a real "death panel!" Only its run not by the government, but by the nameless, faceless bureaucrats at my health insurance provider. OK, enough foolishness. I am angry, damned angry. The insurance company I thought so well of last year seems to have changed. Today I learned that they are denying coverage for my allogeneic stem cell transplant. The reason? They disagree with the cocktail of drugs the transplant team at the University of Chicago wants to use in preparation for the transplant. So just who is coming between me and my doctor? Either one drug in the mix, or the entire mix, or the procedure itself using this mix is still considered experimental, a phase 2 study. They will not budge, apparently, refusing to even consider allowing this. The transplant team in Chicago assured both them and today me, that this procedure is, despite the study, the now standard of care for an allogeneic transplant for someone with my condition. Research as I may, I cannot find anything stating just what the standard of care is for relapsed MM. The docs obviously (to me) don't want to use the same drugs as were used in the autologous transplant last year. They didn't work! As I see it now these are the only possible outcomes. I can appeal, but after speaking to someone in authority I am not optimistic about that possibility. The transplant docs in Chicago can relent, and change either the drugs or the treatment to be used. We are going to Chicago next week to discuss these possibilities. I did find this article on the value of a second autologous transplant, http://www.bbmt.org/article/PIIS1083879105011614/fulltext, but, oops, another study. No treatments for this disease other than transplant have good long term outcomes. So I suppose I could simply do as I stated in an earlier post and follow Scrooge's advice and reduce the surplus population. I, however, would rather listen to Dylan Thomas and refuse to go gently into that good night. I will rage against the dying of the light. All I want is time, to stretch the time I have to allow more time for a cure or at least more treatments to be found. Sorry, not very prayerful or trusting tonight. Maybe when I calm down. Maybe.
Feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino
Sept. 18, 2009
St. Peregrine, pray for us.
Blessed John XXIII, pray for us.