HealthWell Foundation Ran Out of Funds (conclusion)


Okay, so the Onc’s RN said all I needed to do was drop by their office and sign the document and she’d FAX it right back to Astra Zeneca (AZ), manufacturer of Tagrisso. It sounded so easy. But as it turned out, my “drop by” would be fraught with difficulties, most of them my own doing.  Difficulties are good. They sure make my accomplishment seem more epic.

True to my minimalist lifestyle, I have been without vehicle now for 10 months. I’ve mastered the retirement resort community’s bus system. I took my maiden solo 15-minute trip to Laguna Beach using the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus and it worked. I found the way back to my manor on the same day! Buoyed by my initial success, I decided to use OCTA to drop by the Onc’s office, which is in another city. The other option was by taxi. The big difference in the cost of the round trip drop-by: $50 by cab vs $1.50 by 24-hour OCTA bus pass.  I could definitely use the savings to buy me a new string bikini swimsuit.  Priorities, priorities.

I planned the trip.  Actually the OCTA website did the planning complete with maps and instructions.  I packed cut-up apples, cashews, and cheese cubes for snack in case my blood glucose ran low while I was in the middle of nowhere. And of course water. All set with my roommate the backpack carrying the goodies, off we went to the expedition.

It seemed like I was hopelessly lost. I did a lot – and I mean A LOT – of walking to correct my navigation errors.  Finally I made it to the Onc’s office, signed the paper, and headed for the bus to go home. Got lost some more. If I straightened out the path that I had walked, I probably would have reached Canada. But it was so worth the experience and the mission accomplished.  Always in awe of the bright side – that’s me.

The following day, AZ phoned and let me know the application FAXed from my Onc’s office was incomplete. Oh no! Over the phone she and I completed it. The next day, she phoned me again this time for the good news: I am officially in the co-pay assistance program: no need to wait for the IRS document, no need to file my application, no need to call for my refills which AZ – not the specialty pharmacy – will ship directly.  How awesome is that! As I wrote this post, I had exactly 5 Tagrisso pills left. The shipment was supposed to arrive any day.

Saved by the bell!

Please feel free to share your drug co-pay story, if you have any.






9 thoughts on “HealthWell Foundation Ran Out of Funds (conclusion)

  1. No interesting stories, but every time there is a change (in pharmacy, insurance plan, changing from 150mg to 100mg) I’ve been sure to call far ahead of the time my Tarceva pills run low. Since EACH and EVERY change resulted in some kind of kerfluffle, it was a good thing we had the extra time. Glad that your kerfluffle resulted in some good exercise . . . but the frustration of navigating, not so much.


    1. Hi Katherine,

      Thank you for your input. Calling way ahead makes one aware of any crisis early and often and allows time to deal with it.

      I love that word kerfluffle. I’ll add that to my vocabulary.

      I definitely got my weekly quota of the cardio workout that day and enjoyed it.

      How long have you been on Tarceva?


      1. Celia, I’ve been on Tarceva 3 years and 6 months with no signs of progression. Even getting CT scan without contrast these days. Fourth cancerversary is approaching soon. It’s been a great ride and I’m looking forward to continuing being one of those “there is hope” stories.


  2. Celia, You are an inspiration to us with your tenacity! Glad to hear the Astra Zenica connection resolved the financial issues. We can be stripped of all funds with treating all our health problems without being proactive and seeking support. I have contacted my CVS Caremark who manages my Silver Script program. They have been helpful, when pressed, to give me alternative drugs to recommend to my doctor that are on a lower tier. Otherwise, many drugs I already take are Tier 4 which is 48% cost. Just my Advair inhaler was going to be $571. for a 3 month supply. I switched to Breo for $171. every three months. BIg difference.
    Take care and glad to see you still posting.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for telling me about your drug problem. Hahaha Okay let me clarify that…about how you deal with your cancer and other prescription drug financial issues. Every input helps.

      Yes, I am still posting…and weekly these days. I got inspired.

      See you around.


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