Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
That is what cancer reminds me of. It makes me frustrated and angry. It comes from behind me when I'm focused on something else and grabs me, it pulls on me and leaves me angry, frightened and in trouble for something that I had little control of.
This month has been hard as a rock. The doctor said that he'd noticed it in my blood work. He knew something was up and wasn't surprised when the lymph node biopsy revealed the cancer that was hiding there. Cancer reached from behind me and grabbed my sashes pulling me backwards. I'm frustrated and scared, waiting for one of the adults to scold me for wasting the film.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Just for the record, Bush did not sign NAFTA.
NAFTA was an agreement signed in 1993 by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and United States President Bill Clinton.
It's true. Google it.
So, it's ok if you don't like NAFTA and/or you don't like George W. Bush. It's even ok if you think that NAFTA is going to distroy democracy as we know it. But get your facts straight. Bush left us with a mountain legitimate cannonballs we could heave at his presidency so pick a valid one. On the other hand, why bother? The incoming president isn't going to be helped or illuminated by complaining about the policies of the last one.
It would be a wonderful break with tradition if we could all try to work together to come up with a solution to the dire straits our country is in.
Let's kiss and make up, shall we?
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
That's kind of what it's like when you are an orphan of sorts. She has family, a father and brothers. But they are only sometimes in her life, not as constant as she'd like. I'm here and my brother and sister. I think that she'd feel more whole if we were the nuclear family that she desires. Mom who stays home and bakes cookies. Dad who comes home from the office and reads the paper in the den. Brothers who live at home, or who come over after church for fried chicken. But that isn't what our life has been like. For so much of her life, it has been just the two of us, with friends from church, an uncle, trying to survive. Still she's beautiful, and she doesn't even know how much. She goes to school and church. Flashes the smile, big bright eyes...closes the door...hides the tears... makes everyone believe that we are just fine. "Look at the great jeans I found at the thrift store." "I'll start a fad."
Those eyes, that smile are the only accesories that anyone ever notices anyway.
Someday she will simply walk away from all of this.
Her study habits will get her away from here. She's decided on Yale this week because they reached out to her. She can get in there, and if we are agressive about scholarships, maybe we can even get it paid for.
I marvel, that anyone can look at those eyes and not see her soul. I marvel that people see the brilliant smile and don't see the tears it hides. I can't understand the people who have left her, abandoned her. How could they simply walk away from her kindness, her humor, her creativity?
I hope no one ever abandons her again. I hope that she will grow to appreciate the beautiful treasure that she is.
Friday, January 2, 2009
"And if we, as physicians, want to make plenty of cash, are we hypocritical when
we come down on big Pharma? I mean, is everything we do, and recommend,
really evidence-based and in the best interest of our patients? I don’t
know all the answers…I’m just posing the question."
I think this sums it up. I'm almost five years out from my diagnosis, and there are cancers where five years would be considered a cure. Breast cancer isn't one of them. Five years is a good omen, but not a reason to be throwing the cure party yet. Still. it costs less for the PA or the CNA to see me than it does for the surgeon, and no matter who sees me my insurance will be billed the same.
I was offered an appointment (really, directed that my appointment had been changed) with the PA. I told them that I would wait to see the Surgeon. She said the doctor wouldn't have any appointments until Late August. I reminded her that there had been less time between my last normal mammogram and finding multifocal stage 3 cancer. The woman had the nerve to tell me that was why I should keep the appointment with the PA. I told her that someone who's grandmother had cancer can make an appointment with the PA. I think my medical history warrents that if I am going to come it, I will see the doctor. The nurse called me back after lunch. She found an opening in late February and chided me for my attitude against seeing the PA.
I can understand that my Surgeon needs to make a profit. But that isn't always what is best for me. Like, it isn't best for me to take the newest, most expensive proton pump inhibitor because my Gastroenterologist is friends with the pharm rep. The over-the-counter generic proton pump inhibitor works as well as the expensive new brand. In both these cases I have to stand up for myself and what is best for me. But it isn't a fair fight. The Surgeon can refuse to see me and the Gastroenterologist can try to bluff me into believing that I'm getting some added benefit for paying several hundred dollars more for the name brand. Because I won't see the PA, I would go for 20 months instead of 12 between check-ups. Because I wanted the generic drug, I had to put up a fight with the Gastroenterologist and as a result, I'm not likely to go back to that practice. As a patient, I feel beat up and abused by this system. I feel that I am nothing more than a source of revenue that needs to be manipulated to get the most out of it. It would be nice to be treated as a human being.