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You were right

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

You were right there are too many questions to stay away from you guys for the next several months. First I had my power port installed on Wednesday. I was surprised how small they have become. The one they wanted to put in me almost five years ago was the size of a hubcap. This one is smaller than a half dollar and nothing to it. I didn't even have stitches just glue. A couple of days later and I barely notice it is there. But to get to the question since this scared the crap out of me. Folfox I don't know what it is going to cost. My Onc people claim that they have approval from my insurance company for 100% payment. But they have screwed up my insurance claims so many times I am more shocked when they do it right than wrong. I have heard that leucovorin)and Fluorouracil (5-FU) costs about $300 per application but the Oxi can cost $10,000 per application. Obviously 12 treatments x $10,300 equals me living is a large refrigerator box after about the second treatment if not covered by insurance. My question are these costs right for Folfox? If it is thank God I'm only getting Oxi on day one and not day one and day two.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

So glad to see you!!! Yes, don't you love the power port, although I think they should make it in blue for the men, I admired my pretty purple power port and said how cute it was, and then realized it's under the skin and no one will see the pretty color. LOL.
As for insurance, Pepe started a thread on that, just look for his last thread, it doesn't mention insurance until you read it, you'll understand the frustration of many others on that one.
So glad you're posting.
Have you had Oxi before??? Any questions, I'll be happy to answer on that chemo, one I actually know about.
Winter Marie

HeartofSoul's picture
Posts: 730
Joined: Dec 2009

hi Lou, you may want to check this site out for feedback on Oxiplatin and 5FU/Leucovorin


and this link for the cost of Oxiplatin


Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

This is my 1st time with Folfox or Oxi. My last chemo about five years ago was Xeloda ran about $1600 to $2400 a month ten pills a day. I guess it didn't work that well since cancer came back. I did get very bad hand and foot syndrome which did some damage I still have today. There was some diarrhea too but that was it. The radiation caused permanent low nubers on white and red blood cells and platelets. The thing I worry the most about is hand and foot again followed by mouth sores. Michigan has cold winters but I think I can take that okay. I wouldn't mind not losing my hair either. Monday is a six hour day at the hospital for the 1st chemo mostly show and tell type stuff then application of the drugs with a watch what happens to me to be preventative I guess. I will get to insurance/billing asap when I get there at 8am. Too bad about the insurance. I had duel insurances one from a prior job where I retired and insurance from where I worked after retirement. But they laid off all of us a week ago ( eliminated our jobs)and cancelled health insurance immediately ( Thanks Gov Granholm and Obama). Even Granholm is trying to get Obama to appoint her to a job out of Michigan. Anyway the port was a very pleasant surprise and I hope it works well if I can afford the treatments. The color of the port is not a guy color but if it works well I'd do pink (hidden under the skin)lol.

jararno's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: May 2010

I just finished my 12th treatment of Folfox. As far as costs, I was paying about $900 every two weeks for my coinsurance until I hit my catastrophic level of $5,000. I have a very good Blue Cross Blue Shield Policy that my husband gets through his job with the Federal Government. I would say that $10,000 per treatment is about right for the total. The amount also depends on how much medicine you are getting. I had to lower my dosages due to side effects and the costs did go down a bit.

SIDE EFFECTS: NAUSEA/VOMMITING....The worst part for me. I became dehydrated and was very ill.
Two very expensive treatment options are The SANCUSO PATCH and EMEND
These drugs run about $300 each for each week!

EXTREME FATIGUE....especially after the 5FU and it got worse after more

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY....mostly hands and feet. A little in the jaws!

GAS/TROTS....Stay near the bathroom!! ( blame it on the dog )

CONSTIPATION....from the antinausea meds!!! ( Turtle Eggs )

COLD SENSITIVITY...NO ICE or COLD DRINKS!!! Like drinking broken glass!

I also have the Purple Power Port...It is small, but very useful! I have had some problems with lack of blood flow with mine and had two dye studies to see what was going on. Had some Fibrin Sheath issues.

I have not lost my hair ( or my mind as far as I know!) I have been Witchier than usual! I think this is a given right for any Chemo Patient!!!!

Just try to take one day at a time....Make the Nurses listen!! ( I have had problems with this one ) Get anwsers to your questions!!!!

