BONE TREATMENT - Injection Vs. Infusion

Good news first! My metastasis is not anywhere else in the spine. My chest scan on Tuesday is all clear, and only shows the areas as seen before (T8-10, & T12). The next scan is pushed to 3-4 months to give the current targeted therapy (Abemaciclib) as much time as possible to work. More waiting….

Now onto the not so good news. At my last monthly injection of Lupron (aggressive hormone therapy to combat my estrogen receptive cancer, which is how it progresses in my body), my doctor admitted that she wanted me to also receive a monthly injection of Denosumab, to help strengthen my bones (to prevent bone loss and fractures). However, my insurance company denied it.

For the past month, she battled with them. But still 4 weeks later, they denied. However, they did approve another drug, Zometa. However, it can only be given through an IV, aka infusion. And tests have to be run each and every time prior to ensure that my kidneys are in order.

So an appointment that I thought was only going to be 30 minutes tops turned out to be nearly 3 hours. First, check of all vitals (temp checked a total of four times thus far due to COVID. An update with the doc and nurse practitioner. Then the blood draw – five large vials. One of which we wait on my kidney results. (Another was guaranteed to be a liver check, most likely for cancer but I really know it’s for my doc to keep track of my drinking – listed as LOTS on my chart).

After my kidneys were given the all clear, the Zometa infusion commenced. What is Zometa? Well, according to (cause that’s where I get all of my drug info), it slows bone loss and prevents fractures, and used to treat bone cancer that spread from somewhere else in the body. So, it’s like it’s made for me!

Once the infusion was complete, I got my Lupron injection in my bum. And then I was out. So I ask you, how is it that the insurance company is ok with a nearly 3 hour infusion, using 4x the materials, occupying twice as many staff resources, an additional blood test needed with immediate results – how is all of that cheaper and better than a 2 minute injection?

Not to mention the PTSD involved with sitting in the chair for hours.

Good job CIGNA.