Molly Ivins

With everything that is happening in the country this year I can’t help but think of Molly Ivins. She would be having the time of her life watching and commenting on the election.  Unfortunately we lost Ms. Ivins to breast cancer on January 3, 2007.  She finally succumbed to breast cancer the third time it attacked.

Molly’s final column was run shortly before her death.  I like to think she’s been watching lately and been enjoying it.

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we’re for them and trying to get them out of there.

You can read the rest here

Politics, Healthcare and your life

There are over 10,000 children diagnosed with cancer ever year. In 2004, 64,800 young adults, 15 to 39 years old, were diagnosed with cancer.

You know these people and you know me.  I’m the Mom you see at daycare drop off or at the PTA meeting. The kid you know from church on Sunday.  I’m the woman that works with you or your son’s soccer coach. I am just like everyone else. I am also a breast cancer survivor diagnosed at age 38. I had no family history. I had only had one mammogram, because I was 38.

I had lots of treatments. Two surgeries, 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 35 doses of radiation, physical therapy and more vials of blood than I care to remember. I have health insurance and I believe that I am alive because of it.

Like many of you I have been watching the coverage of the Presidential candidates. While I pay close attention to the health care proposals because of what I’ve gone through, I know they resonate just as strongly with others as well.  If you’re diabetic or have lupus, MS or asthma I know, or at least hope you’re listening.

I am fortunate to be insured through my workplace. I don’t personally write a check for my coverage but I was interested in what a $5,000 tax credit would buy. I had heard the horror stories but never checked it out for myself. I called some insurance companies today to get an estimate of what it would cost me to purchase individual health insurance.

Of four companies, three would treat the breast cancer as a pre-existing condition. No coverage for any services related to the breast cancer. No coverage for follow up appointments, annual PET scans ($3,000), no Femara ($381 per month for 5 years).

I found one company that offers a guarantee issue insurance.  The rates?  The least expensive plan that would cover me with a $5,000 deductible and a 50% copay would cost $1,400 per month. That’s the bargain plan.  The high end coverage with a $250 deductible and 100% copay would cost just over $4,000 per month.  I expect to live a long time and rates will increase as I age.

One plan is selling a $5,000 refundable tax credit.  But that would not touch the price of insurance and here is the really terrifying part.  If I were out shopping in the market for health insurance at 38 years old and healthy, I wouldn’t look for a policy with good cancer coverage. Cheap prescriptions maybe or maternity coverage but not cancer. Cancer doesn’t  happen to us. I’d be looking for a rate I could pay for and still pay off student loans and make car payments.  The only reason I have good coverage is because it is through my employer and is designed to cover everyone, young and old, healthy and the not so healthy.

If this is something that is important to you or to someone you love, I urge you to take the time to understand the plans that are being proposed.  It is more complex than a sound bite or a slogan can address. It may well be a matter of life or death.

Information about  both plans at  Dallas NewsHealth Affairs,

Barack Obama.com,   John McCain.com Kaiser Family Foundation Health08

(If you want the names of the insurance companies referenced e-mail me at aftercancer@yahoo.com)

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10 links to walk you through today’s financial crisis — and make you smarter than 99% of other people

Really great post with explanations about what is going on with the economy, bailout, market etc. There are tons of links in this article so I’m sure there is one that will be helpful for you. And it is written in normal conversational English so you don’t need an MBA to understand it.

via: Consumerist

One voice

When I started this blog I thought it would mostly be cancer stuff, some posts about life and my family and things like that.  I have always been opinionated, just ask my parents.  But my initial expectation was that maybe this would become a resource, some place that people who were dealing with cancer and the life that comes after it.  I thought that I would help show the variety of ways that women and men deal with what happens after disease.

That has been the vast majority of the postings but lately this blog has gotten very political.  I struggled and was concerned that readers might get offended. Then I looked at the title of the blog.  I guess this is my now what.  If you haven’t guessed I am not a professional blogger. I am a woman.  It is that simple. I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a colleague, a chorister, a voter and an American.   I am a feminist and have had times when I am an activist.  If I have offended you with anything in this blog that is unfortunate but do not expect it to change.

See, now that I have looked at death, and I mean really looked at  it I don’t care very  much what others think of me.  I don’t have time for that.  I am alive and will be using my voice when I think it will make a difference whether that be to help my kids, my community or my country. Continue reading