Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wow! I didn't realize...

so many people were still interested in my journey.  Thanks to those of you who posted comments on my last entry!  I'll come back to this a bit more frequently.

For the moment, I am on "cruise control". I started taking Femara three weeks ago, and so far I am not experiencing any visible side effects.  The drug is expensive without insurance coverage (about $400 a month from what I hear).  My insurance covers most of it, and my three month supply is $80.  Additionally, Novartis has a program called "Femara Cares" and there is a coupon on their website, available for the taking.  I did send that coupon in with my prescription and it appears ExpressScripts either missed it or doesn't honor it.  If they don't honor it, I can send my prescription receipt in to Novartis and they will refund my copay down to $10 a month.  This is quite impressive for a "big pharma" company.  I've got to give them credit for doing a really good thing.  They will refund copays up to $800 annually. 

One of the possible long term effects of Femara is osteoporosis.  I am scheduled for a bone density scan tomorrow, which will determine whether or not we add a bisphosphonate to my regime (think Sally Field's ad for Boniva).  I have added calcium and vitamin D to my daily pill consumption.  I had my "D" level tested and it came in at 45...not bad but not great.  I'd like to get it up to at least 70. 

Speaking of pill consumption, I had to buy one of those pill boxes with AM and PM sections.  With diabetic meds, acetaminophen for my arthritic knees, and supplements that hopefully keep me healthy, I was opening way too many bottles twice a day and it was getting hard to keep track of what I was taking (ok, feel like an old lady   It's a good thing I don't have an issue swallowing pills - some of them are rather large!  I actually have just 3 prescriptions - metformin, cozaar, and femara.  Everything else is OTC.  Oh, except for that wonderful little bottle of sleeping pills.  Never thought I'd need those, but let me tell you - during all the waiting and wondering and worrying, they were necessary to turn off my brain at 2 a.m. so I could sleep.  Fortunately, I am now managing to sleep OK most nights without the little hypnotic aid.

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