Tag Archives: It’s all about the benjamins

Decisions, decisions

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I’m so tired of having to make them.

10 years ago, the weightiest decision I had to make was which party I was going to go to.  I mean, seriously people, that was a MAJOR conundrum.  The guys at the Farm were always way hotter but the guys at the House of Big Decks always had free beer…what a quandry!

If you’d told me then that at age 31, I’d be on a medication that’s a low dose of chemo, another one that’s really bad for because it can kill bones and other things, and deciding between two different treatments that are both 8K-10K per year…I would’ve smiled at you, turned away, rolled my eyes as far back in my head as possible, called you crazy and went back to my beer.

What a difference ten years makes!

At my follow-up with my rheumy on Thursday, they approached me about another study.  Yes, I’m supposed to start Orencia last week. Actually, I was supposed to start it beginning of December. But who’s keeping track! I had it scheduled and everything.  But the insurance verification trolls made me delay it yet again.  SO FRUSTRATING.

Anyways, it’s a Phase 3 study by Eli Lilly for a yet unnamed drug that’s showing a lot of promise.  For the first six months, you get either one of two different dosages OR the placebo.  After the first six months, everyone gets the drug for five years. It’s self injectable every two weeks and would require me to stop by the doctor’s office once a month to pick up the injections.

In all honesty, my first response was HECK no.  I saw no benefit for me with the first study I did.  I’m certainly not going to stay on Prednisone for five years- you are batsh*t crazy if you think that’s going to happen. BUT, after reading on the new Lilly drug, learning that you can taper off of Prednisone during the study and doing math on how it would help me financially to not have to pay for co-pays, x-rays, labs, or meds for five years as well as five years of not having to fight with that douchewad known as Blue Cross Blue Shield….well, that right there is something to think about.

The fact that it’s less of a time commitment (on paper) than Orencia and the fact that after the first six months, I’m guaranteed to be on the drug…that’s even more to think about.

I’m torn but leaning towards doing it. I think many of us would say that new medications are scary, not from the side effects, but from the ‘what am I going to do if this doesn’t work?’  It took awhile but I had originally married myself to the idea of being on Actemra. Then my doctor wanted to wait on that and try Orencia first.  I was upset about that until I read more about it and finally agreed with him.  So now I’m married to the idea of being on Orencia.  And now that’s maybe going to change too.

It’s just scary. I think my doctor could see it on my face when we were talking about it.  I got quiet (which doesn’t happen often) and he just looked at me and pointed out that all the drugs that have made it to Phase III in the past 10 years have been very successful.

So now I feel like I’m kinda back to square one without a plan.  Also, I feel more than a little bit jerked around by the insurance trolls.

Am I really old enough and smart enough to be making these kinds of decisions???

It really doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

We ALL should be spoiled!

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I’ve always been a firm believer of spoiling myself.  

In college, if I did well on a test or a presentation or a paper, I would take myself to Pete’s for a Reese’s Cup milkshake.  Alas, as my GPA grew, so did my waistline.  

When I got my first “real” job after college, I would reward work success with manicures, pedicures, and massages.  When I beat my first year goal, I allowed myself to splurge on the *expensive gym*.  You know, the one with a pool, a steam room,sauna,  on-site massage therapy, personal training, indoor track, yadda yadda yadda.  It was night and day different from  the one I belonged to that backed up on a strip club.  And knowing I’d never again walk out the back door with my boot camp class to run the parking lot and find a stripper “servicing” a client next to the dumpster? MONEY WELL SPENT!

Which brings me to “spoiling” my RA.  It’s been a long (and ongoing) road to learn how to respect my body as far as RA is concerned.  Sometimes I feel like I’m Arnold Schwarznegger and my RA is Danny DeVito- we both are part of the same person but we both have incredibly different characteristics and desires.  It’s a constant struggle trying to find ways to make both parts of me happy.  And the middle ground always seems to be in the spoiling.

I realize that things are tight for a lot of people right now, myself included, so I’m putting together a list of the ways that I “spoil” myself….on a budget. I’ve always been accused of being a tad bit cheap and I love finding ways to be creative and get as much as I can for as little as I can- I mean seriously, who doesn’t? I am also working on a new page where I’m going to list some low cost resources that I’ve turned to that may or may not help you guys too.  Look for this to be up by the end of the week.  (High hopes- realistically it will be up this weekend.) 

Let me know what you think!