The Price of Guilt

I went to the oncologist on Wednesday. The results of the bone marrow biopsy verified everything that was already known. I have CML. Dr. Wong has ordered a prescription of Dasatinib. If there are no adverse side effects I will possibly take this chemo type drug for the rest of my life. I suspect some newer drug will come down the pipeline. Who knows? Perhaps a cure. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I recieved a phone call the next day and was told that my prescription had been approved by my Medicare and Medi-Cal insurances, full coverage, no copay. That's wonderful! But, I can't help but feel a bit guilty. How many people who are not covered by my type of insurance can afford this drug? I've looked around the internet to discover what the price would normally be. The answer is anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 a month for the dosage I will be taking. That's $36,000 a year. I'm 66 years old. If I live another ten years that's three hundred sixty thousand dollars, providing the price doesn't go up. If I live as long as my mother that would be seven hundred fifty six thousand. That's also where my "guilt" chokes me. That's a lot of money. I am worth it, I believe. But, this is money out of taxpayers pockets, and this bothers me.

Okay, so I'll just have to get over it, stop thinking about it. That's it! I've got more realistic priorities to consider

Dasatinib is the generic name for Sprycel.

SPRYCEL may cause serious side effects, including:

- low Blood Cell Counts: SPRYCEL may cause
- low red blood cell counts (anemia),
- low white blood cell counts (neutropenia),
- low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia).

Bleeding: SPRYCEL® (dasatinib) may cause severe bleeding that can lead to death.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have:
- unusual bleeding or bruising of your skin
- bright red or dark, tar-like stools
- a decrease in your level of consciousness, headache, or change in speech

Your body may hold too much fluid. In severe cases, fluid may build up in the lining of your lungs, the sac around your heart, or your stomach cavity.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of these symptoms during treatment with SPRYCEL:
- swelling all over your body
- weight gain
- shortness of breath and cough

Heart problems: SPRYCEL may cause an abnormal heart rate, heart problems, or a heart attack that can lead to death.

Your healthcare provider will monitor the potassium and magnesium levels in your blood, and your heart function.

To look on the bright side, I hope I will not have these problems. There are lesser ones to deal with much more tolerable.

Now that my prescription has been approved, I cannot take it to my local pharmacy. I really like that place. It is very small and I get very good service. I feel like the pharmacist is a friend. So, I shall recieve my Dasatinib (Sprycel) shipped to me every month from CVS. I hope it will be personable service. If not, well, that's okay. I'm expecting my delivery sometime soon, as soon as tomorrow, I am told.

Photo is of myself and Katsumi taken 2004 near Big Sur


  1. Anonymous10/29/2011

    That is a lot of money, but you are worth every penny of it! Those are some nasty side effects, hope that you get none of them. Your still in my thoughts an prayers!

    I watch the video you posted on facebook. It was nice to hear you talk about your experience.

    Wish we lived closer, I'd bring you some of the Spaghetti sauce David is making. He's finally getting it on the stove to cook and it smells so good!

  2. Thank you Melanie, I'm looking forward to the spaghetti for when I come to visit one of these days. I love Albuqurque.It's on my bucket list.

  3. Anonymous10/29/2011

    Let us know when you come we'll make sure we have a fresh batch!


I love your comments! I will approve and respond as soon as possible. Thank you for posting them.

I'm sorry that Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. I've gotten too many spammers that way. If you would like to comment directly my profile provides a way to do that.