I did my best to manage my stress today and actually ended the day feeling more productive than it began. I am still having swelling and pain as my darn surgical sites heal, and can I mention for a change I am tired of smelling? Sorry, but it is summer and I am trying the combo of mineral stick thingy and all natural no frills no fun smells deoderant…and well I feel odoriferous….and lordy, I need to get my hair cut but am not budgeted for that right now, so seriously? I feel like a shaggy odoriferous dog at some moments of every day right now….breast cancer truly some days or some moments of every day can beat the femininity right out of you.
My mother got sticker shock for me the other day when she was telling me about Banana Republic or some similar store having great deals on summer clothing. I told her thanks but it wasn’t in the budget right now due to the costs I actually know I have coming up with my Breast Cancer Mardi Gras. She was floored by the out-of-pocket I would have on a daily basis with just radiation treatments alone. Which of course brings me around to something I want to say. (Insurance companies cover your eyes and ears, you won’t like this)
People in this country want to wax poetic about Obamacare as in healthcare reform. I think it’s hooey and I also feel that while both political parties in this country want to beat their collective breasts (pardon the pun) in Washington D.C. no one seems to really want to get down to it. We need reform of the insurance companies as well. Not just healthcare as a huge thing – but the companies themselves.
We as women pay through the ass most of our lives for health insurance. But when you actually have to use your benefits for something like breast cancer you see where the flaws in the system are. The out-of-pocket costs, the stress over approvals and pre-certs and even getting meds and treatments covered can be a field of very active land mines. We as women deserve better. For example – do any of you know about the technology that Siemens would like to launch in this country? 3D mammography? I hear it is in Europe now so why can’t we have access to it? I mean what if I listened to those bullshit reports from 2008 where that Federal panel recommended fewer mammograms? I could be dead if I listened to something like that or was forced to listen to something like that! And at 47 with a hormone driven cancer that does not show up necessarily as cancer on traditional mammography, don’t I deserve the best treatment possible? When is the last time any of you ladies reading this contacted your elected officials and demanded better breast treatment to say the least? And what of those of you fools some of whom I know who do not even get routine mammograms? Quit being depressed for me and get a mammogram!
(Ok, off the soapbox now darling, she said to herself….)
I completely forgot to tell everyone that I recently became acquainted with a couple of people associated with BreastCancer.org , which was founded by Marisa Weiss, a renown breast cancer oncologist who practices in the Philadelphia, PA area.
It started out that I was going to go check something out they were doing to further my knowledge base in dealing with breast cancer, and the dates were mixed up so I just ended up meeting a couple of people involved with the non-profit. Now everyone knows I think LBBC is awesome, but seriously? These people rock out loud too!!! I have to tell you meeting people from BreastCancer.org made me feel so much better…even in my moments of being a mopey breast cancerrific pain in the ass.
BreastCancer.org has some terrific resources – their message boards have taught me about other creams women can use during radiation – you see there are a lot of women like me who have insurance companies which will not pay for ANY radiation creams, believe it or not.
They also have an increased focus on green and organic living and nutritional topics for breast cancer gals. I like that. They have a section I discovered over the weekend called Think Pink/Live Green.
Marisa Weiss, the founder of this charity is a breast cancer survivor herself.
I am selective about promoting non-profit events, but BreastCancer.org is doing one I think I am going to hope I have the money to attend because it features one of my most favorite female performers: Shawn Colvin – it’s on Friday October 21, 2011 at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. It’s called Rock the Ribbon.
By now, some of you who don’t know me as well as others know I love music – and a lot of different genres. I am especially fond of musicians who have lyrics and music which just speak to me. Two artists that do so and feed my soul are Carly Simon and Shawn Colvin. For some reason they are women who have songs that have marked different periods of my life. (and sometimes quite profoundly)
Anyway, many thanks to my gal pals. You really helped get me through today. I told the woman from BreastCancer.org that I had a female support network very à la Samantha Jones gets Breast Cancer from the last season of Sex and The City. Seriously…I really do…thanks ladies…love you all.
Big day tomorrow. I meet my radiation oncologist for the first time. I am a little anxious I must admit….one foot in front of the other…one day at a time….
Love comforteth like sunshine after rain…
There should be a special circle of hell for insurance companies. This is why I keep paying for supplemental cancer policy. And if you keep sending the monthly payments, they have to keep you on in spite of past cancer (at the group rate LOL)
Once again, *so* friggin’ grateful I live in Vermont and have access to VHAP – because I’m in a low income group, my premium has been $33 a month and until recently, they’ve been doing well on that. Now, it’s one less thing I need to worry about – I pay a dollar for most prescriptions and, so far, that’s all I’ve had to pay. No muss, no fuss with pre approvals or pre certifications; as far as I can tell everything has been covered in full.
Mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, surgery, anesthesia, Oncotype, chemotherapy – roll on, socialist medical care, say I!
(and no one’s *ever* brought up death panels, btw 😉 )
Several miles ago
I set down my angel shoes