what’s cancer’s cost?

What is the value of a life? Here is the tally for eighteen months of mine, estimated.

description number cost total
dr visit 25 $250.00 = $6,250.00
biopsy 16 $1,000.00 = $16,000.00
full body scans 4 $4,000.00 = $16,000.00
pet scan 1 $9,000.00 = $9,000.00
surgeon 1 $6,000.00 = $6,000.00
anestiologist 1 $2,000.00 = $2,000.00
surgery/hospital 1 day 1 $48,000.00 = $48,000.00
radioactive pills I-131 1 $18,000.00 = $18,000.00
brain scan 1 $1,500.00 = $1,500.00
blood tests 150 $100.00 = $15,000.00
medicine 1 $10,000.00 = $10,000.00
ultrasounds 6 $500.00 = $3,000.00
colonoscopy 1 $2,500.00 = $2,500.00
Grand Total $153,250.00

I had good insurance, probably spent less than $15,000 of our money on it. My doctors were great and I rarely waited more than a week for an appointment. During the worst of it, I was able to schedule appointments in two days. How do I value the nurse who held my hand when I was afraid, or the surgeon’s quiet confidence?


59 Comments on “what’s cancer’s cost?”

  1. What an astounding amount of money, but you are worth every penny of it. I know your spirit, by following your blog- you are a fighter and more importantly- you are an optimist. Keep that spirit and believe that God is healing you now forever. I will pray that courage and strength comes in your moment of need.
    Peace and Health!

  2. cindy knoke says:

    SO WRONG!! Makes me angry. Thoughts on you though, sending healing thoughts and hopes your way. Thank you for this post~

  3. Sandra says:

    Best wishes for a sustained recovery, Bill.

  4. Thanks for posting this. Sending thoughts, prayers and best wishes for your complete recovery!

  5. jiltaroo says:

    It is horrifying to think that if you didn’t have insurance, you would have no choice but to give yourself up to this horrible disease. Is that how it works in the US?

    • billgncs says:

      most get the service, but some lose their houses of have to declare bankruptcy. Many choose to NOT pay for insurance and risk that they won’t fall ill.

      It would have hurt, but luckily we could have stood the cost. Many are not so lucky.

      They require hospitals to take some cases of poor people, but it is a flaw in the system for those without medical coverage.

  6. cherylmoore says:

    Hi Bill, very glad to hear you’re in remission. My thoughts are with you for a fast recovery from your treatment. Best wishes, Cheryl

  7. safia says:

    That is so interesting and so expensive. I’m very glad to hear your experience and to know you are cancer free right now. Chasing the old black dog (depression) away is another challenge. I hope the light shines again for you soon as I know it will. Keep loving, keep giving, keep writing.

    • billgncs says:

      thanks Safia —

      Yes that black dog is certainly a challenge. Interesting, I could pick my doctors and rarely waited – and could gone to the best in the country if my doctors were not good enough. I have followed a person in another country who has waited for a year to get a diagnosis and treatment while their condition worsened. The other side of the story.

      thanks for your encouraging words and stopping by

      • safia says:

        I think you may be referring to the NHS in the UK – we call it the postcode (zip code) lottery – patients must be treated in their own locality unless they go private and pay for everything themselves. The majority of course cannot afford that, so they wait, and wait, and wait …

  8. Shannon says:

    Yowza! Wait for that amount to triple with Obama Care 😦

  9. twoscamps says:

    Holding hands, quiet confidence: there is no price. Wishing you continued health.

  10. backfromtheedge says:

    Dear Bill, sorry I’ve not been around much. Hope every day is feeling a bit brighter with that shovel at hand. You know you’re priceless to the folks that matter…hugs, mik x

    • billgncs says:

      Hi Mik — how are you ? I am so glad to hear from you. What a great day you have made this!

      The other day I was trying to explain to someone about the Monty Python scene where the Sphinx asks the man what’s his favorite color and I thought of you 🙂

      • backfromtheedge says:

        Ha! Brilliant! I’ve just been a busy bee, working hard and lacking inspiration while this endless divorce drags on. I’m also thinking of you. I’ll make far more of an effort to check in 🙂

        Expect a flurry of NL stats while I catch up with the last few months over the coming days x

  11. Oh Bill, how are you now? This is so scary, I can’t read it all. Are you okay? -Resa xo

    • billgncs says:

      thanks Resa – I am actually good. I just need to crawl out of a big depression. But I am working on that – which is why I write.

