boom! fake breast cancer charity knocked out in new york state!



People familiar with this blog know how I feel about fake breast cancer charities.  Well thanks to the Charities Bureau through the New York State Attorney General’s office the Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation has been put to sleep in New York State.  They are canceled as in officially fake in New York (which means if you are a New York resident and they call you, please call Assistant AG Yael Fuchs at 212-416-8391 )

I completely forgot to post the letter that Ms. Fuchs sent me.   I had written this was happening in July, 2016 , and because of my writing about these scam boogers in the past (see HERE and HERE) Ms. Fuchs had contacted me about them.

Well I am super pleased that New York State has shut them down in New York. Hopefully more states will follow suit.

Don’t give money to them. Hang up on them. Report them.

Remember, legitimate charities DO NOT HIRE PUSHY TELEMARKETERS!

Use GuideStar to check out non-profits but also check with your state’s Bureau of Charities to see if a charity is registered with them…and remember just because a charity may be registered with a state it does not mean the charity is legitimate in the sense that the charity is well run and not wasting donor money.  And check the form 990s.  And if you have basic questions a non-profit can’t answer that is a big RED flag.



Posted in breast cancer, fake charity | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

new year, new test


I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy last week. The anesthesia and procedure made me not so hot for a few days but I am glad I did it.

Do not ignore doing this. It was the test I was the most scared of because when I was going through breast cancer treatment my neighbor Myrna was being treated for and dying from Stage 4 colon cancer.

They removed polyps. One was hyperplastic (no concern, not premalignant) and the other was an adenoma (premalignant).

So I am on a 5 year rotation for colonoscopies instead of 10.

I had blown this test off for a couple of years because not only did the thought of it scare me, I was tired.  After going through breast cancer and treatment, I had a full hysterectomy.  For a couple of years I was like “not more medical procedures down there for a while.”

Well I am glad my primary care basically told me I had no choice I had to do it.

A mixed bag of results doesn’t thrill me I will be honest.  But better to know than pop another cancer.

Get your colonoscopies done.   And yes the prep is the singularly most hideous procedure prep known to man.  But if I can do it, you can do it.

Posted in breast cancer, health insurance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

flowing stream of consciousness, or doing the emotional laundry

501a46bfb1af49d21f000be0ccd636f2….it’s important to think about are any changes you are planning to make to your figure before then.


So what is that about?  A dress fitting.  Alteration, truthfully.  I have never been able to truly buy dresses, especially formal wear, off the rack.  Something is either too long, needs to be taken in, let out, hemmed…something.

I do not do as many formal dress bearing occasions as I used to, but there are some occasionally.  And I need a dress altered.

The seamstress and I were e-mailing back and forth because I had dropped her a note to ask how jammed her schedule was for an alteration.


I got back the schedule and her normal list of what she needs when you come in – underwear, shoes, spanx, bras and so on.  And then the phrase about body changes.  Now granted those are mostly for her Bridezillas so she doesn’t get tortured last minute.  But for me as a lopsided breast cancer survivor who fights with self-body image daily some weeks (still), oh the emotions.


It’s not so simple emotionally.  I look in the mirror and I see a lopsided middle aged woman.  It’s pretty rare I feel pretty.  Most days I am content when I just am comfortable.  So playing dress up really takes some doing. And beauty, yes beauty is extremely fleeting when you are looking at a lopsided self yet you know reconstruction and plastic surgery would not have been for you.


Actually if I am honest with myself, since breast cancer lots of things take some doing a good bit of the time.


It’s not something a lot of us like to talk about, even me.  When you were told by some at your diagnosis it was a new reality in retrospect I have to laugh, because oh man, they did not even give you the tip of that iceberg.


The dreams.  Not very often, but once in a while a cancer recurrence dream slips in.  I wake up in a cold sweat realizing I am still OK.


The simmering ever so slightly verve of feeling blue.  You can’t put your finger on it. You aren’t upset about anything, yet there is this tiny hum of feeling blue.  It comes and it goes. A thank you Tamoxifen.


HOT FLASHES FROM HELL.  And dry skin.  Am I woman or alligator now in the winter?


Tired.  I never used to be tired.  Sometimes I just am. I think it goes with the sleepus interruptus and hot flashes.


