Just Don’t Get Cancer :)

“Don’t worry,” my doctor reassured me when I asked about what it would cost to see him if I lost my health insurance due to the recent change in administration.  Such a benign way of putting it… change in administration….

“I will still see you for a reasonable charge if you don’t have insurance.  Just don’t get cancer….”  He smiled.  It was an odd joke, but I took it for the reassurance he meant it to be.

Until he found a lump in my breast when doing the physical exam.  Laying there as he dictated to the nurse, “left breast, nodule, one o’clock…,” that’s about the point I stopped listening.  And just focused on his face.  The poor fellow really regretted his joke.  I could see it replaying over and over in his head.

Later, sitting precariously on the examination table’s edge, reclothed, straight-backed, mind whirling-avoiding-whirling-avoiding, I smiled at the doctor when he came back into the room.  I didn’t want him to feel bad.  Or awkward.  He is one of the nicest doctors I’ve ever had.

I received my instructions to stop coffee for a month, after which I would have another physical exam and then a mammogram.  Coffee, for those of you not-in-the-know, can make breast tissue extra lumpy and dense for some women and, worse, very painful for that life-saving torture procedure known as a mammography.

Don’t worry.

Everything came out fine.  No cancer.

This time.

My birthday this year will not be a Fabulous-and-60 affair.  It will be a Hold-your-breath-because-it-is-still-five-years-until-I-am-65-and-somewhat-safe birthday.  Five years until I can get health insurance through Medicare.

Oh well.

I understand and appreciate that there are many, many, many folks out there who would resent the fact that I am a “taker.”  The federal government, through ObamaCare, assists me tremendously with my health insurance premiums.  “Why aren’t you out working and paying your own way?” they may politely inquire.

“Well, I tried.  My business failed.  I couldn’t get a job.  I took another path,” I respectfully reply.

And it looks like that pathway is closing.  Depending upon what happens with all of the politics storming around this excruciatingly basic, human need for simple, affordable health care, I may or may not be able to afford what comes next.

Just don’t get cancer.

And I will be fine.

But what about all those who do get cancer?  And heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and a host of other scary conditions that tend to be all about someone else way over there somewhere until they hit you smack in the gut close to home.

I remember a few years ago in Virginia there was a crazy news story about a state legislator who was attacked and injured by his very own son with a knife.  Sadly, his son was in dire need of mental health care but there were no beds available in the state system so he had to remain at home.  And that is where he came after his dad one day with a nice big butcher knife.  After the attack, his politician father went on the warpath to make sure that state resources would be available to meet mental health issues such as theirs.  As if it was a new issue.  Self interest.  Moves all.

Self interest.

Moves all.

And in the interest of full disclosure?  Honesty?  My own self interest?  I don’t want a cataclysmic health condition to either:  1) outright kill me because I can’t afford to go to the doctor for something that could easily save me or, 2) strip away all of my resources so that when I exit from the crisis I am a destitute pauper.

That’s all.

I apologize to my readers out there who come here for a light hearted view of life.  I apologize to any readers who would like to comment.  Like my post preceding the 2016 Presidential election, this post will also be closed for comment.  Chalk it up to my deep and abiding need to avoid conflict.  You can yell at me all you like.  I just don’t want people I care about to have to hear it, too.  🙂

(This post is dedicated to my three knights in shining armor:  Dr. Raymond L., Michael M., and Greg H.  Thank you for watching out for this old girl, each in your own way.)