A Saturday shout out for the media hyping up Andrea Mitchell’s breast cancer. Cancer has a very public face and yet is a very personal, private, and individualized battle.
BREAKING NEWS FLASH TO MEDIA: She is not the only one and I can’t escape that annoyed feeling every time you talk about her cancer like she is the only one. Look around, there are millions of us.
And if y’all did your homework, yes the NATIONAL average is 1 in 8 women. But if you live in PA, NJ or DE the average is 1 in 6 women. And if you live in my part of Montgomery County, PA supposedly we are even higher than what I can only call a cancer corridor statistic.
So yes, Andrea, much like you I am part of a statistic. I am also public about my cancer.
But unlike you, a major corporation is not paying my health insurance premiums, I am. Personally, as an individual. Unlike you I don’t make a GIANT salary as a cushion to the health insurance.
Like you, I have remained pretty positive throughout this ordeal.
Kudos to you Andrea for coming forward with your cancer, but please remember you aren’t the only one.
Nor are you the only one who has worked throughout surgery and treatment, Andrea. The only difference is I am one of the ones who had no choice. I have to work or I don’t get paid and then I can’t pay my bills. Small employers don’t fall under a lot of stuff, including FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act).
It’s always good when the disease gets a new high-profile face because it helps raise awareness. But I will also ask you, Andrea Mitchell, to NOT merely support mega charities with high overhead like Susan G. Komen. Look to BreastCancer.org and Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
Susan G. Komen is a machine. Sometimes the machines aren’t so accessible or helpful to the average Jane American going through breast cancer.
And yes, Andrea I spent MY summer vacation being treated for breast cancer. Mine showed up because I have proactive doctors – my cancer did NOT show up on “routine” screenings like yours. It showed nothing abnormal, although the lump was there.
So if you want to use your celebrity to other than mention Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure then use it to get women access to better screenings and better education for starters — not just the baseline mammograms, but breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds and most importantly get us access to the new Siemens machine. 3D Breast Tomosynthesis by Siemens is already live in Europe.
We need it here.
After all, as Americans we pay for first class healthcare yet because health insurers and pharmaceutical companies are allowed to play games, we truly do not have access to all we need. And if you are a breast cancer gal from testing to prescriptive creams to being able to get drugs that are new therapies, you KNOW this is true.
If I did not have doctors who PUSHED for me to get additional testing my cancer would have continued to grow, because it’s lovely lobular self showed up as a lump that registered nothing on the richter scale of breast cancer, and I was born with lumpy, dense breasts. I thank God for these doctors of mine, who will now guide me through Tamoxifen, which scares the crap out of me because I keep meeting as many people who had side effects including secondary cancers as those who had virtually no side effects.
And Andrea, we all know that while prognosis is so much better on many types of breast cancer, the reality is not all breast cancers are curable – every case is as different as every woman who finds it in her body and is treated.
Ok, off the soapbox and taking a walk.