Joint pain.  Oh thanks Tamoxifen, where would I be without it? Again, not a constant but when it visits, it hurts.  Everything feels like it aches. I know how people with Lyme disease feel.


And the one I hate pretty much most of all. The days and even weeks where I feel absolutely unable to concentrate on anything or am just forgetful.  Yes, it is like chasing your own head.  Today is one of those days.  And today I am so frustrated I could cry. But I won’t.  I will suck it up and move forward.


I guess the point of this rambling stream of consciousness is there is no one size fits all band-aid.  And today is just one of those days I have to remind myself of that.  These are the days, right or wrong, I need a little reassurance but my pride has a hard time dealing with that.


Life is a journey.  But I do think once you have had breast cancer sometimes you just feel things in more vivid technicolor than the next person.


I am fine.  Seriously I am.  But I needed to let what I was feeling out.  I needed to try to write it down to help me sort my emotional laundry.


Thanks for stopping by.


Posted in breast cancer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

rise up

pizap-com14835612155761It started with a message from a friend:

** Please Consider Calling / E-mailing for Obamacare**
Paul Ryan’s office is conducting a phone poll, hoping to hear overwhelming opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Here’s how you can participate:

Call (202) 225-0600

Press 2 to weigh in on the issue. You’ll hear a recording about the bill to repeal it, then Press 1 to support continuing the Affordable Healthcare Act.

You will also have an opportunity to leave speaker Ryan a voice mail where you can explain how repealing the ACA will effect your life. NOTE: I’ve heard some people say they were able to leave a message while others are saying his mailbox is full. So, this option may be a hit or miss.

This literally takes 5 minutes! If this is important to you, please make a quick call. I made my call and wrote my letter to my representative. Use your voice!


I called.  How could I not? If they repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act or even just most of it, I know damn well I will probably lose my insurance.

I live in Pennsylvania, the land of sucky insurance choices to begin with.

Let’s recap how I came to

Quite a few years ago now I went to work for an exceedingly cheap son of a bitch.  Scrooge had nothing on him, incidentally.  Dude (as we all remember) from when I started this blog was too cheap to offer benefits or access to benefits.  Only took care of himself. He also did not offer proper vacation time or sick time, which is why I worked all the way through breast cancer treatment except for the actual surgery day.

As a self-pay person prior to the onset of the Affordable Care Act all I could get was Aetna.  Aetna was tolerable UNTIL the Affordable Care Act.  Then it got worse. I won’t relive everything I have written in previous posts but as open enrollment arrived this past fall like millions of others in PA who were self-pay and NOT on the Exchange discovered Aetna was basically dumping us too.  In the summer of 2016 they had dumped all folks in PA who had them on the Affordable Healthcare “Exchange”.

So it took forever and I was left with no choice as a self-employed person but to sign up via the Affordable Care Act and get on the Exchange.   I signed up for Independence Blue Cross because well that was what was available to me.  It took weeks to get it settled because although I paid my binding premium through they did not credit it right to the insurance company.  Between Christmas and the New Year I was fraught with additional healthcare anxiety.

It is 2017 and my healthcare is set for the year. What happens if Paul Ryan and the collective idiocy known as the new US Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act?


That is not hype, that is not drama, it is the simple truth (you know that thing most politicians wouldn’t recognize if it bit them on the ass?)

They do not have a plan to replace it and well they do not have to worry, Uncle Sam and the US Taxpayers pay for their Cushy Cadillac benefits.  So they can’t get any of this if they tried.

I am a breast cancer survivor so I know I have paid enough dealing with healthcare benefits. We need less chaos, not more.

I took the time to call Speaker of the House Paul Ryan because I am not naive – I know what will happen if this act is repealed.  Insurance Companies will throw a giant party and screw us.

I sound like a broken record but while Obamacare is far from ideal in a lot of ways, we have been forced to deal with it and get used to it.  Repealing it puts all of us in jeopardy because once again it is a giant bunch of politicians  fighting with each other and things like Obamacare and ethics safeguards are convenient weapons to pummel each other with. But when it comes to healthcare it will be chaos because of one thing they have never addressed: reforming the health insurance companies themselves and allowing for more choice in most states.

Please make the call and take the time to contact your own representatives.

