After six years of battling cancer through two transplants, countless chemotherapies, surgeries, trial drugs and being saved from losing my insurance completely when Obamacare made insurance caps illegal, I've finally made it to the point where I need to ..... Get a job. Yes, even though I'm currently in treatment, so disabled sitting and working for more than two hours results in exhaustion, and limitations include avoiding people due to a compromised immune system, none of that changes that years of treatment is bankrupting my family. The constant stress of living paycheck to paycheck with weeks frequently in the red has worn on my family almost as much as the constant worry that I'll succumb to my disease. Most people don't go to work when they have a cold, how am I supposed to work with cancer? I'm disgruntled about being forced to work when I should be sick at home, recovering or enjoying the time I have with family and friends, but I'm even more bitter about why I'm too poor to live a comfortable life and battle my disease. Surviving on social security disability without so much as a cost of living increase in the past five years while congress instead voted itself raises, granted themselves frequent vacations and have not suffered any cuts to their retirement or "cadillac" healthcare plans has made me bitter. Allowing members of congress to be fully vested in taxpayer paid retirement plans that include lifelong health care immediately upon entering office, with no possibility of losing these benefits even if they leave disgraced and convicted of perjury, is wrong, especially when it's at the expense of the Americans they serve. I am one of those Americans. Congress, in governing itself, has given itself too much power causing the vast disparity between the rich and poor, and created systems that allow the rich to get richer often by whipping the backs of hard working middle americans who fall on hard times essentially punishing those who choose to contribute by either not making enough to join the elite or by making too much to be given assistance. I'm not the first, patient that has been forced to work during treatment. I've actually been fortunate to have stayed home for so long. Many people take little or no time off to fight their cancer due to common employer practices that include reducing hours so the employer is no longer obligated to pay for health insurance. Yes, the stories about human resources entering the hospital room of an employee patient to announce they no longer have health insurance is true. Talk about a kick when you're down. As if losing your health insurance at the start of a marathon battle with illness isn't bad enough, this action is sometimes done retroactively, leaving a person who thought they had insurance when having surgery or beginning chemotherapy with huge medical bills. And yes, this is all legal. It's practiced under the idea that business is business and is not personal. Of course, it's not personal until it happens to you. I'd love to stay and ramble my frustrations, but I have to go work now.
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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."