How much is your health worth? How much would you be willing to pay to
There is a new drug on the market, approved in the US this past spring.
Provenge is not truly a drug, but a specifically made therapy for men
suffering from incurable prostate tumors. It adds, on average, four months
of life to the patient’s lifespan. It costs $93,000.
On average means it only adds a few months or possibly even a month or
two for some and perhaps up to six months for others. Overall, four months
or $23,250 per month.
Bob Svensson was one of the lucky recipients to be given the treatment.
According to Yahoo!
News: "I would not spend that money," because the benefit
doesn’t seem worth it, says Svensson, 80, a former corporate finance officer
from Bedford, Mass.
Editorial comment here: If Bob didn’t think it was worth it for him
to spend the money for a measly four months, why does he think I wanted
to pay that in the form of taxes and or increased insurance premiums?
Bob’s therapy was paid for by his supplemental Medicare plan. The government
is trying to decide if the basic Medicare plan should cover the costs,
realizing the taxpayer burden could be huge. Prostate cancer is the most
common cancer in American men. Most of those with the disease are of an
age making them eligible for Medicare.
There is a meeting scheduled for November 17 to decide what the government
will do with this and other very expensive treatments.
Provenge is an all-or-nothing gamble. The $93,000 is for one treatment
to train the immune system to fight the prostate tumors. The reason for
the high price tag is that it is not a pill, but a treatment individually
prepared, using each patient’s cells and a protein found on most prostate
cancer cells. It is both expensive and time-consuming to make.
Due to those factors, it is also in short supply. There are about 150
or so eligible patients at this time and only two treatments per month
are available. The treatment is currently being granted by winning a lottery.
The first step is making sure you have insurance of some type that will
pay for the treatment.
Remember, this is for four months longer to live - on average.
Other cancer drugs are expensive. The previous price high has been about
$5,000 per month for some of the newer cancer drugs but Avastin and Revlimid
can each cost as much as $10,000 per month.
Financial concerns already limit medical care for some. People who have
lost their jobs and their insurance coverage may have to forego their
medicine. Three cases of patients having to stop their cancer drugs were
reported. They were unable to afford the $4,500 per month bill.
Some people have to delay retirement in order to keep working and keep
their medical insurance. They need to work until eligible for Medicaid
at age 65.
Some have lifetime insurance caps, which have been rescinded for anyone
getting or renewing insurance on or after September 23.
Some people have to wait for charitable organizations or the charity of
the drug manufacturers to be able to afford these expensive drugs.
Doctors and insurance companies are increasingly running the numbers,
something patients aren’t willing to do. There was recently an editorial
in a medical journal questioning whether it was economically justifiable
to spend $21,500 for an extra 11 weeks of life.
Is there some formula for deciding when a drug is cost-effective? There
is, but it hasn’t been reworked for a long time. But what do you think
of a drug that cost $24,000 given in addition to standard chemotherapy?
Would it be worth it? Even if the “extra” time (when compared to only
the standard chemo) was a mere twelve days? And this is the last twelve
days. The time when you are actually dying and dying from cancer isn’t
pain- or care- free all at a cost of $2,000 per day.
There are other issues, however. Some drugs are expensive, but allow the
patient to live years - all while still taking the drug. Some of these
therapies can cost $50,000/year. Indefinitely. They prolong life which
is great. They are expensive which isn’t so great.
Do you know, for those outside the US, what your national health care
benefits cover? Do you have all these expensive treatments available at
all? Or to everyone? For these limited, short-supply treatments, how should
they be meted out? Is a lottery fair?
Should we spend our health care dollars giving old men another four months?
Should the $93,000 be spent for childhood vaccines or flu vaccines (I
just looked it up and flu vaccines cost between $5 and $25 meaning 3,720
to 18,600 patients could be treated instead of one)? They would like to
start giving this drug to men in earlier stages, meaning even more are
eligible (but not lowering the cost) and they might live up to a year
longer. Does this make it more or less desirable? Is that the best place
to spend our health care dollars?
On This Article
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“We women don’t care too much about getting our pictures on money as
long as we can get our hands on it” - Ivy Baker Priest, United States
“We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don’t
care for.” - Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian novelist
The Goodness of
A good piece of
chocolate has about 200 calories. As I enjoy two servings per night
and a few more on weekends, I consume 3,500 calories of chocolate
in a week, which equals to one pound of weight per week.
