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First folfox treatment today and $$

Easyflip's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

Hey everyone,
First infusion today (51/2 hours!) No nausea but I'm getting cold aversion in my feet and hands. It's very odd, when I touch metal it feels freezing and I get an electrical tingling. I'm not complaining, in fact I'm glad that it's doing something and if it kills cancer cells all the better! I'm stage 3a and am receiving emend as well as 3 other anti emetics plus the steroid, antihistamine and folfox drugs. Do any of you out there remember your first 2 weeks? Any tips or advice? Any pump tips?
BTW I saw a bill for my colectomy marked ' not a bill' but somebody somewhere charged somebody 99000+ US dollars! Don't want to start a healthcare debate but I haven't really paid any serious money yet and I wonder if a big bill is coming my way. It's at a bad time because I'm not planning on working through my chemo. I own my business so I can't collect state (CA) disability but maybe social security disability benefits? Anyone know how this works?
Thanks ahead for your advice encouragement and kind words, let me give that right back to all of you!
I believe our mutual support is important and am grateful for all of you. It's worth a lot, probably more than 99,000 dollars : )

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Here is the government web page which explains how disability payments are made if you quality:


It is my understanding that for those with less than a stage 4 diagnosis the approval process can take a while.

On the left side of the page I gave the link for, are links to other pages describing the process.  You can apply on-line.

Wishing you best results.

Marie who loves kitties

Coloncancerblows's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

I just finished my 9th treatment of Folfox.  The first one I had a sleeping marathon for 3 days and after that just fatigue.  I'm on Emend to and that is great for nausea.  The cold factor is a pain.  I keep a pair of gloves by the fridge and have to put them on whenever I get anything out.  Everything I drink is warm which stinks but worth it because the cold just hurts.  I could shower with the chemo pack. I just put a ziploc bag over the port and left the chemo pack outside the shower door.  Worked pretty good.  I do rinse with warm salt water at least the first 5 days to make sure I don't get any mouth soures.  So far haven't.  Good luck with your treatments!  I worked for the first 7 session but then decided it was too much and took short term disability at work for the remaining 4 sessions.  I get paid which is a blessing. 

abrub's picture
Posts: 2167
Joined: Mar 2010

There is a vast difference between what is billed, and what the patient is responsible for.  If your surgery/care has been in-network, then your portion will be determined by contractual agreement with your insurer.  The bill may say $100,000; your insurance may allow $70,000, and your hospital copay may be $300.  You still only pay $300.  Insurance would pay (in the example cited) $69,700; and the hospital would write off the remaining $30,000.  If you are out of network, then ultimately, you will be responsible for the full billed amount, with (depending on your insurance plan) insurance possibly contributing a small amount.

My first hospitalization came to $268,000 and I had a zero-dollar copay.  My insurance paid about $200,000; and the hospital never saw the remaining $68,000.

Hope this helps.

tachilders's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Jun 2012

All depends on your insurance (assuming you have some) but most have an annual cap on out of pocket costs to patient. 


abrub's picture
Posts: 2167
Joined: Mar 2010

While insurers may say that there is an annual cap on out of network coverage, the cap is only based on their allowable amount.  When you reach that cap, insurance will pay 100% of the allowable amount, but you are always responsible for the difference between the allowable amount and the billed amount.    And only the allowable amounts for a procedure/treatment goes towards that cap.

I've seen Explanation of Benefits where the allowable amount was 80%; others where it was only 5-10% of what was billed.  In an out-of-network situation, unless you work out individual arrangements with the provider, you are ultimately responsible for the total amount billed.  Ideally, your insurance will reimburse or cover most of it, but regardless, the responsibility is yours.

In-network, the annual cap is a true cap, and you may not be billed more than the allowable amount.

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