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Thread: Dr. suggested Xeloda yesterday - will cost $5,000. per month

  1. #1
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    Dr. suggested Xeloda yesterday - will cost $5,000. per month

    Are they out of their freaking minds?

    I have judgmental friends saying "So what? Wouldn't you spend $5,000 to SAVE YOUR HUSBAND'S LIFE?" (implying I'm cheap if I don't okay this). And others who say "The oncologist is in bed with the Pharmaceutical company. Of course he'll suggest their drug. Push for a Plan B"

    I'm ready to raid the college fund. Stage IV Pan Can husband says no. Yes not ready to die just yet. We make too much in combined income for qualify for aid, yet I'd rather not lose my house, college fund, etc. in this process. I've worked hard to get here. Looking at on-line pharmacies that only charge $1,000 (or less!) for Xeloda. What's up with THAT?

    I suggested Folfirinox and Abraxane and all the other cool names I've found on this forum. Onco says, "Well, those are alternatives. Let's try the Xeloda first" yeah,but you're prescribing something I can't easily afford, with no guarantees...$5,000 could buy me a new boiler and winter is coming and it's getting cold...

    I still don't understand why infusion therapies are cheaper than oral. That has to change in the future.

    Thanks for letting me rant.
    "Love the humor. Hate the tumor."


  2. #2
    Senior User hiyasofsj's Avatar
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    One 48 hour infusion of Folfirinox is approx $10k, meaning a full cycle is just under $20k. It took 9.5 cycles to eradicate my wife's 5cm tumor on the body of her pancreas and spots on her liver and the chemo only took care of part NOT ALL of these cancer cells. The cancerous pancreatic stem cells and tumor cells not targeted by chemotherapy were already killed by years of Metformin prescribed to treat her type 2 diabetes since 2006. At this point with my wife's current condition revealing "no progressive metastatic disease or tumor recurrence" I can't see myself complaining about the bureaucracy of pharmaceutical companies. It has most definitely worked to our advantage. I can not say we would be where we are today had our oncologists not been influenced by it and used it to our benefit since her diagnosis in July 2011 with inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
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    Hi Lisa,

    That sucks! Just curious...what was your husband on before? Do you have any idea why he's pushing for Xeloda over Abraxane or Folfirinox? Xeloda was the last resort in my dad's plan.

    As for the conspiracy of the doctors being in bed with the drug companies...just think of it this way....when doctors get cancer, what do they take? They don't have a special medicine cabinet filled with drugs that are just for them that they AREN'T in bed with. The drugs that are available are the ones that work! Whether or not they are getting kickbacks, these ARE the drugs that work.

    But I still don't get why Xeloda? Especially when it's usually used in conjunction with Gemcitabine or another drug. My dad was on it alone when it was the only thing he could take since IV drugs were out of the question.
    March 21, 2011 - Dad diagnosed. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma on head of pancreas.
    April 2011 - Gemcitabine and radiation for a total of 12 weeks.
    October 14, 2011 - Successful Whipple procedure. Cancer free! Best 5 months of my life!!!
    March 2, 2012 - CT scan and discovery of possible mets to both lungs.
    March 23, 2012 - Biopsy confirmed recurrence.
    May 2, 2012 - Folfiri regimen started. Stopped after 2 treatments due to infection.
    June 2, 2012 - Switched to Xeloda
    Sept. 21, 2012 - No more chemo...treatment not working anymore. Now we wait and pray.
    October 6, 2012 - My dad is now at peace in Heaven, watching over us until we meet again.

    ♥ Forever in my heart! Miss you every day more than words can say! ♥

  4. #4
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    He was on Gemcitabine + PEGPH20 on a clinical trial from 5/12 - 10/12. tumor grew 20%
    "Love the humor. Hate the tumor."


  5. #5
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    I know when the doc put me on xeloda at the beginning of my treatment they told me to go through the hospital pharmacy as they had a way of dealing with prescription plans that tend to be successful, since I was told my cost would be $4000 per month I was more than happy to let the hospital pharmacy go for it. I ended up paying $90 per month. Not sure if this is an option for you. Good luck!

    Deb
    49 yo female. 4/12 became jaundiced went to doc. Test revealed mass on head of pancreas.nodule on lung and one lymph node involved 5/12 chemo(Zeloda) and radiation for 5 1/2 weeks. Tumor shrank, lymph node shrank, no basic change in nodule.
    Vats surgery on 7/17/12 showed nodule was in fact pancreatic cancer that has spread. Whipple no longer an option. Start iv chemo on 8/02/2012 with 5fu irinotecan and oxaliplatin.
    09/11/12 stent replaced (was originally placed 04/12).
    Jan 2013- scan reveals no growth or spread
    Feb 2013- dropped oxaliplatin due to repeated low WBC counts so now on folfiri.
    April 18th 2013- scan reveals again no growth or spread! Good news
    Sept 5th 2013- scan today reveals no growth or spread! Doc now calls me stable mable

  6. #6
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    Doc called me (on a Saturday)! Ok ok I admit I called a Senator first but that's another story. Anyway, said I shouldn't do the $5k Xeloda, that he will start my husband on Folfirinox infusion on Tues. I get the impression my husband is dying anyway so he's saving me money and throwing darts at the board at this point. Then a Visiting nurse will come to administer something else and my husband has to sleep with a pack overnight...my head is swimming.
    Last edited by Lisa Renee; 12-03-2012 at 01:36 PM.
    "Love the humor. Hate the tumor."