Just Breathe!!

Take Care....Barb

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Barb... I don't think we've ever met here on the board! I was here about a year or so ago and quite active, then dropped off for a break... but am back as time permits.

Anywho, I just wanted to say that as serious as your post is, your humour just cracked me up!! No insurance company, grumpy nurse, doctor with bad bedside manners or anyone else who can get under our skin (hahaha.. I think I just made a funny... "get under our skin" HAHAHAHA... crack myself up before I've had my morning coffee!!) if we have that powerful weapon of humour! It always seemed to be such a cliche saying "Laughter is the best medicine", but OMG... they have done STUDIES on laughter (and clinical trials??) and lo and behold they found that laughter IS the best medicine because it produces some strange endorphin critters that travel throughout our systems and strengthen our immune system. They even have "Laughter Workshops" where people gather in a room and spend an hour or so just laughing. Ok, I think if I actually saw that, I'd crack up... but I'm not sure for the same reasons everyone in the room was ;)

But, when I read your post, it made me laugh out loud... you are a firecracker, you are!! Keep posting... the world needs more Barb Posts :D

The Serious Canuck :)

jararno's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: May 2010

Glad you got a chuckle out of my post! I actually originally used The B Word instead of Witchier, but the post actually edited it!! It came out *****ier!!!! Funny!

I have been checking in this colon site on and off since about April of this year....Obviously this journey has some major ups and downs for everyone involved! I do recall a recent series of posts about the fact that the one drug is called 5FU...The FU being the "interesting" part!! Many of my non colon cancer friends also find the name of this drug to be funny!

Laughter is good....if you don't pee your pants!! They should have funny movies on TV when we get the Chemo!! My Oncology Office is way too fancy for that and they just play canned music while we sleep! ( Makes it easier on the nurses I think!) The office lobby actually looks like a Ski Chalet!! Seriously there are snowshoes in the lobby and two huge fireplaces! This is in Northern Virginia!! ( no mountains here !)

Is this Thanksgiving weekend in Canada??? Eat something good for me!! ( I have been eating mostly peanut butter and jelly along with red licorace Twizzlers!! ) Real Healthy!!

Have a great weekend!!

Barb.....In Virginia ( No mountains here!!!! )

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

...about $8000 or more per application, so those numbers aren't lying.

I've talked to people whose bag drops were over $20,000 per session.

It ain't cheap, Lou - this next batch of chemo treatments about 10 more will cost me close to $100,000, just chemo alone.

So now, you've got an idea of how much it costs. I'd hate to total up my bills after six years of this mess - the costs are staggering.


jararno's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: May 2010

I have only been on this journey for about 10 months...I figure the medical costs have been about $200,000 ( mostly paid by my insurance ) This includes tests, surgery, Power Port, Chemo, Medications, etc.... I wish I could just have the money and forget all this!!! Maybe we can just get the cash and have a big party??? Travel would be nice!

Actually... Thank Goodness for insurance...I worry about those who are struggling to pay for the treatments.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!


Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

Your insurance should pay for your chemo after you satisfy any deductible. Then if you have a percentage you have to pay like 10% or 20% you would pay that portion. Most insurance has an out of pocket maximum. After having resection surgery you've probably met that maximum already, so then you'd be covered 100% for the rest of your plan year, and start over with deductible and co-pays with the new year. Insurance could NOT deny paying for chemo for stage III. It is standard care.

When you get your meds all through the oncologist, major medical covers it. Some people (we have this problem now) have separate prescription coverage. So something like Xeloda that you get from the pharmacy will always have a cost. We pay a $50 deductible for prescriptions and then we have co-pays with no maximum out of pocket. Generics are only $7, but other drug categories are $50 and $75. I pay $75 to get Emend. And if I get Neulasta to give myself at home instead of going in to the oncologist or hospital, those are $75 also. It all gets confusing.

I'm glad to see you are sticking around here. We want to know how you are doing as you go through this. Please keep us updated. We're here for you.

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Glad you are sticking around. Lots of support and info here on Folfox. $10,300 per treatment is about right, I think our onc charged a few thousand more. I have read where some people were charged around $15,000 per treatment.

Take care - Tina

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