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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Thursday, December 4, 2008


Democrats have all ready discussed health care reform since President select Obama was elected. They are proposing mandating health insurance for all once it is made affordable so people will not wait until they are sick to buy insurance and receive care. It’s theorized this is the partial cause of rising health care costs. It is tied to “supply and demand,” the US’s business foundation.

Once it is made affordable. . … . Hmmmm.

I think that is going to take longer than I would like. Obama supports mandating health insurance for children. Children are relatively healthy and cheap to insure. The bill is all ready written and was approved, but vetoed by Bush. I think this would be a good place to start.

I hope it gets voted on Jan. 20, 2009. That sounds like a good first day in office.

It’s scare time, and yes, you all should know about my favorite scary stories are about hospital horrors due to our overhwhelmed health care system.

I’m feeling optimistic and empowered today, I’ll give you some information, but I’ll include words of wisdom on how to cope and navigate through the terror.

Before I tell you, I want to talk about a young college girl from NH who was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. I’d guess about 2002, we were the same age.
We were the same age because she died.
During her battle, she was forced to attend college full-time at Plymouth State University, because without the advantage of being a full-time student, she would have lost her health insurance she held under her parents.
Can you imagine the devastation and the stress to fight for your life and deal with insurance?
It’s no surprise she died, “The uninsured are more likely to die prematurely than the insured, with various studies putting the mortality rate for the uninsured somewhere between 1.2 times to 1.6 times the rate for the insured.” (
Her parents and the state of NH changed the laws so this will NEVER happen again.
But it is, everyday, in different ways. Please see “I Sold My Husband for Health Insurance” if you’ve forgotten.
Jon and I had two concurrent thereapies in July. He had a bowel resection due to his crohn’s. I had moved to Boston to receive a chemotherapy trial drug. Jon, despite three hundred sutures and 20” of his bowel removed, kept working, He could not afford to both be disabled and lose our health insurance. The COBRA would’ve cost us $1200 a month. Our income would have been knocked down to 60% of what Jon previously made.
This college student was notorious in her life. I think every person with an interest in health in NH heard about her situation. Sometimes, I wonder if I am in the same boat.
I hope I am. I hope everyone knows about my situation and are just as appalled as I am.
I don’t want my situation to be whispered about, I want to hear people screaming about just how wrong it is to not take care of somebody who wanted to dedicate her life to take care of others.
I want everyone who reads me to email my site to everyone they know. Please forward me exponentially.
The scary fact is in the past, you might have been able to count on raises at work and a gradually improving standard of living to bail you out. But those doors are closing for many because. Incomes aren't growing the way they used to. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, median incomes are below where they were in 1999, the Census Bureau tells us.
As it seems, some people just can’t get a break, the more than 46 million Americans without coverage under 65 years old will get sick more, earn less and die earlier than those with insurance.

Going without insurance can prove devastating to more than just a bank account. It can be fatal if the uninsured ignores nagging health problems. Anonymous, after dropping his insurance, ignored pain and swelling in his legs for almost a year because he was afraid of the cost to treat it. When he died of a heart attack a year after the problem began, the coroner said he had peripheral arterial disease, a treatable condition that ultimately caused his death.
A 2007 MSN Money-Zogby poll found that nearly 25% of people surveyed had delayed or forgone medical care because it was too expensive.
If you recently lost your health insurance, or if you've never had coverage, then you're part of an unfortunate but growing national trend.
The ranks of the uninsured have grown by nearly 18% just since 2000, according to a study updated in 2006 by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. More than 46 million people under 65 lack insurance, and millions more are considered underinsured, with gaps in their coverage that leave them exposed to catastrophic medical bills.
In fact, medical bills are a factor in about half of all consumer bankruptcies filed, according to a Harvard University study.See Mine.
Are you scared yet? Because, I have more to share.
Financial troubles aren't the only risk. According to an earlier Kaiser report:
• People without health insurance receive less preventive care and are less likely to have major diseases detected early.
• The uninsured are more likely to die prematurely than the insured, with various studies putting the mortality rate for the uninsured somewhere between 1.2 times to 1.6 times the rate for the insured.
• Uninsured infants have relative odds of dying that are 1.5 times higher than infants with private insurance.
• The poorer health associated with being uninsured depresses workers' average lifetime earnings significantly. The commission estimated that better health would boost earnings by 10% to 30%.
If you don't have insurance, there are things you can do to protect your health and pocketbook.
Insured or not, you can cut your expenses for medications:
• 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.
Sorry, I went on too long. I hope I haven’t bored you, but I know some of you may need my tips to get by.

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