Therefore, in the last three and a half years, I have had a chocolate
caloric intake of about 180 pounds. I only weigh 165 pounds, so without
chocolate, I would have wasted away to nothing about three months
I owe my life to chocolate!
“Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite,
never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes.”
“A person dishonored is worst than dead.”
“Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.” - All from
Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes born on this day in 1547
Famous People Did Commercials
Speak right up!
At one time, I thought exercise was simply getting out of bed and shuffling
over to my easy chair. That was when that was a true effort.
Let me explain a little of my personal history. In the early 80’s,
I had an accident. It caused me to be off work for over 6 months.
Although not bedridden, I found getting out of bed to be an ordeal.
In time I became fairly ambulatory. With effort, I could be a
productive member of society.
In my "therapy", I was given exercises to do regularly.
Some were on exercise machines like at a health club. Others were
simply positions and movements I had to perform. I found each
and every one to be more debilitating than everyday activities.
I often found myself having to call off work and rest for a day or two
afterwards just to be able to move again.
I am rather lucky. I have a pretty good "sense of self".
What that means is I can feel whether something is affecting me negatively
or positively fairly quickly. Usually, there is a telltale sign,
sometimes very subtle, that tells me I’ll be feeling ill soon.
Of course that bruise I just obtained from sliding down that hillside
at a faster rate than my feet could handle is a sure sign I’ll be sore
Eventually I had a surgical procedure to correct most of what was ailing
me. It will take a MixMaster applied through a cranial orifice
to correct the rest. But I digress. After a considerable
recovery from the surgery, I was able to do a lot of things I had been
unable to do for a very long time. However, many of those exercises
that I was to regularly perform continued to be difficult, or even impossible,
to perform even after I was better.
My lifestyle had become sedentary. I was a couch potato.
The most exercise I got was to get up and get something to eat.
This caused my structure to swell to a size I had never ever anticipated
to be. I
was, in fact, more of a man than I ever wanted to be. Or, I should
say, more man.
I had to get up, get moving, and get thinner. I had to find
something that would get my heart rate up, burn calories faster than
I could take them in, and challenge me mentally as well as physically.
That’s how I found Geocaching. I knew about it before, but it
finally got to the time I had to do something, and that was an interesting
I have created a reputation for myself that has been recognized even
in areas I have never been. I am an extreme cacher. I will
climb a tree. I will rappel down a cliffside. I will wade
waist deep across a pond or lake. I will row a kayak up a river
for miles on end. I will ride my bicycle for miles and miles.
I will do those things I once was prevented from doing, simply because
it feels good to get out and do it.
I do it simply because I can, and there are ample opportunities to do
so. But there are days I am not up to such challenges. Although
I am much better than I was, I am not anywhere back to what I was.
I have my moments. That’s what I love about this game, besides
the wonderful people I’ve met in the process. There are geocaches
out there that don’t require a lot of effort. Some are a simple
"walk in the park", literally. There are even some the
only challenge to find it is to get out of the car.
Therein is the beauty and the attraction of this game. Not everyone
has the desire or the ability to take on the more challenging hides.
But there are plenty around that will challenge them to their ability,
no matter how limited one may be. If someone were limited to assistive
devices, they can still get out and get some exercise. Only persons
who are out alone and quadriplegic would find geocaching almost impossible.
Here’s your quiz:
What do you do for exercise?
When you exercise, do you get your heart rate to your "target heart
rate"? Do you know what that is?
Do you exercise to the point of exhaustion?
Exercise - It’s Out There
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn’t rate a fancy ’signature pic’)
are joyous! We are victorious!”
~ Pheidippides - messenger who ran 42km from Marathon to Athens to
announce victory over the Persians 2500 years ago ~
From my blog, Running
Last week I actually thought I was going crazy. I was leading up the
Big Race, which meant that I was running 60% of my usual mileage.
Which in turn meant that I had this build-up of energy that I could
not expend in the way I usually do, which is to lace up my running
shoes and hit the road. As a result of all this, I was hovering around
at home, engaging in these weird frenetic bursts of activity, filling
up everyone’s Facebook walls with meaningless status updates, and
generally being a bit of a nuisance. Thanks to over a week of very
little sleep, I advanced about eight levels in Frontierville.
I started experiencing odd little aches and twinges - tightness in
the glutes, a rickety left ankle, what felt like an impending cold
- all carefully designed to mess with my mind and convince me that
I was not ready for this race. When I looked back at six months of
training, I didn’t see all of the long runs I had clocked up, the
hill training or speed reps. I saw the gaps - the long run I missed
six weeks ago because of a cold, the two speed training sessions that
I was forced to do on a treadmill because of my schedule, the midweek
run that I had to cut short because of a thunderstorm.
