Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Colorful Parrot - Part Two

Yesterday I received the second in a series of four infusions of The Colorful Parrot (the chemo drug topotecan).

Did I tell you I have a power port? It makes the chemo so easy. Nurse D just hangs the bags of saline and drugs and just "plugs" into the port on my left shoulder. Easey peasey. No searching for veins for an IV. Have I told you I Love My Port! You can read more about my Port here!

Yesterday I asked my Onc nurse why the neulasta shot is given 24 hours after the last infusion. I thought it had something to do with the "appropriate and most opportunistic" time to jump-start the bone-producing marrow. That would make sense, wouldn't it? That there is a particular point in time when the shot works to its optimum?

But, no, her answer was that insurance won't pay UNLESS you have the shot at the 24 hour point OR at the 10-day point after the last infusion of the Colorful Parrot. And at the 10-day point we would risk my bloods being too low for the next cycle which is scheduled at 4 weeks after this one.

Well! I'm a bit miffed about that. How dare the insurance company tells us the opportune time for MY BLOOD COUNTS! We all react differently to the chemo drugs and each of us will have a slightly different reaction in terms of what happens with our blood counts. Wouldn't you think my Oncologist, after watching my bloods for the next two weeks would have a BETTER IDEA than they?

Some Colorful Parrot needs to fly over them and drop a few nuggets of wisdom! Or something like that...to get their attention.

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8 comments:

Glenda said...

You made me smile! Love your humor - especially amidst great difficulty! But I totally agree with you about the absurd insurance guidelines.

Debby said...

Go, parrot. Fly forth and drop messages. Or whatever.

Tina said...

I can't complain too much about my insurance, because they've covered everything the past few years, but they do have some strange guidelines. I used to get neupogen shots after each chemo and my onc wanted me to do them at home. There was a bunch of hoops to jump through and a waiting period before the insurance would give the ok for me to do that. BUT, if I went to the hospital to have the shots done, there was no questions asked! You'd think it would be cheaper for insurance to have me to do them at home, instead of paying hospital and nurse charges.
I also love my port. As long as I have to do labs every 3 months, and ct scans every 6, I'm going to keep it. Especially now, since I've had lymph nodes removed from my left armpit, I can't use the veins in that arm.
Glad you are still in such good spirits. God is Good! :)

Sandy said...

My TJ had a port too. It made the chemo so much easier....if that is even possible.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I am always baffled at insurance stuff...Like the colorful parrot even though it means chemo

Dee said...

I have had a port for almost 7 years now. It does make chemo easier.
When I was in treatment I chose to schedule my neulasta and then neupogen or procrit shots at the cancer center- too much hassle with insurance. There are some rules that just don't make sense.

At first they wouldn't pay for a PET scan ( before it was approved for use with OC ) to determine if a spot on my CT was cancer but they would pay for three more chemo treatments. Turns out they eventually payed and I didn't need the extra chemos. I think I saved them upwards of $50,000 by having the PET for $9000.

Servivorgirl said...

Is your insurance an HMO? Maybe they have a managed care nurse that can petition on your behalf to modify the injection schedule.

It doesn't make sense from any point of view, but especially for you. It IS very frustrating when doctors can just order what we need. Awe......Peace

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

It's been a long time since I've checked in with you.

Prayers for you tonight.

~elaine