What the…I’m Not Dead Ya’ll

As a young person, I was a fan of Mark Twains Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn books.  Later, as my enthrallment with travel developed, I discovered his amazing travel journals…or maybe the discovery of the travel stories influenced the enthrallment…I can’t actually remember now.  One of the hundreds of quotes that come from Twain’s wit is “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” after a New York newspaper reported he had died in London from an illness.  So a few days ago I was strangely pleased to have an experience that must have been similar to old Mr. Twains so many years ago.  I was browsing the web and stopped into my blog control panel to check the site statistics.  This is where I can see how many times the site has been accessed, what the most popular pages are, which websites people click through to arrive at mine and what search engine “search terms” led people to visit my site.  There are usually things you would expect like, “dan gennari”, “hodgkins lymphoma”, “chemotherapy” and other such terms.  Others get more complicated an in depth like “arm itching 5 days after tb test” – I’m not sure how that one led to me!  Anyway, last Sunday someone searched, “dan gennari atlanta ga obit”

I was stunned when I saw that.  I guess I shouldn’t be, but I was.  I have been wracking my brain trying to think about who might have written that.  Obviously, someone who knows me enough to know that I live in Atlanta and that I had a condition that could kill me, but not well enough to already know that I am not dead!  Angela surmised that it was probably someone from the lodging and meeting planning community because while VenueQuest once enjoyed a very far reaching and respected reputation, it probably appears that we fell off the face of the earth in early 2009.  I can’t dispute her on that fact.

So, for all the search engines out there crawling and indexing the content of every webpage, I would like to make a few statements.  “Dan Gennari’s Obituary,” has not been written yet because, “Dan Gennari is not dead.”  I am very much alive and I have no plans to change my Facebook status from alive to dead.   There may be Reed-Sternberg cells lurking inside me and reproducing like a bunch of feral cats, but to them, I issue this warning…I can be mean.  I happen to know people who know people who have bags of chemicals that can go Hiroshima on your little cancerous world.

Now, I would like to introduce a fun game to my blog.  I have been compiling all my medical bills from 2010 in preparation of tax season.  I thought it would be fun to play a little game called, How much does cancer treatment cost?  I challenge you to post your best guesstimate of how much my medical bills totaled in 2010.  As a refresher, I was being treated for Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma and was in the Lymphoma Salvage Treatment regimen, which is essentially plan B, when the initial ABVD chemo does not work.  In 2010, I received 3 PET scans, 2 rounds of ICE chemotherapy (3 nights in the hospital for each one), 1 round of VTEPA chemotherapy (5 nights in the hospital), 15 days of chest focused radiation, placement of a trifusion catheter,  a stem cell transplant, which included lots and lots of neupogen (approx. $1000 per shot), harvesting stem cells from my own body, 6 days of daisy cutter style chemotherapy and another 17 nights in the hospital.  And right at the end of the year I had a small surgery involving anesthesia to remove my chest port.

In the spirit of this weekends Superbowl and the tsunami of statistics and measurements that will be reported and gambled on, I will award prizes in three categories.

  1. Closest guess to how much the hospital charged for the entire years worth of treatment.
  2. Closest guess to how much the hospital settled for after my insurance company adjusted rates (ie: the real cost of cancer treatment).
  3. The highest single invoice submitted by Emory University Hospital for my treatment.  Hint: they usually have about one or two invoices per day and include all the services and treatments I received that day.

Winners will receive a Livestrong wrist band and if you live in Atlanta, a free ticket to my Team in Training fundraiser on February 17.

The only rule is that you have to post your guess as a comment to this blog entry.  Guess as many times as you want.

10 thoughts on “What the…I’m Not Dead Ya’ll

  1. Kevin Priger says:

    1.Closest guess to how much the hospital charged for the entire years worth of treatment.
    My guess: $490,000

    2.Closest guess to how much the hospital settled for after my insurance company adjusted rates (ie: the real cost of cancer treatment).
    My guess: $330,000

    3.The highest single invoice submitted by Emory University Hospital for my treatment. Hint: they usually have about one or two invoices per day and include all the services and treatments I received that day.
    My guess: $35,000

  2. Kevin Priger says:

    Oh, and I meant to add…

    I’m glad that reports of your death have been greatly exaggerated.

    That search for your obit would have freaked me out. You have taken it in stride.

    I wonder if it wasn’t some company searching for a business opportunity, like an estate sale broker or other similiar organization. After all, you don’t live in Atlanta. And anybody who knew you would know your current condition. Maybe they got your name off the hospital register?

    Great post! Fun to read.

  3. Melanie Koenig says:

    I can’t guess because I think I would fall into the contest rule “Employees, interns, contractors, and official office-holders, as well as their immediate families, of Dan Gennari, VenueQuest, its affiliates, and any representatives or agencies of Dan Gennari or other persons professionally connected with the Contest are not eligible to participate.”

    I’ve also seen the bills!

    Melanie

  4. Joe in San Francisco says:

    So while I like games like everyone else and this is what I think:

    1) Year’s worth of treatment – $350,452.21

    2) What the hospital settled for after insurance – $578,879.53 until you called them and sorted out their double billing, them billing you for treatments you didn’t even have, missed discounts and applicable coverage due to you by insurance which brought the total down to $75,841.65

    3) Single highest invoice – $23,489.61 (for the 5 star food you received while staying in the hospital).

    No comment on the deranged person who searched your obit. I think we should search their obit and see how they like it!!!!

  5. Hi Dan –

    Congratulations! You’ve been named a Navigating Cancer Inspirational Blogger and have been added to our cancer blogger directory!

    As you may know, over the last few months we’ve been featuring a weekly round up of posts http://www.navigatingcancer.com/blog/tag/cancer-bloggers/ from cancer blogs in an effort to bring more attention to the cancer blogger community and to highlight experiences that our community might find helpful. To that end, we recently launched a directory featuring some of our favorite inspirational cancer blogs and you’re in it!

    We know that blogging can sometimes be a lonely pursuit wondering ….. is anyone reading this? It can also be tremendously rewarding and a conduit to connect with others who share a unique bond. We commend you for your willingness to share the good, the bad and the ugly publicly. It takes a strong spirit.

    In honor of your inspirational words, we’ve created a badge that you can display with pride, click here http://www.navigatingcancer.com/cancer/lymphoma/blogs to download the badge and add it to your blog.

    Thank you for your effort Dan. Keep up the great work!

    Becky Walker
    Navigating Cancer

  6. Laura (a.k.a. lil sis, wide load and Aunt Laura) says:

    Ok….I want to take a stab at this….

    1. 953,247.01
    2. 398,012.02
    3. 19,786.03

    Can’t wait to find out the real numbers!

    (My guesstimate is based on the only thing I have to compare…my hospital bill from when I had Isaac: 5 nights, 1 c-section and 48 hours of NICU = $27k)

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