I was, in other words, experiencing the phenomenon known to runners
as taper madness. Some runners are able to completely chill out and
relax during their tapering. Others tend to bounce around inside their
own heads as if they’re trapped in a pinball machine on steroids.
Guess which category I fall into.
On Saturday night I went around the house, setting every audible alarm
I could think of. The alarm clock beside the bed. The alarm clock
in the living room. The timer on the oven. My BlackBerry. I was so
paranoid about oversleeping on the day of the race (never mind that
I had been too wired to sleep for a week), and I figured that out
of all these alarms, I was bound to hear at least one of them. Of
course, all that meant was that on Sunday morning, I woke up at 4:30
and had to creep around the house turning off all the alarms to avoid
waking up the kids.
As it happened, my wonderful husband-to-be got me to the starting
area without incident, with plenty of time to spare. I checked my
bag - a remarkably efficient process, considering I was in a bag-check
lineup of maybe 2000 people, and I was in and out of there in less
than ten minutes. Then I made my way to a prearranged meeting spot
for the Geneva Centre for Autism team photo.
As I lined up at the start line, I could feel those tight glutes,
that rickety left ankle, the sense that I was getting a cold and therefore
not in the best physical shape. But then magic happened. The starting
siren went off and as the crowd surged forward, my glutes instantly
loosened up, my ankle found stability, and I was breathing strong
and clear. As I crossed the start line, I winged a prayer to whatever
supreme being you happen to believe in, put a picture of my son George
in my head, and went on my way.
I had a series of mini-goals to accomplish for the race. I knew that
the Geneva Centre representative would be at around the 6km mark along
with the photographer, so my first goal was to simply get to that
point. Once I passed them, I would be almost a third of the way there!
As I had thought would happen, I got a great boost of energy from
seeing people I knew who were cheering my name, taking my picture,
and waving a banner for the cause closest to my heart.
That energy boost was enough to get me to my next mini-goal: the 10km
point. I felt a sense of exhiliration as I ran over the timing mats,
and shortly after that, I reached the turnaround point. Now I was
not only more than halfway, I was physically heading back towards
the point from which I had started. I was getting tired and pushing
myself harder than I had in my training runs, but by breaking down
the large distance into smaller goals, I was able to keep going.
With 8km to go, I started running in 2km increments. I reasoned that
no matter how rough I started feeling, I would surely be able to manage
2km. As long as I focused on nothing else - not the full distance
of the race, not the distance I had run or the total distance that
was still to come - if I focused only on the 2km segment of the moment,
I would be fine. I told myself that if things started to get really
bad, the only thing I had to do was get to the end of those 2km, and
then I would figure out what to do next.
And sure enough, before I knew it, I found myself with 2km to go.
I was feeling completely exhausted at that point, feeling as if I
had little or nothing left to give. I took one last one-minute walking
break, took a deep breath, a braced myself for the finish. With 1km
to go, I turned onto Bay Street, and then I knew I would be OK. I
knew that the crowds of cheering spectators lining both sides of the
street would carry me for the last several hundred metres. The crowds
got louder as I got closer to the finish, and despite feeling utterly
devoid of energy, I found myself passing other runners leading up
to the finish.
I rounded the last bend, and the finish line was in my sights. Right
on the other side of the finish line, I could see a welcome and familiar
figure - my man, having talked himself into getting a media pass,
was crouching there with his video camera. I dug deep, and somehow
found a reserve of energy that enabled me to sprint for the last 100
metres. Two hours, twenty-two minutes, and thirty-eight seconds after
starting the race, I crossed the finish line, waving both arms triumphantly
in the air and smiling so much I thought my face was going to split
Six months of dedicated training, almost $500 raised for the Geneva
Centre for Autism (which was part of a total of over $35,000 raised
collectively by the Geneva Centre runners), a personal best time for
the distance that beat last year’s time by six minutes. What a day.
What a phenomenal event to be a part of.
Am I hurting today? You bet. Will I do it again next year? I’ve already
started to plan the training! My Run for Autism is over, but only
for this year.
