First, I want to thank you all who have responded with ideas and encouragement. After twenty years of chemotherapy, illness , pain and prednisone (yes, for the ENTIRE time I have had all of this going on .EVERY day. ) I have no friends left. People want to talk about the normal and positive things in life (as do I myself) and get 'friend fatigue' by someone who doesn't just get better and move on with things. I very much try and move on with things but I'm dragging this lead weight of all these things.

So, an update on the prescription written several weeks ago for a Rituxan infusion. A new twist has emerged that I have never encountered before. I talked with the insurance company and they have denied the request for 750 mg Rituxan infusion. They say they would APPROVE a 500 mg infusion. I asked the VERY helpful insurance rep "This is new to me. Does this mean the insurance company has a doctor that looks at the request (and my situation) and is disagreeing with my doctor just on the dosage?"

She says "Yes, there is a panel of doctors who look over the request and they are suggesting the lower dosage. "

I called my doctor and talked to his very pleasant and helpful office person and she said that they had also received this information and it might be a week before my doctor can look it over and I will hear back. I told her "I have already been waiting several weeks to begin this treatment" . She said she knew that but it still might take that long to go through their process.

I told her that I trust my doctor completely to make this decision for me but that I myself would be ok with the lower dose- but only if he thinks it is ok. Ironically, I MYSELF was hoping to do a lower dose. My antibody count is below the normal range. I think I would do well with a low dose- but I'm aware that I don't have the extensive experience that my doctor has. I actually, truly, trust him to be making what he thinks is the best decision. If he and I could talk I know he would explain his ideas behind the dose choice.

So, I am taking all of this as PROGRESS. I am actually approved to get the Rituxan and it is only left up to working out the dose. Some day, I hope to come back and report what I have learned about how Rituxan doses are decided as I literally know nothing about that is done. I am curious as to what an absolute minimum dose is and what the logic is behind it.

Thanks again for those of you giving my your time with encouragement and ideas.

Oh, and VDub . I understand what you are saying about the cost. If they are talking about it all they have not mentioned it to me. It truly seems like they are just considering what is the best care for me- which is a bit surprising to me too. Also surprising is that the insurance company has been so helpful and kind. One person put me on hold recently and called the Dr office on my behalf. Soon after that I heard from the doctor's office. She wasn't just 'doing her job' she actually cared that I was 'getting the run around' and wanted to help me. A reminder to me how important just one person can be.