October 16, 2008

Am I An Overly Sensitive Cancer Patient?

Or did you want to kick McCain in his gold plated teeth too? Maybe I AM overly sensitive. I see the world through the tainted lens of having been diagnosed with cancer at 27 and having had little break from it for eight years.

I’ve been one of the 13 million young adults in the United States who lack health insurance because of loopholes and/or unaffordable premiums. I spend my days writing about, talking to, and surrounding myself with young adults who were diagnosed at later, more advanced stages of cancer because they had no health insurance. Between navigating my preexisting condition status, fighting for COBRA, determining our out-of-pocket expenses, and tallying deductibles, my husband and I have spent enough time managing my health insurance to qualify the task as a part-time job.

I know a boat-load of women for whom the word cosmetic surgery means having tissue from your stomach sculpted into a replacement breast. I know scores of twenty and thirty-somethings, both dead and alive, for whom transplant means stem cells and bone marrow and being medically ushered to the brink of death in order to be given a chance to live.

So excuse the hell out me John McCain if I don’t think health insurance, gold plated Cadillac or not is a chuckling matter. Yes, I might be an overly sensitive cancer patient, but I don’t think I heard anyone else laughing either.

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  1. Martin Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 7:17 AM

    Big picture question – is healthcare and health insurance a fundamental right for individuals in the United States?

    Think about this…in the 200+ years that our country has been around, there have been 27 fundamental rights laid out in the constitution – none of them specifically define healthcare and health insurance as a fundamental right. Why? The consumption of alcohol has been addressed, twice. The issue of ownership of firearms was specifically addressed. Pay rate increases to Congressmen have been addressed. Not healthcare, though. Why?

    I think that is the bigger and more interesting question.

  2. Dana Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:27 AM

    Kairol…you read my mind, love. Thank goodness this was the final debate because each of them leave me yelling at the TV. I wanted to punch McCain in his blinky eyes when he was stuttering and stumbling about healthcare. I also struggle the ‘pre existing’ condition battle and am currently covered by COBRA at a lovely $500 per month. We need a change. People like you help remind others who have not been in our shoes just how precious health and good health care coverage truly is. Miss you..

  3. Lori Hope Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    You read my mind, too, and THANK YOU for speaking yours!
    From a truly “overly sensitive” cancer survivor, this is the kind of intellectual sensitivity and acuity everyone should have!
    Hope you’re well–
    xo, Lor

  4. Mars that rebel artist Says:
    October 24th, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    Yes, we all live for the power of Seven. Not because we necessarily believe in Numerology, but because the INSURANCE COMPANIES apparently do! Seven years without cancer and they’ll finally take us. Gee, THANKS.

    I had cancer during my pregnancy (“No, you had pregnancy during your cancer.” “Hey, peanut butter and chocolate together are good!”) so at every birthday for my son, I get a little more excited. When he turns 7, it’s Party (and insurance) Time.

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