      How about you — are you well?

      • Yes I am well. Thank you for asking.
        I understand about writing, and how it can help. That’s why I originally began my Queen’s end blog. However, the Designing Resa got in the way.
        I’ve moved and revamped Queen’s end, and I am going to write little fiction snippets over there, away from the design me.
        I have left some old posts there, because I was writing… although it has changed.

        I just did my first new post yesterday. I’d be up for critique!

  12. Kristi says:

    I thought of asking how are you, then I saw this post. I’m glad that you’re cancer free Bill. The amount is huge, I’m glad you had good insurance. You’re a brave man…no amount is big enough to buy that. 🙂

    • billgncs says:

      cancer doesn’t give choices, I would say I am more pragmatic than brave, but thanks.

      If you think of it, would you trade a mercedes benz for a cure, or a house, or a yacht for a cure ?
      Just interesting to ponder.

      but… you can always ask whatever you like , pretty always gets allowances 🙂

  13. Wholly crap on a cracker that’s nuts! Ugh it must be so hard on people in the States! I’m glad you had a good nurse or two though! Are you doing well now?

  14. I’m way too chicken to tally up the costs of my cancer “experience” and am impressed by your bravery. Even with good insurance, great docs and caring nurses, the cost is way too high.

    • billgncs says:

      yes, complications – especially with expensive drugs and hospital stays start an exponential cost escalation.

      What was interesting was looking at the number of doctor visits and scans and all the blood tests. I remember one day they took over 15 samples.

      In my case it came out to the cost of a house in a modest neighborhood, or a nice mercedes or a Rollex.

      Would I trade that to avoid a premature death? Seems a bargain, but then I could stand the cost.

  15. Parul says:

    That could be cancer’s cost, but getting free from it is priceless.
    I am very happy for you. God Bless!

  16. I’m glad you’re well. Randy

  17. susank456 says:

    The cost of medical care is astronomical, and without insurance so many would have to forego help. I’m glad you were able to get the help you needed. I hope you stay healthy. You have a great outlook on life.

  18. Ahh Bill You’re worth every penny and a whole lot more!

    blessings to you.

    • billgncs says:

      Thanks — I just thought it would be interesting to see how things add up.

      • It is. The medicare system is different in Canada so we don’t often know how much things cost here. I wonder what happens to people in the US who do not have insurance… Do they get treatment?

        • billgncs says:

          medical problems are one of the main causes of bankruptcy here. Many hospitals discharge debt if you cannot pay.

          so on the one hand, I got great treatment almost immediately. On the other hand it was very expensive.

          Goods and services provided always cost. Someone always pays, it’s never free.

          • Yes that is true. It costs taxpayers here… although there are private clinics opening which give people access to services quicker here if they pay and we do have benefit programs when we are working that will cover costs like ambulance, private rooms in hospitals etc. It’s funny that costs for medical services on a whole are just more expensive in north america than other countries though…

  19. Clanmother says:

    You have reminded me that we are a community forged by compassion and determination. I have a wonderful friend from childhood, who is a music therapist working with very sick children. She wrote, “There are many many moments of eternity sprinkled in each day.”

    The value of a human life is immeasurable. Celebrate the moments and let go of any anger or regrets.

    What is the price of a miracle – priceless.

  20. Chatty Owl says:

    I hear the word cancer way too often these days. Im having troubles to come to terms that this will be the thing that ends us.
    Yes, you dont put a price on a miracle. You dont put a price on human interaction. You just hope it lasts without money.
    (Are you ok?)

    • billgncs says:

      Thanks for asking, and yes I am doing well. My kind can come back at any time, but for now I am cancer free. It and the hormone changes that happen have left me in a bit of a dark despair, so I toil onward and upward.

      Eat well, love fully, do good — then no matter what happens you will be OK.

  21. That is a terrifying number. But, your life is worth much more. How one would manage without insurance or benefits is beyond me. I’m thankful you had it. Blessings

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