Each time 44-year-old Carolynne St. Pierre comes home from chemotherapy at Brooklyn’s Lutheran Medical Center, fatigued and sometimes nauseous, she talks about putting off the next treatment.
The hospital is difficult to get to. Sometimes she takes a bus from Concord to Boston, then a train to New York City and a subway downtown to her mother’s apartment, so tired by the end that she can barely carry her suitcase up the stairs to the street. Other times, her husband, Rich, drives her to Connecticut, where one of her sisters picks her up. Then he rushes back to care for their three kids.
The experimental treatments are expensive, about $16,000 a visit, and the St. Pierres aren’t sure yet what insurance will cover. They fear it won’t be much. And then there’s the fact that the drugs likely won’t save Car- olynne’s life.
What they may give her, and what keeps her going back, is more time.
(The first in a five-part series.)