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, April 16, 2009

Taking the Power Back

I hope you’re all still listening.
Where have all my commenters gone?
Just because I’m in cancer limbo, AGAIN, waiting for months, AGAIN, to figure out a plan of treatment action does not mean I’ve stopped with my goals to educate everybody who will listen about the struggles of cancer life.
Now, you don’t want to miss out on that do you?
I have been busy and missing some writing days, but now I’m back.
I’m feeling liberated. I’m feeling empowered.
My advocacy work has done for me what therapists, medications, and lots of loved friends, family, and fans have had difficulty doing.
I don’t feel powerless anymore.
I feel strong.
I can do my best to control my cancer. I can take my medications religiously. I can eat a special diet. I can surround myself with loving, funny, energetic people, but I still feel helpless.
I still feel my body has been taken away from me. That is a sense of loss no human should ever suffer.
However, I can control what I do with my experience.
I can make my disease purposeful.
I spoke to the NH Senate Finance Committee last evening on behalf of myself with the support of The American Cancer Society.
I asked that the state raise the cigarette tax to fund The Cancer Plan, which is a cancer prevention initiative within the state. You can see the speech below. I also suggested that any money obtained in this manner be used for epidemiological research.
We’ll see how successful I was.
I do know hospitals are receiving 2 million in stimulus money. NH has also received money to review possible solutions for healthcare reform.
My patients as partners idea is a very simple, cost effective idea that would be easy to use diffusely, not only across the state, but across all the states.
The simple act of transparency has lowered costs before.
A study published in 2002 entitled “What happened to term life rates? In the Journal of Political Economy determined the cause was transparency in the purchasing process stemming from online comparison sites (“What Happened to Term-Life Rates?” See Jeffrey R. Brown and Austan Goolsbee, “Does Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry,” Journal of Political Economy 110, no. 3 (June 2002), pp.481-507)
Suddenly the difficult task of understanding which plan meets a person’s needs for the least amount of money was made easy. Competitors were forced to lower their prices to remain in business. The barrier of understanding the language and process of purchasing insurance was removed. The expert/consumer gap was narrowed
Consumers could now buy insurance, and make educated decisions regarding their needs efficiently.
This simple action put 1 billion dollars into American consumer’s pockets.
Can you imagine what transparency combined with streamlining procedures could do to ensure the most efficient, quality care can be administered?
I think it could revolutionize healthcare.


Anonymous said...

I'm still here. I love reading your blog. If you take a day off I'm so disappointed. You keep going.

Don't you dare stop.

Jane Owen

Anonymous said...

You are making a difference Hillary! You keep talking - I'll keep reading.

Anonymous said...


I ready your blog everyday, and sometimes I am overwhelmed and just don't have the right words to indicate how impressed I am with your courage and fortitude.

But please don't stop writing...


Bekah said...

You write.
We read.

Sending Love,

Susan said...

I sit + read your blogs every couple of days. I'm amazed @ how well you express yourself even when you don't feel well! This is my first comment, but I started reading about 6 months ago. I don't know you, but I feel like I do because of how well you write. Even if I don't always send comments, please know that I am reading!