars, and so forth.

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 16, 2011

Lets start with some photographs of our recent vacation to the Finger Lakes of New York. We visited quite a few wineries, probably drank to much.

Visited the H/O this past Tuesday. Kappa Light Chains are back in the normal range at 1.93 mg/dl; the upper normal is 1.94 so I am just in. My O/H believes that Kappa Light Chains are a better myeloma marker than the M-Spike. Igg was 1571 mg/dl which is slightly above the upper normal of 1554. With the exception of my WBC, which was a bit below normal, my other blood counts were normal. We have decided to stay off chemo for another 6 weeks; at that time, we will redo my blood work and reassess my cancer burden. On June 27, I had my 25th Zometa infusion, this was my 25th, and it had been 3 months since my previous Zometa infusion. At the aforementioned H/O appointment, we decided that we would discontinue Zometa for the time being. The H/O believes that since I am more or less in a stable condition; the risks of bone necrosis out weighed the benefits of increasing bone density.

However, I have had a bout of MRSA in the left elbow. This is my third event. After installing new sprinkler heads in the yard, I woke up with a swollen and painful left elbow. I immediately went to a Walk In Clinic, a culture was drawn and I was put on an antibiotic. However, it turned out this antibiotic was ineffective for MRSA and I had to switch to Doxcycline which is supposed to be effective for MRSA. My swelling has diminished and the pain is gone; however, there are still thick areas under the skin. I have consulted with an orthopedic physician that specializes in MRSA and his recommendation is to watch and wait; If it gets worse, he will see me quickly and open up my elbow and treat it with a new drug that kills MRSA on contact.

Next week I go back to north Georgia for some consulting and then on Thursday we take off to Kansas City for my cousin's 50th wedding anniversary.