Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Health Care is Killing Me

57 million people have trouble paying for their medical care reports the health sytem reconstruction committee.
My health care costs are killing me.
It’s recommended the patient become a consumer, like you were shopping for a car. Negotiate with your hospital to get a discount. Buy generics. Compare pharmacy costs and ask for the better price. Most pharmacies have a lowest price guarantee. For over the counter meds, use coupons or rebates. You’d be surprised what you can get for free. If you’re in a huge lurch, ask your doctor for samples or go to
Shop for insurance in a similar manner. Know the ins and outs of each plan before you jump in.
A medical emergency could be devastating financially. Try to be prepared by keeping the deductables on your health insurance relatively low (about $2500). This amount is the very LEAST you will be coming out of your pocket.
If you are diagnosed with a life threatening or chronic condition, search for groups that give financial aid. I’ve received money and supplies from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society.
Health care costs are predicted to double in the next 9 years.
There are over-the-counter tests available at pharmacies and also over-the-counter remedies that are effective in treating common ailments. This could save the cost of a doctor’s visit.
Also, check out alternatives if repeat checks do not relieve your symptoms. Migraines are a great example. Your diet should be changed. If anti-migraine drugs or a change in birth control fails, check out the alternative options.
Do not blame the rising costs on hospitals. Hospitals provide 34 billion dollars in uncompensated care each year. They want you to receive appropriate health care. Blame the insurance companies, blame the government, they’re the ones perpetrating this evil.
Never allow this to stop you from pursuing something you think is a significant. Bang down the door. Be obnoxious. Call, and call, and call. Cancer has very vague symptoms but most people know their bodies.
I was an ICU nurse who worked with my doctors during the period of my diagnosis. I thought their respect for my knowledge with other patients would make the diagnostic period faster.
I was wrong. I started seeing doctors in January. In late Feb I decided to stop pursuing it because I had an upcoming vacation.
When I came back, in early March, I was a whirlwind. I knew what I wanted and “no” was no longer an option.
I was diagnosed April 5 after my biopsy, but I all ready knew. I had access to all my labs and reports. I think this is what was best for me.
So bang down the door. Insist on some testing. There are relatively non-invasive tests that can be done that would make someone suspicious, you just may need to be persistent.
And don’t let embarrassment stop you. This is your life. I know this is a sensitive, hard topic to face. Just because you don’t speak it out loud does not mean it does not exist. I’ve seen many woman die this way. Waiting, wishing their body would fix itself. By the time treatment is started it’s too late. Don’t let fear stop you. Stand up for yourself.

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