March 10th, 2010

Cost of Living

Still watching the calendar count down to next week's scan - been meaning to post about this article since it popped up in my newsfeed last week.

Lessons of a $618,616 Death

Apart from what it has to say about how deeply and genuinely fucked up the financial side of our healthcare system is in the US, it really made me think about what we did and didn't do in that situation.

At the beginning, before my biopsy results came back, when all we knew was that I had a big damn lump of what was almost certainly pure cancer nestled in my gut, we talked about a lot of scary/difficult things, up to and including my post-mortem wishes if it came to that. Those could be summed up as "Spend as little as possible disposing of the meat, donate whatever you can find takers for, then have a properly lubricated party-wake."

What we didn't discuss was the harder question raised in this article - when to stop grasping at (dramatically) increasingly expensive medical straws in an attempt to keep pushing the end just a little farther away. Fortunately my case has been very treatable thus far, so my cost/benefit curve doesn't look anything like his. Even so...

I honestly don't know what the total actual cost of my treatment has been to date - yet another aspect of "winning the cancer lottery" is that I've been double-insured through most of it. Here's hoping I really am close to a final total, whatever it is.

Location:Seattle, WA