Zometa and me

So yesterday was my appointment with my oncologist to discuss using Zometa. As I have mentioned before I have problems sleeping and wouldn’t you know  Sunday night was an awful one.  Why am I explaining this?  So that you will have pity during the rest of this post.

In my planner I had a 2:15 appointment.  At my office dealing with an issue it was 2:05, 2:06, and I excused myself from the conversation, called and was informed that the appointment wasn’t until 2:45, yippee!

So I waited in the waiting room for a little while reading that Clay Aiken is gay (no I swear, it’s true) and listening to the waterfall.  The soothing, calming, drowsiness inducing waterfall as I begin to feel sleepy…sleepy. I’m called back by my name being called.  I walk back, get up on the scale, and get blood drawn.

“Wait, I’m just here to talk to my doc, I don’t have treatment” too late, blood is drawn.  Back to the exam room, “Okay, just take off your top and the doctor will be in to see you soon”.  You know those exam tables can be pretty comfortable.

So Doc arrives and I explain why I’m here.  He agrees that Zometa looks very promising and they are excited about the results it shown in women with metastatic disease. There are a few negatives;

  1. Insurance will most likely not cover it as it is not indicated as standard treatment unless metastatic disease has started.
  2. We don’t know the long term issues that it could cause.  At this point they have only been giving it to women with metastatic disease and that hasn’t been five years yet.
  3. We don’t know how long we should give it to you.  With metastatic cancer they keep giving it to the patient for as long as it works.
  4. Apparently is you use this your bones, particularly your jaw, get so hard that if you have oral surgery it can shatter.

So here’s the plan.  My doctor is going to investigate the studies in more depth to see if he can find guidance. His nurse is going to contact their Zometa drug rep to see if they have any information about insurance coverage and if there are any clinical trials pending. I am supposed to contact my insurance company about getting a “case manager” back in place.

So there’s the plan.  Had I not been so sleepy I probably wouldn’t have had blood work although I would probably need some before making any change anyway.  In my opinion this is how my team is supposed to work, a doctor who listens, a conversation about the options and a follow up plan.  I can’t ask for much more than that.

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