Hi guys. Long time lurker here and decided to join during the anniversary of my CML and just now ready to ask some questions. Sorry in advance if these questions have been asked and answered before, but some questions abc situations I feel might be unique and I apologize if I use some terms wrong as til this day I'm learning new things of about this cancer. I was diagnosed 4/7/2011 with a 671.400 WBC and 275 Platelets. I was admitted to UCSD Medical Center (this place was amazing) and put on Gleevec. I was only working at retail at the time and did not have any kind of medical insurance. Thankfully UCSD MC donated a months worth of Gleevec and put me on Novartis Patient Assistance for a year. I had to stop getting my blood drawn and from seeing the oncologist at UCSD due to not having insurance and unable to afford treatment. I was not eligible for Medi-cal since they say my condition is not covered so I turned to my county for assistance.
Thankfully I started a program called MISP and started seeing oncologists at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center Infusion Clinic on 7/25/2011. During the time I stopped seeing anyone from UCSDMC to finally seeing someone at RCRMC, I was still taking 800mg of Gleevec daily. I was told to stop Gleevec as my WBC was now 6.7 and PLT 40. A couple months off Gleevec my WBC went up to 40.00 and PLT and during the following months, I've stopped then restarted and change doses for Gleevec. I grew resistance with Imatinib and started recently 5/1/2012 with Nilotinib, Tasigna 400mg every 12 hours. Side effects wise I did have brief headaches with Tasigna like I did Gleevec but it went away in a week. It was really bad though and I got through it but I also had rashes all over my body but that went away too. The rashes did increase my acne and I'm currently working on clearing my face. 5/15 I had to lower my dosage to 200mg because of elevated liver toxicity I believe it was 2.6, WBC 6.3 PLT 94. During my last visit 6/5 it was WBC 7.9 PLT 54 and BCR/ABL 5.5 liver tox 1.2. They told me to stop Tasigna until my PLT went higher since I was low.
Up until April of this year they had me on Disability but now I am off that and well enough to work again and I am looking for work now but I did apply for Unemployment as I search for work. My question is for anyone with the same situation as me, having little to no income, how did you get through or how do you get through it? I'm 31 years old and my wife is 27 who got laid off her dental office and is now on unemployment and both of us have no kind of insurance. The Novartis patient assistant is only good for til next year and I'm worried I have to switch meds again, maybe to Sprycel but I don't know if they cover that? I'm just trying my best now to find something with good health insurance benefits, it's just hard being indigent. But I'm prayerful I'll find something and continue to fight this thing.
My wife wanted to finish her school and recently joined the Navy and will leave to bootcamp this Sept 10. Our five year anniversary is on Sept 1. I believe the military will help but in the meantime I'm trying my best to help us. Any military families in here? My older sis and older bro are in the military as well and I tried joining but was disqualified because of high protein in my urine, way before I found out I had CML, in 2007 when we got married. Sorry for the long read but if anyone could give hints and share similar experiences, that would be helpful. Thank you.