March 20 Update

The last week or so has been a struggle for Brandon. He hasn’t been able to bounce back after the intestinal issues that hospitalized him. The pain and fatigue have returned, and he has had more bad days than good ones. He’s fighting through it, but it’s been mentally and physically exhausting. He has an appointment with the oncology surgeon’s PA on Thursday just to let them know how he’s feeling and see if there is anything they want to do now, rather than waiting for his April 25 PET scan. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Cancer research has come a long way. You see the commercials about precision oncology and targeted therapies every day. Unfortunately, the insurance companies get to decide who will benefit from these. Brandon’s surgeon sent his tumor tissue in for biomarker testing, but his insurance company has denied coverage. His surgeon has taken it to the medical director of the insurance company, but they’ve continued to deny coverage. We used to believe if you got sick and had insurance, you could get whatever treatment your doctor deemed necessary to help you recover. That’s not the case. This testing is not something a patient can afford to pay out of pocket. The cost compares to the cost of having surgery. So while the treatment options for cancer continue to improve, it’s a sad reality that many patients fighting this disease are excluded from these treatments.