How is Marcy? I suppose you wonder given that I haven’t been very chatty of late. (And some of you ask, which I appreciate.) My effort at an extended cancer vacation has been fun. Now to e-x-t-e-n-d it. In almost each individual moment, though, I am pretty darn good.
In the bigger sense e.g. how is my health?, I stay holding my breath from one monthly lab test to the next. The week of the test is always hard as is the week after if the result is not stable. My numbers continue to rise which is a bad trend. My September labs could be the deal breaker. Right now I am spending my entire disability check plus to complete all possible dental care in the hopes that that will disappear any secondary infection which might be raising my numbers. (Please, please, please!) When the dental care fails to entertain me, I move on to creating political pressure to open the supply lines for the chemo that my life depends on. Since you can help with this task I add my current draft of a letter to the editor. Please share:
“What’s worse then needing a course of chemotherapy to stay alive? Needing those drugs but finding out that there is an intentional shortage of them. Many people now face this reality. I fear I will soon be one of them. Now is not a good time to have your life depend on specialized drugs.
Critical drugs are no longer being made. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 capped profits at 6%. “The low profit margins mean that manufacturers face a hard choice: lose money producing a lifesaving drug or switch limited production capacity to a more lucrative drug,” states Ezekiel J. Emanual in his front page opinion piece in the August 7, 2001 Sunday New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/ezekiel-emanuel-cancer-pat ients.html?_r=1&ref=opinion
And big pharmaceutical companies need big profits. The average health care Chief Executive Officer (CEO) earned $10.5 million in 2009. That is a lot of additional income to generate.
And so I watch my monthly blood-work indicate that I may well be coming out of my very short remission. I have Stage IV Ovarian Cancer – a terminal diagnosis that can be prolonged with the right drugs. Those drugs are all in short supply.
This is not a research problem, this is a political problem. Government exists to protect the people. Government needs to intervene with consequences for the corporations and some doctors that are putting profit ahead of health. To take proven, needed and irreplaceable drugs out of production should not be legal. If you agree, spread the word about this problem and then tell your congressional team (https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml) that it is their job to fix it. You never know when your life will depend on it.”
warmly, Marcy Westerling