The “readers digest” version: (If you think hearing that you have terminal cancer is not depressing enough, and that the situation could not possibly get worse, you just may be very very wrong.)
As many of you know Wyatt was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer on June 1st, 2013, roughly one week after graduating from high school. After extensive testing they determined that his cancer is a Terminal Adenocarcinoma.
Wyatt is and has been covered by 2 insurance companies from day one, and has an EXTREMELY rare cancer. Out of ALL the Oncologist that have seen Wyatt (and the number would be several), none have seen ANY cases like his in their careers, though they have seen other rare cases similar to his. His case has been presented at numerous tumor boards of some of the most well-known and respected cancer treatment centers that America has to offer and none have had any “other” suggestions for his treatment plan, they all have said it looks like we are doing everything possible.
Wyatt has spent many, many nights in the hospital over the last 16+ months and had numerous procedures and tests in an effort to treat his condition. To give you an example of the costs associated with this battle, his first hospital stay was roughly 2 weeks long and the hospital portion of the bill came in at just short of 300k. You may assume, as I did, that having 2 insurance companies would provide greater coverage, and that treatment, though expensive, would certainly be manageable.
I maintained that optimism until the insurance companies started to “coordinate” care. Both insurance plans are 80/20 plans and one would think that with 160% coverage all would be well, but oh how wrong that assumption was. To begin they ONLY recognize a VERY VERY small portion of the billed amount, if any at all and then will ONLY pay 80% of the recognized amount. Yes, I did say THEY, if the primary insurance pays 80% of the recognized and approved bill, then the secondary insurance (which does not give me a discount on the price because it is SECONDARY), sends a nice letter stating that 80% of the bill has been paid (not by them, but by the primary insurance company) and therefore the remainder of the bill is my responsibility.
Now jump ahead to today, all of the treatment plans that have been tried have failed, and thanks to some really cool genetic tests (that many may remember are very expensive and not something that insurance approves of) we have been referred to 2 possible treatment options. The first is a trial medication that we have failed to get Wyatt accepted to after months of trying.
At the same time we have appealed and appealed and have submitted case studies where this type of cancer has been treated with the second treatment plan and had success, but still they say NO.
During all of these appeals and attempts to get Wyatt on trial medications (basically on vacation from any real cancer treatment), his cancer has been growing with nothing to beat it back or even slow it down, in part due to the denial of the insurance companies and in part due to other health concerns after being on Chemotherapy for almost an entire year. Now the cancer has migrated to his brain. This Friday Wyatt completed the first course of radiation therapy for the tumors (yes tumors and not tumor) in his brain.
We were VERY lucky that we even found them, since the test that identified them was part of the “pre-screening” to get him on a trial medication and would not have been done otherwise. Wyatt was ultimately unable to meet the trial requirements, but thankfully we found out about the tumors in his brain.
The insurance companies are currently denying the only care left to Wyatt. On the last and most recent appeal to insurance to cover the ONLY medication that the Doctors have identified as a possible treatment for Wyatt, the Insurance Company, after four different requests, is finally starting the appeal process, but that can take 30 days or longer.
Per Wyatt’s Oncologist, Wyatt cannot wait any longer and must be on some treatment plan. So we have started him on his latest Chemotherapy, which costs just over $ 17k per month and he MUST be on it at least 3 months if we hope to see ANY success or improvement in his condition.
I know that MANY of you have helped out in the past and we are so very grateful.
If anyone is capable of helping out now, we would greatly appreciate it, we are continuing to fight with the insurance companies and have purchased the 1st weeks dosage of chemo, but after over 16 months of medical bills and searching for anything to help Wyatt, our cash reserves have been depleted, so ANY assistance you can provide would be welcome.
Over the last month we have had to use the support of many friends and family members to keep up with all the appointments and make sure that Wyatt was not left alone, and we thank you. We could have never done it without your support and help! We are also very indebted to you all for the many prayers that have been made on Wyatt’s and our behalf, and can tell you that they help and continue to help.
Wyatt continues to stay positive, all though that is getting harder and harder for him to do. Being the exceptionally loving and caring Son and Brother that he is, he has been more concerned lately for the impact his fight against cancer has on the entire family.
We thank you for all you have done and ask, if there is anything else you can do, we would be so thankful for your continued support and assistance, even if all you can spare is a mention in your prayers on our behalf.
Thank you so very much, the Sien Family.
Wyatt's Radiation Mask