I’m a retired nurse, having worked with cancer patients as a nurse navigator for nine of my 25-year career. My job was to work with cancer patients to ensure they received the best treatment possible. After retirement, I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and later, lung cancer. My journey with cancer has not been easy. I had a thoracoscopy to remove the right lower part of my lung and will have to follow up for five years to ensure the cancer hasn’t returned. My CT scans have all been negative for recurrence of the lung cancer, but my leukemia still needs treatment.
My oncologist prescribed Imbruvica, a single-agent oral chemo/kinase inhibitor, to treat my leukemia. I don’t secure long-term funding to cover the astronomical cost of my prescription, I don’t know how I’ll be able to afford treatment. I spent my life working to make sure my patients had the best treatment possible. Now, I am terrified I won’t be able to obtain those same resources. As a retired nurse and cancer patient, I have a first-hand understanding of how our system works. Patients like me shouldn’t be denied access from receiving treatment because of pharmaceutical companies’ greed.