Following eight-months of being severely ill, ongoing fevers, changing symptoms, along with weekly Paracentesis procedures to remove excess, organ crushing, fluid from her abdomen, Michele was finally diagnosed in December of 2018 with Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma (PTCL), an aggressive and rare form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. (PTCL) accounts for about 2% of cancer in patients world-wide and it has a 50% survival rate.
According to her doctors, without a stem cell transplant following her series of high-dose Chemotherapy treatments, the (PTCL) has a 100% chance of returning. To help stop the return, her doctor at UCD has prescribed a crucial drug Brentuximab to be given every 21days for six treatments. In her June 2019 hospital statement, the cost for her first treatment of this drug was itemized at $83,567.20, Additional fees in the statement for tests and other treatments, including the Brentuximab, totaled $144,157.50.
Michele has frequent outpatient treatments and occasional ambulance transports to the ER, as well as a private nurse 24/7 from December to April. Since her diagnosis, Michele has accrued more than five weeks in ICU and oncology units at Carson Tahoe Medical Center. She has received more than 100 units of blood (Thank you blood donors!) during past and ongoing transfusions. The chemo treatments have brought about significant improvement in her condition, so far.
The stem cell transplant will require hospitalization at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento followed by 100 days of close observation for which she will be required to live in the area.
Even though this has been the hardest year of her life she remains in good spirits with a very positive attitude and is doing everything she can to cooperate with treatment including ongoing battles with her insurance company to approve those crucial treatments. Michele's medical bills have passed $1,000,000.00 and continue to grow. Finding out what insurance will cover, what has been paid and the growing stack of collection letters, the process is extremely daunting. Michele and her family genuinely appreciate your help.