Back from vacation and in the pile of mail was a statement from Kaiser. I have 44,461 reasons to be thankful for health insurance. That’s the cost of my recent Rituxan chemotherapy. (It makes one want to pronounce the word, cheMOTHERapy!)
Kaiser paid $23,410 to settle the bill and my co-pay was $40. I don’t know how people without insurance do it—perhaps they don’t. Making my $1,200 monthly insurance premiums isn’t easy but where else could I get such a great ROI!
I trust it’s worth it. Rituximab, aka Rituxan, has dramatically improved the outcomes for B-cell lymphoma patients. It is so effective that some oncologists feel it’s tantamount to malpractice not to use Rituxan. However, it can cause serious side effects, including stomach and bowel problems.
Since I’ve been having stomach problems I will be going in tomorrow for an EGD, which stands for Esophagogastroduodenoscopy. It is also called an upper endoscopy.
An EGD procedure is performed to look for any problems in your upper digestive tract. To start an EGD, the doctor will spray a numbing medication into the back of your throat, insert an endoscope (a bendable tube that acts as a camera), and then begin examining your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine for any growths or foreign bodies. If problems are found, the endoscope may also be used to treat them.
I have no idea how much this medical procedure will cost; I only hope it helps find the problem.