We can’t afford to be sacrificial healthcare lambs while politicians cock fight on the hill in Washington DC.  Our lives are literally at stake.

Rise Up.


Posted in breast cancer, health insurance | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

trying to respect the pink sisterhood

light_pink_rose_by_thecr8tive1-d4xcyrbThe past few days I have been experiencing something new: a fellow breast cancer survivor who has no respect for the pink sisterhood.

The proverbial thin pink line of the pink sisterhood is sort of that unwritten rule where you don’t attempt to inflict anything bad on a fellow breast cancer survivor.

So I have run into this woman.  Younger than I am. Also a survivor.

Without boring you with all the gory details, the Cliff Notes version is this woman lives somewhere in my community and disagreed with me on some things.

She could have approached everything differently than she did.  The end result is she has created this weird war that she is the general of, that she is the primary player of. She is not doing anything overtly although most actions are fairly obvious as to intent, but there is a whole lot of passive aggressiveness going around.

It’s kind of crazy and she is creating this unpleasant atmosphere.  She is also bizarrely competitive.  She is the kind of person who loves to be like “Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee”. There is so much horn tooting going on, her hand must be tired.  Working, raising a family, and so on is not so unusual provided we are healthy enough to do it right? It’s not new ground being broken, it’s LIFE. Hell, it’s what we all do if healthy enough to do so, right?

Not everyone is the same. I am fine with that.  But to target another breast cancer survivor so she can play a game of whomever gets all the toys wins that I am not playing is weird.

You have to feel almost sorry for people who do things like this at the same time you find their behavior morally reprehensible.

I am trying to keep my side of the street clean and respect the pink sisterhood, even if clearly she does not.

She is the person you pray for to find inner peace.  I hope she gets what she needs out of this, poor thing.  It’s a whole mean girl thing going on.

Truly sad.

Posted in breast cancer | Tagged , | 2 Comments

targeting target for breast cancer profiteering


Dear Target,

I hate Pinktober. It is a vomitorious b*llshit pink month for a lot of us who have had breast cancer, or are currently undergoing treatment, or live with the metastatic form of the disease.

Take your shirt for example? Stupid and somewhat offensive to me.

I have breasts. Lost a good chunk of one to BREAST cancer. They aren’t tater tots and tatas? Really? Goes with having to tee tee?

I did not have TaTa disorder. I had breast cancer. My life was saved. But I gave up having evenly shaped breasts in return.

I had seven weeks of radiation and am in year five of ten years of Tamoxifen.  Tamoxifen with side effect like spirit crushing joint pain and horrible hot flashes some days and sleep deprivation.

 I am grateful to be alive, but please, do something positive like help us lobby for health insurance reforms.

Breast cancer survivors and patients don’t need ridiculous pink T-shirts to wear in October that clash with fall colors and pumpkins, we need access to good health care.  We need health care that doesn’t dictate what our treatment should be at the expense of our health, mental well-being (stress), and even our lives. (HINT: THINK AETNA.)

Just look at your T-Shirt on your site Target – it’s ALL about your profit, you are not even pretending to “donate” to a charity.  And your model? Oh yeah sure (wink wink) she soooo looks like a survivor…a survivor of My Super Sweet 16 maybe…

This is only about you making a buck off of US.  You suck, frankly.


A Survivor


Folks out there: this is ONLY about Target making a buck during Pinktober. It is time to BOYCOTT TARGET.

If you are on Twitter, please tweet @TARGET and tell them to pound sand with this shirt. You can tell them in Instagram too – same handle “Target” – Tell them on Facebook.

Here are some survivors and those living with the disease telling Target how they feel:

s1 s2 s3 s4

Also try this for contacting Target:

Target Corporation
John Hulbert, Investors, 612-761-6627
Erin Conroy, Financial Media, 612-761-5928
Target Media Hotline, 612-696-3400

ceo contacts

Posted in breast cancer, health insurance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

aetna is totally screwing individual subscribers and breast cancer survivors/patients

willowwomansat-358-450-500-90-cI wrote recently about groundhog day with Aetna . Sadly, the truth is that Aetna doesn’t want individual subscribers in Pennsylvania any longer. They say they value their subscribers, but really, they don’t. They are over us.


