The cost of being sick

I've noticed that Bianca's hair is much thicker than it was before, I'm glad, because not too long ago it was still very thin. It is also becoming curly at the back. Still very short, but I'm sure now that it is growing thicker it will slowly but surely start growing longer. I know Bianca can't wait until she is able to have ponytails like we make for Caitlyn.

Tonight Bianca was pretty happy, but then just before bedtime was a little bit down-in-the-dumps and it didn't help matters that I had to try and pull off a plaster from her elbow and one from her knee (from when she fell at school the other day), so even despite the Remove strips, she still ended up in tears, feeling really sad about it all.

I read on Suzanne's blog how much their treatment is costing them (and thankfully they have medical insurance). It is shocking to realise how very expensive cancer treatment is and to be honest I have absolutely no idea how much Bianca's treatment must be to date, but by now it must be a fortune. We are lucky that Bianca's treatment is covered by the Ministry of Health, because I really don't know how we would have coped if we had to pay for the treatment ourselves.

Looking back I don't actually know how we made it this far, because when Bianca was diagnosed we didn't have time to focus much on grocery shopping planning and the amount of money we ended up spending on things like chicken nuggets from McDonalds or Subway (or whatever the steroids made Bianca crave) and when your child has a risk of getting a nose tube, is fussy because of the stupid chemo, then you feed them whatever just as long as they eat something and you are able to avoid getting a nose tube (where you have to hold her down as she struggles desperately during the procedure.)

We moved from Wellington to Auckland so that we could get appropriate care for Bianca when we felt the care at Wellington hosptial wasn't as good as it could be (and that was expensive!). We've had to employ an au pair to help look after the kids and it is only really now, just a few months short of 2 years, that we are finally able to get back to doing some financial planning again, looking at ways to save money, doing things better and so on. But until recently it was very much "just focus on now, and don't even think about tomorrow". So yes, I don't really want to think how we managed, but we did, and that's all that matters.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lea,
I've just been catching up on your updates. Great news that both girls are well and happy. I hope that all goes well with the new job. I was thinking of getting one now that Pete is at school, but after the last couple of weeks I think I would be mad.
You are right about the cost of treatment. We are so lucky to be in NZ. Just look at the cost of the IVIG. We must have used up hundreds of thousands worth of treatment and care already. Very very lucky.
I hope that you guys have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the picture of Bianca. It was helpful as we guide Natalie through her recent hair-loss.

Bianca looks great.