Biologics by McKesson Patient Voice Spotlight – Nicole B.
Nicole B., Biologics by McKesson Oncology Patient: I was first diagnosed in March of 2012 as stage 3.
Ashleigh Burdette, Sr. Director of Clinical Innovation at Biologics by McKesson: What were the symptoms that led up to finding out that you had breast cancer?
Nicole: I didn’t really have any symptoms. I was just doing a routine self-exam. My husband and I were just watching TV, and I went to put my arm above my head, and it just felt really tight on the right side.
Ashleigh: Tell me a little bit about that. Either when you got the diagnosis or when you had that conversation where you had that feeling of, I know this is going to be cancer.
Nicole: The doctor that I saw at the time, the surgeon, was super great. Super great guy. Before he came in, you know, I just looked at Mike and I said, “I know what it’s going to be.” I said “No, I’m telling you, I know it’s going to be cancer. And I can feel it. I can feel it in my bones.” I endured chemo, radiation, bilateral mastectomies, a hysterectomy. And then in October of 2016, at a routine appointment, it was determined that my tumor markers had tripled. And we did some further scans and a biopsy and we found out that the cancer had returned to my spine. And then, in January 2017, another scan was performed, and there was a tumor that had shown up in my left lung. And then in December of 2017, during a routine scan, they found a spot on my brain. And doctors confirmed that there was a semi-large brain tumor, but also six other tumors in my brain. And then, in June of 2019, it was recommended that I have full brain radiation.
Ashleigh: How long was it from the time you left your doctor’s office and you knew that the doctor was going to be writing a prescription, until you received that prescription in the mail?
Nicole: Less than a week. I’ve been on it since whole brain radiation, and I have not had to change. Fingers crossed. My scans have not shown any new cancer, and they have shown that everything is just stable right now.
Ashleigh: Now, how often do you hear from the Biologics team?
Nicole: Every month. They call me and they remind me that it’s time for me to schedule my refill shipment. And they will ask me if I’ve had any new side effects, if I need to speak to the pharmacist, did any of my medications change.
Ashleigh: Did Biologics help you obtain any type of financial assistance?
Nicole: Not on this medication, but I want to say the last one that we came through. I was concerned because it was very pricey, and we hadn’t met our out-of-pocket maximum or our deductible yet. They went through my oncologist to help with some of that.
Ashleigh: Overall, how would you say that Biologics support has affected your experience as a patient living with breast cancer?
Nicole: It’s just been extremely helpful how they call to remind me: this is the medication you’re taking, and it’s working, and we are here for you, and we need to schedule your refill shipment. And then, I get a text message: “Your shipment is coming tomorrow,” and then it’ll say, “Your shipment has arrived.” You know, like, it actually tells me everything. And I’m like, that’s pretty great because I don’t have to worry about it.
Ashleigh: Just thinking about someone that maybe has just received a diagnosis of breast cancer. If you could just give them one piece of advice, what would you tell them?
Nicole: I would say, live each day to the fullest. If you want the shoes, buy the shoes. If you want to go on the cruise, do the cruise. Because you don’t know what tomorrow brings, you know. And so, you live life to the fullest.
Video link: https://vimeo.com/541806086