NBC Nightly News and reporter Robert Bazell did a report on Oncotype Dx tonight. Of course, once you have danced even a small dance with breast cancer, Oncotype Dx is not foreign to you. If you are like me, you might not know what it is until someone takes the time to explain it to you, but you learn quickly. Like you learn quickly how good it is to be Her2 negative (I was) and the ABCs of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (can’t afford to pay for at this point in time)
The problem is not awareness of genetic testing like Oncotype Dx with regard to breast cancer, but instead getting the tests paid for.
So it’s great NBC News was promoting this topic and covering the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, but let’s be real about this: we as women (and men) want access to as much as we can get our paws on as far as genetic testing, research, treatment, support, and all that when it comes to breast cancer. The problem is getting insurance companies to approve things and pay for them….or getting this coverage for ladies and gents without insurance.
We as breast cancer gals seems to get more than a lot of women going through other issues, but still, we need access to more. So if these doctors and the media at this symposium really want to do women out there a solid, they need to use their power to get women access to more benefits and more meaningful healthcare reform. And earlier. I got lucky because they knew there was a lump – but it took in essence a year and a very caring doctor to push the system to take care of me and I have insurance….and once again I circle back to but for the Grace of God go I and all that.
As a survivor, I have to tell you my largest fear is my insurance company deciding they no longer want to cover me. I am a breast cancer survivor now, and praise God and knock on wood I will never go down that path again, but I do not know for sure as my life did not come with a Magic 8 or crystal ball.
I can’t see the future, I can only work towards maintaining a healthy one. Not trying to be depressing, I am merely being realistic. It’s only been six months since my surgery, so I have a lot of cancerversaries to go before I truly relax.
In the further vein of etcetera this evening it is Christmas soon and look! I am happy and healthy. It seems so long ago now and it’s only been a few months since my world turned upside down. But I am still standing. Flashing but standing.
Let’s talk about these Tamoxifen induced hot flashes. They suck. Feeling like you are on fire from the inside out is really irritating. I am not flashing with giant beads of sweat running down my body, but I feel, well, hot and like I am glowing. My sweet man cracks me up with this – when he knows I am flashing he blows on me. O.k. that sounds weird, but it is actually very funny.
2011 has been probably the craziest year of my life with the highest highs and the lowest lows. And I am still standing. And grateful to all of you. I am still wishing upon stars and turning over glasses for a couple of things, but I am into December and ever so grateful. I will keep paying it forward as best as I can and remain positive.
Love and Life, and Love OF Life are powerful motivators don’t-cha know…..
“Love came down at Christmas; love all lovely, love divine; love was born at Christmas, stars and angels gave the sign.”
~ Christina G. Rossetti