  7. #7
    Super Moderator Top User DebbieC's Avatar
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    The pack isn't that bad. My dad had it and also a lot of others here and they will tell you that it's not as bad, or annoying, as it sounds. He'll be ok!
    March 21, 2011 - Dad diagnosed. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma on head of pancreas.
    April 2011 - Gemcitabine and radiation for a total of 12 weeks.
    October 14, 2011 - Successful Whipple procedure. Cancer free! Best 5 months of my life!!!
    March 2, 2012 - CT scan and discovery of possible mets to both lungs.
    March 23, 2012 - Biopsy confirmed recurrence.
    May 2, 2012 - Folfiri regimen started. Stopped after 2 treatments due to infection.
    June 2, 2012 - Switched to Xeloda
    Sept. 21, 2012 - No more chemo...treatment not working anymore. Now we wait and pray.
    October 6, 2012 - My dad is now at peace in Heaven, watching over us until we meet again.

    ♥ Forever in my heart! Miss you every day more than words can say! ♥

  8. #8
    Top User Queensville's Avatar
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    You called a Senator??????? Blahahahahaha..... that's taking healthcare in in your own hands.
    July 22 2011 Hubby (64) Diagnosed PanCan. Sept2011- Feb 2012: Abraxane/Gemcitabine. Feb-May 2012:Gemcitabine only. June-Sept 2012 5FU. Sept 4-no more chemo - Just living life. Multiple stents. Jan 2013/18 month mark. Mets everywhere. Looking for a bumper sticker that says 'Stay at safe distance - Driver suffering caregiver burnout'. Hospice Thurs Feb 28 2013. March 12 2013 he went off to his new adventure where we will one day meet again. It was 20 months from date of diagnosis until now.

  9. #9
    Top User Carol Wal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Renee View Post
    Doc called me (on a Saturday)! Ok ok I admit I called a Senator first but that's another story. Anyway, said I shouldn't do yhe $5k Xeloda, that he will start my husband on Folfirinox infusion on Tues. I get the impression my husband is dying anyway so he's saving me money and throwing darts at the board at this point. Then a Visiting nurse will come to sninister something else and my husband has to sleep with a pack overnight...my head is swimming.
    Whoooooo hOOOOOOOO you go girl.....Never hurts to have a Senator in your back pocket....I'm taking it that the new drug is covered ?? Really can't add much as we are just starting this adventure and only have had the one shipment of Xeloda delivered which thank goodness was paid for......Just don't give up on your husband yet who knows maybe this new treatment will buy you some more time together.....I think you are in the Hard Part right now and my prayers and lots of Hugs are going out to you ........
    Oct 9,2012 Hubby's ( 65 ) ERCP, Stent put in also told might be cancer
    Oct 23,2012 ( ERCP ) diagnosed. PC on head of pancreas.
    Nov. 5,2012 Whipple at Loma Linda Hosp.... could not be finished due to heart issues
    ( 4 1/2 hours into surgery )told it's also attached to Portal Vein, now only Chemo & Radiation

    1-30-13 Hubby started on his radiation and Pill Chemo ( Xeloda 3200 mg per day ) for six weeks
    3-12-13 ( Bowel blockage) in Hospital Fluid being drained
    4-18-13 New Stent put in metal with mesh
    4-19-13 2nd round of ( Xeloda ) 2 weeks on 1 week off till ? 4000 mg per day for 6 months ( changed to 3000 )
    6-12-13 Large Hernia at surgery site/won't be repaired due to his heart condition also losing toenails ( Xeloda )
    8-9-13 Taken off all Chemo just Living Life now and Keeping him Pain Free "In God's Hands"
    REMISSION NOW PRAYING IT WILL LAST 1-10-14
    3-12-15 Cancer is Back..Now in Hospice 4-10-15
    Passed on to Heaven 4-30-2015 Till you Hold me again...XOXO

  10. #10
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    Lisa Renee,
    I am on folfox now which is 1 less drug than folfirinox. The home pack is a pain, but its manageable. You will hear a periodic "swoosh" sound as the drug goes in through the port.It may keep you from sleeping, but the chemo makes me so tired I am not disturbed. At first my dog would do a little "ruff" everytime the chemo "swooshed". Luckily he got used to it! Good luck!

 

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