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  • Writer's pictureAnnelise

Waiting on "Good" Cancer to Go Bad

"It is societal unconscionable and personally heartbreaking that my cancer metastasized because I had to wait for my husband's insurance on his new job to start before I could afford to go to the doctor. The first time I had cancer -- the "good kind," DCIS -- our insurance went up to $3,400 a month. Who on earth could pay that?? Unfortunately, they missed getting all of the cancer, and it spread from my right breast -- which, strangely, was not even there, thanks to a mastectomy. By the time I was able to go back to the doctor, it had spread through all my bones, from my femurs, my hips, ribs, spine, neck, shoulders -- all the way up to my skull. And my ovary. Lack of ability to pay should not keep anyone away from the doctor. But of course it does, every day. What does it cost our nation in terms of lost years of productivity due to avoidably-early deaths, not to mention costs for the indigent passed along eventually?? If our nation is going to continue this inefficient and expensive system of requiring insurance in order to afford -- or even access! -- medical care, we need to make sure everyone has insurance.Our is a cruel system. Not civilized. Unspeakably selfish. Heartless. No, not all the time, but certainly a LOT. And EVER is too often. I also would like to see research on ways to prevent cancer. Low tech stuff -- like emphasizing exercise, eating vegetables, etc. -- I tire of so much of the money going to things that enrich pharmaceutical companies and technical gadget sellers when there are so many upfront, inexpensive things that could be done to save lives -- now and in the future. I also do not want to be written off because "Stage IV" is a label attached to me. So many services apply only to those at lower stages. Why the heck is that???"
- Barbara, Raleigh, NC

Story collected by the Susan G. Komen Advocacy Alliance

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