"You know, you're a whole lot of crazy!" I loved this line, which Jennifer Lawrence delivered to Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook." This line also describes my feelings toward my insurance company and the week I have had dealing with them.
They have denied authorization for a procedure I was supposed to undergo tomorrow.
I have been fighting Stage 4 breast cancer for 12 years and have had to deal with so many treatments, some less horrible than others. When your doctor says you need a procedure to manage your pain— which for me right now is a 9 on a scale of 10— I think most reasonable people will consider a proven pain relief procedure necessary.
I have been extremely lucky. Doctors told me in 2003 I had three years to live. I owe my doctors my life. They have navigated my cancer successfully. Had they been told, "No" to one of my chemotherapy or other treatments, I may not be alive today. That's the frustrating part. How does an insurance company judge your pain for you?
How can they deem my doctors' recommendations unnecessary when they have been so successful in choosing what this patent needs for more than 12 years? It's crazy! I am in so much pain that my husband told me to ask what it would cost, and we would pay it ourselves. Guess what? The cost would be $38,000. Now, that's a whole lot of crazy.
There are hundreds of thousands of stories worse than mine, such as denying senior citizens medications they need because they are unable to pay the price. What have we become?
It's all out of whack. Pharma companies, insurance companies, hospitals and everyone else tries to blame each other for driving up costs.
Greed and politics.
So, where does that leave those who are sick? No one will print the word, but you all know what it is.
Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women's cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please 'LIKE' The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Noreen can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.