With Holly from the Geneva Centre
With John Stanton, founder of The Running Room
On This Article
My own birthday was this month. When I’m feeling good, which I’ll say
was every year until now, I know how to celebrate. I begin as soon as
I can, and only quit when I have to. This year was different. I have,
as I mentioned last time, a lovely case of diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis, for those of you who are interested. All right, for
those of you who are reading this, whether you’re interested or not,
is a series of pouches in a person’s colon. If you eat nuts, seeds or
anything with a hull, your bowel sings a song that is designed to keep
you up all night. It goes something like, "Weren’t those baked
beans yummy? Don’t you wish you’d stuck to potato salad?"
The disorder is actually called diverticulosis until you annoy your
bowel. Then, you might get what I have had for the last 3 weeks, a lovely
infection, complete with hot flashes and chills. You could have the
pleasure of a horse sized antibiotic for 10 days as I did. If you work
hard at it, and really honk your colon off, you can look forward to
I had the pleasure, as I mentioned on Monday, of a cat scan. For those
of you who have not been offered that treat, it entails drinking about
32 ounces of some nasty flavored chalky substance. I managed to keep
it down, but it was a challenge.
The next day, you lay on a skinny table and get crammed into a little
tube, guaranteed to bring out any claustrophobia you have, whether you
knew you had it or not. Oh, yeah, did I mention the blood draw the day
before and the IV the day of?
I haven’t gotten my results back, and probably won’t for a few days.
This means I will be living with the porcupine in my stomach for what
seems an eternity. Oh well, at least it wasn’t a colonoscopy. Someday,
when I have no inspiration, and am feeling sadistic, we’ll explore that
particular brand of diagnostic fun.
On This Article
Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect stings too.
Got some good ones today. Lucille sent me
the following. It’s not a limerick, but a good line anyway.
night I had the strangest dream I’d ever dreamed before, I dreamed the
world had all agreed to put an end to war. - Simon and Garfunkel
Next opening line…
While driving I have so much rage…
Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
night I had the strangest dream
I dreamt that I was again a teen
But instead of being fun
Zit outbreaks had begun
And I was all out of zit cream. - E. Cole Aye
night I had the strangest dream
I rowed my boat gently ‘neath the stream
But to all’s chagrin
I then sang with a grin
Ha-ha-he-he I’m a submarine. - E. Cole Aye
I had the strangest dream
With a Golden Gate State election theme -
An election run
With a business woman
And one they call Governor Moonbeam. - E. Cole Aye
I had the strangest dream
That I was part of a research team
We dug in Kentucky
When we got lucky
And found a barrel of Jim Beam. - E. Cole Aye
I had the strangest dream:
My boss stole praise for my work extreme
I did all of the work
But because he’s a jerk
He said, "It’s ‘cuz there is a ME in team." - E. Cole
i had the strangest dream
i had a bowl of purple ice cream
it got up and started walking
it had me really gawking
i awoke and found i could really scream - dEE
I had the strangest dream
I was eating me some peaches and cream
That is not too strange you say
Well, think about it another day
I was also standing naked in a stream. - Bonnie
folks are really great
They’re generous without debate
When jobs need to be done
Big eaters are the one
Who’re ready to step up to the plate. - Anne Onimous
we must take care
Things break but nobody seems to care.
It seems both my dentist
And my hygienist
Refuse to do Bluetooth repairs. - Anne Onimous
dating can be a shocker
Guys can range from timid to rockers
But the guys I won’t date
Are (as it’s in their trait)
Celery farmers - ’cause they’re stalkers. - Anne Onimous
the book (a classic)
On modern surgical techniques.
It was most profound
And did cover the ground
But it was missing its appendix. - Anne Onimous
I slim and foxy
But now I’m a bit more "gutsy"
The "why" is (I’d conclude)
When I’m in a fowl mood,
I get a bucket from KFC. - Anne Onimous
shape is not really svelte.
But it’s the shape that nature has dealt.
Suspenders mess my stance.
So to hold up my pants,
I go to a bar . and buy a belt. - Anne Onimous
results of her I.Q. test
I didn’t care her score was the best
‘Cause no matter how smart
I knew deep in my heart
She had to pass my eye-cue-test. - E. Cole Aye
Re: Unflattering Photos
I have to say that I enjoy
looking at pictures at People of Wal-Mart, not sure what that says
about me. People watching is fun. I think the pictures are hilarious
and I’m always amazed that people will go out in public looking the
way they do. It is obvious that many people dress as they do just
to get attention. I live in a small town, and though we have some
strange people here, I haven’t seen any that would make the People
On the other side of the coin, I’d be horrified to find my own picture
on one of those sites. - Noella
fyi - there still
isn’t a subject line coming up.
as to the photo site. Do they have the right to take the picture -
in public? probably yes. But that doesn’t make ir Right to do?
and any site that deals in those photos has a responsibility to remove
them at request. - Faithy Baltimore Maryland
[I don’t understand the link problem.
