July 21, 2012
From The New York Times:
Thirteen years into her marriage, during her son’s 12th-birthday party, Amanda Bennett found her husband, Terence Foley, doubled over in pain on their bed. Alarmed, she rushed him to the hospital, where he was found to have a severe bowel disease. A doctor casually mentioned that a scan also showed a “shadow” on his kidney. “You are going to want to get that looked at,” he said. As Bennett writes in her memoir, “The Cost of Hope,” the shadow was looked at. It was rescanned, removed and sent to a lab. It was diagnosed twice — first as “collecting duct” cancer, then as “papillary” cancer (doctors still disagree over what it was) — and treated with drugs bearing price tags of $200 per daily pill and $109,440 for four one-hour intravenous drips. It also spread to Foley’s lungs, and in December 2007, it took his life. He was 67. The bill for his seven years of treatment totaled $618,616.
Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and an executive editor at Bloomberg News (this book grew out of an article she wrote for Bloomberg). Her memoir is equal parts marriage confessional and skilled investigative report. It’s a story of the sometimes amusing, sometimes baffling relationship and hectic but rewarding life she shared with Foley for over two decades. It’s also the fascinating account of an illness — its origins, composition and progression — and of the cost (mental, physical and financial) of trying to treat it via the complicated, frustrating, outrageously expensive American health care system.
Posted by Azra Raza at 08:52 AM | Permalink