Hi: I'm new to this site and to... - SHARE Metastatic ...

SHARE Metastatic Breast Cancer
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I'm new to this site and to metastatic breast cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly 20 years ago,had a lumpectemy ,radiation treatment and all my lymph nodes were clear. I have had negative mammograms every year since,yet in June I developed a pleural effusion and eventually after a VATS procedure was diagnosed with Mets to my Lt lung. This came as a terrible shock and if that wasn't enough I then discovered the Co pay of ibrance.I am now retired,,only have my social security income and am divorced.The social worker at my doctors is going to contact drug manufacturer for help I am worried that they will look at retirement investments I have. Does anyone have any information that might help

10 Replies

Hello, Alnmouth!

Your situation is similar to mine. I was Stage 1 eighteen years ago and diagnosed with Stage 4 this past November. Mets are in my spine and one pelvic bone. I definitely relate to your shock; somehow you just felt that breast cancer was part of your long-ago history and then you are smack in its path once again.

I also relate to the stress over med costs. My "income" is a monthly social security check along with draws against my retirement funds. Be sure to check for a "specialty pharmacy" under your health insurance; they are the ones who work on your behalf to research every source of financial assistance.

Funds are typically more available in January; once these run out, contact with the drug manufacturer is definitely the route to take. You don't mention what meds you are taking, but if Ibrance is one of them, the drug manufacturer, Pfizer, will assess your financial need. Check out the following link: ibrance.com/financial-assis...

God bless you and keep you strong!!

Linda in Seattle

in reply to SeattleMom

Thank you that was helpful and yes it is ibrance I am taking. Yes just like you said I thought I had beaten breast cancer

in reply to Alnmouth

So many here thought the same. Me 18 years. Yes Linda knows so many things and gave you the correct link. Also sometimes your health provider will do the work for you. They will call give them them your information. I’m off Ibrance due to blood work. I hope you get the help, no one could afford these crazy prices. Good luck!

When I was on Ibrance I had a copay. I went online to Pfyzer.They gave me a coupon for 0 copay. Good for a year then you go on again. They do not ask your income or assets. This week same thing happened with my new drug Afinitor. I went online to Novartis and again was sent ID for 0 copay. They never ask your income. Try it.

Thank you I will


I was clear for 24 years and assumed I was ok..but have extensive bone mets and on Ibrance..live in UK and it is now available on nhs.. however it depends which area you live in as not all health authorities will prescribe it..very unfair

I have private insurance so I’m lucky but the premiums are expensive

I do hope you get sorted

Barb x

Thanks. I come from England but have now lived in Florida for 30 years

Hi in US there is something called "CoPay Help" - They will pay the co-pay after your insurance pays the rest. Usually Social Security income, retirement income, and retirement investments are off-limits for debts. Perhaps someone at Social Security can answer that question or direct you to where you can get an answer for where you stand legally.

Pfizer company were great! I applied for the free drug program and got it! It's good until January at which time I will reapply. The doctors office helped me through this process, but I would suggest that you call Pfizer directly and talk to them. They will lead you in the right direction.

I was never asked about retirement investments. All I had to do was provide the last IRS filing. It does show on there the amount I took out for mandatory distribution as I am 73, but combined social security with husband and minimum distribution from IRA was still under after taking standard deductions to qualify for no cost Ibrance for me for the rest of this year.

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