The link has "Lead Article" as the subject and most of the
comments have that in it. Have you been drinking again Faithy??
Tim always warned me about you. LOL!]
We have been through this
once before with the issue of surveillance and police cameras. Seems
pretty simple to me, really. Unless or until they put those things
in our homes, then do not go out in any state other than you would
want to be seen, by any one, by any means. The responsibility is yours,
not the observer.
said that there is the issue of ridicule. What then? Ethnic groups,
religious groups, racial groups have all been victims of it. As I
think of it, the responsibility is still "yours" and falls
within the category of personal integrity. - Carol T
didn’t dress and/or act in ways to attract attention, nobody would
find them interesting. To be anonymous, one must look and act "average"
or "normal". Since many people don’t, they get noticed.
This intrusive web site might have the effect of causing more folks
to develop a Public Self apart from their Who-I-Am self. The part
I object to is the derisive comments they apparently add to each photo.
THAT is where these people depart from simply observing people in
transit and become editorial. Since I don’t move in circles where
I am likely to get into such a situation, I will continue to wear
something bright in color when I go to shop. It’s meant to attract
the eye of drivers for purely safety reasons. I want to get back home
in the same physical condition I was in when I left home! If someone
finds that amusing, they have a warped sense of humor. - Nancy L in
She covered herself
in tattoos and dyed her hair purple. This is sometimes called attention
whoring. She wanted to look different than mainstream people. She
made these choices and paid lots of money to acquire the look she
was going for. Of course people make fun of her. She made herself
look outside the mainstream. I have no idea what she looks like, I’m
only going from your description. I don’t know where her tattoos are
or what shade of purple she chose. But she does deserve all the attention
she sought. Why is she complaining? - Patti
of doubt that people who dress up in conspicuous ways, then go out
in public, like the bus, or WalMart, "just want to be left alone".
I frequently dye my hair Broncos Blue. Maybe I’m on a website. Who
knows. I know it won’t be the WalMart one, since I haven’t been to
WalMart in over 7 years. I’m not offended. Unique people like to be
recognized. It’s a way to stand out from the crowd. I get a lot of
positive comments, and the little kids just love it. Some of us just
hear a different drummer. - L&K, herm
you really have to send me a photo of the blue hair. I wouldn’t
post it on a website, but I think I’d really get a kick out of seeing
such a dedicated fan!]
I always looked
at extreme projects as do-able until my joints rebelled. When it only
took a day or two to recover from doing something, I did it. But lately
it takes more than a week to unload pain and aches, so I am a little
less likely to get into big projects without help. Usually. It’s hard
to tell one’s mind that an idea may be good, but executing it will
be more than one’s frame wants to experience. So we’ll be rebuilding
the back yard once the leaves fall off the perennials. The sunny side
of the yard isn’t sunny any more due to a tree’s growth in the yard
behind us. That leaves my veggie bed without sunshine in the early
morning. But across the yard, in a long swath of flowering plants,
the sun shines all day. Some of those flowers can do just as well
with light and some sun, so we’re going to do a Major Space Swap.
We’ll be digging out all the flowers, giving away the ones that want
all day sun, and widening the flower bed for next spring’s veggie
bed. I plan to direct the operation, not do it. Mostly. I’ll have
all the way to Thanksgiving to recover. - Nancy L in Ohio
you do, if you don’t like it, do something else." - Paul Harvey,
American radio broadcaster
do not know where this came from, but I was taught another corollary
to this: If you do not like what you are thinking, change your mind.
- Carol T
dEE - we have an empty lot
across the street. we don’t know if the city owns it now or if the
old lady that owned it before the house blew up (long story in itself).
Anyway, my hubby mows it all, all summer. We have the only riding
mower on the block. I don’t see it as him having to be busy. I see
it as being neighborly.
And we live in the City. (some say in the Hood) - Faithy Baltimore
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be
accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly
attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time
to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect
quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
Click here to see the archives of past issues, or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reallygoodquotes/messages.
If you run across something really outstanding when perusing the archives,
I’d appreciate it if you’d mail me at TheBestOfRGQ@yahoo.com
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