Being an individual subscriber off the “exchange” (as in you did NOT buy your health insurance from Healthcare.Gov) doesn’t give you a leg up with Aetna.

This summer we learned Aetna was pulling most of its Obamacare plans including in Pennsylvania , the state I live in. But I thought I would be o.k. because they said they were still offering coverage to individual subscribers.

For the last three years as an individual subscriber, Aetna has canceled whatever plan I was on.  So today I was talking with my neighbor Deb who has the same plan I do, and she said she took Aetna’s letter to subscribers as they were cancelling all individual subscribers.  I said “no way!”

But it got me worried, so I sent Aetna an e-mail:

I contacted you via Twitter because for the third year in a row I got a letter saying my plan was being canceled at year-end. I am not and never have been on the exchange.

I am in the Aetna Leap specialty I think that’s how you call it this year. I have always been an individual subscriber.

I have been an individual subscriber with you for years pre-dating the affordable care act.

You will find this email address attached to my official  Aetna account.

I am a breast cancer survivor so my benefits are very important to me and I need continuity of care so I have to be able to have plans that have my doctors, or at least provide access to them. I have had no problem with the Leap specialty or whatever you call it I’m on this year other than  the upfront co-pays are significantly more expensive for me because my doctors are in your top tier.

I thought I would be able to keep this plan a couple of years and you seriously ramp up subscriber stress levels with the continual canceling of plans like we are experiencing health insurance Groundhog Day.

I am extra concerned at this point because my neighbor up the street is on the same plan I am. She did not buy through the exchange either, she is an individual subscriber. The way she read your letter is that you are dumping all of us as individuals subscribers and we are not going to be able to have Aetna plans at all ever again.

So is Aetna getting rid of individual subscribers ?

Is this what I am up against?

I have had a very uneasy past few weeks since your letter came out.  My level of anxiety was not helped by the fact that when I called the phone number you listed for us to call for help choosing a new plan and all I got was a recording and no way to talk to anyone.

I don’t want to be on the exchange with Obamacare I don’t trust their website.

But I don’t know that I can have health insurance through you because people seem to be interpreting your letter as you are dumping all of us individual subscribers.

I hate to have to bother you guys every year with this stuff, I’d like to be truly self-sufficient, but I need to know what it is I am supposed to do.

Will I have plans available through your company that will be good enough to give me the coverage I need? Or are you dumping ALL of  your individual subscribers?

I cc’d the President Karen Lynch
So a nice lady (no sarcasm, really, really nice) named Stephanie from Member Services called.   Yes they would offer ONE plan for where I live.  Something like “Aetna Leap Silver”.

Guess what? Only ONE of the doctors I have to see about twice a year are covered.  The others are all “out of network”!


I said I am not some 24 year old— I can’t just up and switch my care team. I am a breast cancer survivor and technically a cancer patient in treatment for at least the next five years.

The response was I could fill out Transition of Care forms and maybe the doctors might be considered.

Translation: not bloody likely if we are being real about it.


Stephanie tells me how Aetna values ALL of their subscribers and I retorted how is that possible if you are dumping us?

“No we’re not.” she says

Yes you are I replied if you won’t structure plans that enable cancer patients (for example) to see their care teams.

We have other doctors you can choose from, was the response.  I am paraphrasing because I don’t remember precisely as my head was spinning.

WTF Aetna? WTF?


Now I have to try to find other coverage, because I need to have these doctors.

Aetna is not having enough screws put to them in Washington DC obviously since they are screwing me over, a breast cancer survivor and patient. And they are doing it during freaking Pinktober.

Way to care about breast cancer survivors, Aetna. Way to care about the self-employed or folks that need to self-insure because employers do not offer healthcare coverage.


#AetnaSUCKS, pass it on.

I chose the image above which is a work of art actually because Aetna has made me feel like a nameless, faceless, unimportant person with no real value.

Aetna’s slogan should be “Aetna. We are cheap uncaring bastards who will take your money, give you a hard time, and then dump you when we feel like it. ”


PS Someone again please tell me how well Obamacare is working. 

PPS  I am now going to check political candidates and see who has received donations from Aetna. I won’t be voting for them.


Posted in breast cancer, health insurance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment