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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Monday, December 15, 2008

I found this on The Keene Sentinel’s web site:

In a sign that candidate Barack Obama was serious about improving Americans’ access to health care, President-elect Obama has chosen former U.S. senator Tom Daschle to help put together a plan, as his secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle is a longtime advocate of universal health care, and he is asking Americans for advice on how to achieve it. He envisions a series of house parties to discuss proposals, and he is soliciting individual comment on the Web at

YES!! THAT IS or to go DIRECTLY to the share page
Please do this. If you don’t know what to say, go with me
If you are a SHAMLESS advocate, and I encourage you all to be with government officials, you can program your email to resend every 5 minutes, hour, etc. THIS ENSURES YOUR OPINION WILL NOT BE IGNORED.
Cut and paste from my site or say what you need to say.



You can just PUSH MY SITE. Recommend your favorite postings: The Death of Common Sense? How to Guide to fight for reimbursement? Health Care Black Hole. My MEDCO video. Or “Work it out: Surviving Insurance.” Or My Health Care is Killing Me.

Just say “Health care is a right. Our current system interferes with our right to life. See

Tell them they can hear opinions from the sickest of the sick!


Thank you in advance for helping me advocate.

Don’t be afraid to be pushy! Change doesn’t always get made by being polite.
Try to keep it short and concise, but feel free to repeat your message.


Here’s an Option from previous postings
• Buy generic if possible, and price shop. Check Rxaminer and DestinationRx. Some stores offer big discounts on generics. If you shop online, chose a provider accredited by VIPPS, Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. Never buy from an online pharmacy that doesn't require a prescription. • Ask your doctor and pharmacist if alternative therapies or over-the-counter medications will provide the same results. Check Consumer Reports' Best Buy Drugs.• Buy store-brand or off-brand OTC drugs, which are often identical to their more expensive brand-name cousins.• Ask your doctor to double the dosage so you can use a pill splitter to cut costs. Ask for free samples.• Go to RxAssist to learn about drug discount cards.• Low- and no-cost health care • Here are some of the resources available for various kinds of treatment: • Routine and diagnostic care: Hundreds of community health centers around the country offer free or low-cost care. To find a site near you, visit the Bureau of Primary Health Care. • The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on state health departments, which provide additional clinics and resources for the uninsured.• The CDC also has a guide for women looking for low-cost mammograms and Pap smears. The American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 can direct you to services that provide free or cheap screenings for various types of cancer.• Keep an eye out, too, for any health fairs sponsored by local employers or community organizations. Free and low-cost screenings for common ailments, from depression to high cholesterol, are a routine part of these festivals.These are just a few tips I’ve discovered through my research as both a nurse and a patient. Speak up and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to your Doctor, Practitioner, or nurse. They can generally guide you to the person within the hospital who handles these types of problems.


I sold my husband for health care coverage. I know what you’re thinking. I’m being extreme. Before you judge, let’s do some math. Let’s look at the real price of health care.
In April 2006, when I was diagnosed with lymphoma, I had short term, long term, and life insurance. My husband held the health care policy. I was making $65,000 yearly as an RN with shift differentials, over time, and bonuses. My base pay, however, was $36,900. This was calculated based on my regular time day shift pay at thirty-six hours per week. When I became sick, short term disability insurance only covered 60% of my base pay. That equals about $22,140 yearly. That’s a pay cut of $42,860. Ouch, that is one tough pay cut to swallow.
Then, to add insult to injury, I had to have a biopsy to confirm my diagnosis. My insurance deductable was $2500 at the time. I reached that number in one swoop. That’s $22,140-2500= $19640. Then I would see my specialist weekly at $30 a visit, and the medications for the nausea caused by my chemotherapy were $10-40 each. These expenses were known costs associated with my illness that my husband and I were able to manage. My co-payments equaled $3600 in the first year of my illness. $19,640-3600= $16,040.
Four months later, on July 7 2008, I started a clinical trial at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
On July 9 2008, my husband underwent a bowel resection at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
But wait, he was our insurance policy holder! No work, means no insurance. No work means you have to pay the dreaded COBRA at $1600 a month for a family (and that’s a deal. Health care cost go up at 3x the rate of inflation or 40% in 2008) with a $6000 deductable. Failure to comply with these rules and allowing our insurance to lapse would label us as having “pre-existing conditions” and make us uninsurable for life! We had all ready paid up our $4000 deductable for my health (an increase due to the change in his companies insurance) plus countless dollars in traveling and co-pays.
Disability also means you receive 60% of your base pay. Ouch, our wallets are hurting. Let’s do the math.
Let’s say my husband made $50,000 yearly at the time of his illness. He’s now down to 60% of his pay or $30,000. Not too shabby. This would bring in $2500 monthly tax free from disability insurance, but now we had to pay $1600 monthly to keep our insurance or $19,200 yearly ( $30000-19200=10,800). Then we would have a $6000 deductable ($10,800-6000=$4800)
From a solidly middle class family with an enviable combined income of $115,000 we know had Forty-Eight Hundred dollars for a family of three for food, taxes, housing, travel, etc.
Could you afford to get sick?
Please see for more examples.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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