Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a very happy unbirthday to you

Hello everyone
I was thinking last night how much this whole debacle reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.
Perhaps this might be one time where one could say it is not so much the journey, but the destination. Last night I fell sound asleep watching netflix and could barely drag myself to bed.
That never happens to me, in fact through all of this I have been taking meds to make sure I sleep well every night.  A whole new level of fatigue that for the time, is rather welcoming. To just lie down in bed and fall asleep, what a concept.
Anyways the thing about chemo is that it is the devil I KNOW,  radiation was the one I was not familiar with.  I feel I have more to help me deal with chemo.
With regards to radiation, it does appear as though the lesions are healing, in fact they have all healed except one and it is looking much better. It still hurts a lot to pee, but Dr Cook told me that it takes 12 weeks to fully recover from radiation.  I will be seeing my surgeon for a followup from radiation, and I guess to see whats what.  I gather at that visit we will determine
how often I will see her in "followup"

My health care bill at this point is at 72 thousand dollars. 10 thousand of that was paid out of pocket,   fortunately for me, having health care insurance AND this "episode" occurred over one year I have only had to pay 10 thousand dollars. If I was one of the 50 million or so uninsured people, I would have had to pay it all, and I likely would have made several compromises along the way. Some people in my position might well have foregone the chemo and radiation, because they could not afford it.
If I was in Canada, I would have paid for nothing except the medication I took at home. I would not have had to wait for surgery (my sister went through the same thing and the only thing that delayed her surgery was her BP was too high). My family tells me of several people on chemo and radiation there and there do not seem to be any significant delays.  Don't believe all they would have you believe about the Canadian health care system.  Please support single payer health insurance. It would be good for everyone except ceos and stock holders in pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies.
So please consider how best you might help others who might end up in a similar situation to me, but not have insurance....thanks

If you are wondering why all these pictures, I am trying to show off all the hair I have. :)

love and peace

Janet Bates
jankenb @


  1. Coming from the UK, I am so with you on this. We are fortunate, we( my husband and I) have excellent health insurance but we worry constantly about our kids.

    Our eldest daughter is now working for the State and has some form of health insurance but I doubt it is good as ours. For 18 months whilst she was between college and this job, she had no health insurance. She suffers from polycystic ovaries disease- classic pearls as the doctor said - and had one month where she was in a lot of pain. We ended up paying out of pocket to get her checked out and fortunately it was just a cyst which dissolved on its own but was a very disquieting time, not only because of her health but the potential for some horrendous health bills.

    Just last month, my son discovered the painful truth of inadequate health insurance when he developed a nasty rash on his hands and body. He did the right things, when to his general doctor who prescribed antibiotics and who said to him, if it seems to be getting worse, go to the emergency room. Over the next couple of days, it seem to be spreading so he followed his doctor's advice and when to the emergency room. That ended up costing him with the follow visit to dermatalogist over $500, despite having health insurance, for what turned out to be an allergic reaction to limes! The next time, he has problems he will probably be much more relucant to go and get help because a $500 bill out of the blue on his salary, is not easy to cope with.

    Just this afternoon, I was writing half a dozen cheques to various medical organisations due to medical treatment my husband and I have in the past few months. What annoys me me the most is the fact everyone has to bill separately so you end up with not one bill but between 5/6 for each person you have seen for one presenting problem!

    As you know from reading the hystersisters board there are people who quite simply are dying because they cannot afford the medical care and treatment they need. Its is a disgrace and the US should be ashamed that they treat their people this way. I know of one person (not on the boards) who has been told she needs a hysterectomy but will not do it, because she can't afford it.

    Whatever the faults of the UK system and there are many, at least you can take yourself to the doctor and know you aren't going to make yourself bankrupt as consequent of that visit which leads to further treatment.

    Unfortunately, I don't see much changing over here as the health companies seem to have a strangelhold over Congress. The only way I can see it happening actually is the rise of this swine flu as its seems to becoming more virulent in the UK in recent weeks and the vaccine is proving difficult to grow.

    Hope that your insurance hold up whilst you are going through this treatment but I think $10,000 would be causing me lots of sleepless nights and you aren't even done yet!

  2. Well since I have paid my annual out of pocket, I will not have to pay for anything until the year end after which I will have to pay up until the first 10 thousand again.

    My insurance is not great, I was refused insurance initially because I had been to a doctor about vaginal bleeding a year before.....