Cancer by the Numbers

Cancer by the Numbers
1: Number of times a doctor told me, “Best-case scenario, you’ll be stuck with a ‘frankenboob.’ ” 0: Odds a doctor gave me that I’d be able to get chemo in time to save my life. 3: Months a doctor predicted I’d live. 10: Age of my daughter when I got this prognosis. 9,342: Number of miles I drove for cancer treatment in 2014 — not including travel for radiation therapy — after Stanford Hospital agreed to take me as a patient. $250: Cost per pill for post-chemo nausea medication. $0: Amount per pill reimbursed by insurance. 2: Number of pills needed per chemo treatment. 8: Number of chemo treatments. $5,859:  Total cost of hotel stays during chemotherapy. $1,300: Total tax deduction allowed for hotel stays. 117: Number of hours I spent on hold with insurance companies, listening to bad music playing in a loop, during cancer treatment. 0: Number of doctors, clinics, and hospitals in my area that would accept my health insurance after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed. $300: Amount I paid for one hour with the only oncologist who agreed to see me, on the condition that I pay cash in advance. 4: Number of days I had to avoid human contact after each chemo session to prevent infection. 2: Trips to the ER during chemotherapy for a zero white-blood-cell count combined with fever that nearly killed me. 1: Pairs of shoes stolen from my hospital room while I was in surgery. 2: Nipples saved from amputation during my breast cancer journey. 7: Number of pinprick-sized tattoos I got in preparation for radiation. 6: Weeks of daily radiation. 141: Miles from my house to radiation treatment, one way. 24: Number of cupcakes my daughter and I distributed on my last day of radiation, mostly to stranger
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