Posted by: donrhymer | August 4, 2010

The Real Cost of Cancer

If you thought this was  going to be an essay on the socio-economic impact of cancer in the marketplace… then you haven’t been reading this blog. No, I’m talking about the actual cost.

Now, some of these numbers are staggering, but don’t worry, we have great insurance so very little of this we are actually paying for out of pocket. So there is no need to hold a telethon for the Rhymers, thank God. That is one aspect of this whole ordeal we are extremely grateful for.

Anyway, how much does it cost to have tongue cancer… you ask pensively?

$53,765 Surgery – You too can have a world class head and neck surgeon partially remove your head for basically the cost of an Audi A6. They did throw in one night’s stay in the beautiful Norris Cancer Hospital where I got to listen to a woman across the hall scream for seven straight hours, so you have to factor in that little bonus.

Then again the Audi embodies exceptional performance combined with one of the most luxurious interiors in its class. My head does none of those things. So, if you have choices… go for an Audi.

$1,200 Radiation Times thirty-three treatments spread out over seven weeks so this one adds up quickly. At one point I suggested to Oscar and the other radiation techs that it would be much cheaper to just stick my head in a microwave.

A spirited twenty-minute discussion ensued over how long it would take for my head to actually explode. I laughed, but I have never looked at that bunch quite the same way.

$3,679 Chemotherapy At USC they sell it by the bag. Like potatoes… or mulch.

It is brought in from the pharmacy on a cart, escorted by four burly men in hazmat suits. As soon as one of the nurses hooks me up she is immediately taken outside and pelted with fire hoses just in case some of the toxic substance spilled on her. Then she is given an envelope of hush money, made to sign a waiver, and thrown in the back of a van never to be heard from again.

$9.75 Fleet Enema – The cost in dollars… so low. The cost to my manhood as the Charge Nurse screamed out… “Oh God, we got a screamer!”… Immeasurable.



  1. I told you I would’ve done the surgery in my basement for $51,000 and thrown in the enema for free, but you wanted to go with a “professional.” Now you’re out $2,774.75. I hope you’ve learned from this.

  2. Hey Don – They say every time you really laugh you extend your lifespan by 3 minutes. Thanks for all the extra birthdays you’re giving all of us. Great to see that they haven’t harmed your funny bone a bit.

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