Monday, April 30, 2007


I think for the most part I've tried to refrain from posting on here when I'm really angry or upset about something.
I figure then it'll just sound like me whining. And even though my nickname as a child used to be "Becca-Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnneeerrrrrrr", I really hate whining.
When I do it, I hate the sound of it coming out of my mouth. So I've attempted to not come on here and gripe like it's my fourth grade journal.

But I'm just in about the foulest mood you could ever imagine right now. There isn't much else to do BUT whine in this instance.

Here's the scenario. I don't have health insurance. I had COBRA insurance from my former employer before getting diagnosed. It was crappy crappy coverage, but it was still coverage. However, COBRA ran out in February (coincidently just about when I finished chemotherapy. although that didn't really matter much b/c the COBRA benefits had been maxed out for months prior to that).

I cannot NOT have insurance. I need follow up PETscans and Upper Endoscopies pretty much indefinitely. So it was imperative I get insurance. I can't get it through my current employer b/c I am parttime, they are non-profit, etc etc.

So I hear about this program through the state of Illinois called ICHIP (Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Program). If you're approved, you can get covered, with no pre-existing condition, etc etc.

I applied, and got approved. Great news right? All worries solved for now?


The premium is $425ish a month. A MONTH?!? I can BARELY make $350 a month for rent, let alone regular utility bills, cell phone bill, and we're not even looking in the direction of my more than $40,000 in student loans. Nor am I even thinking about the way more than $125,000 still remaining in medical/surgical/treatment bills.

I just don't get it. I truly just can't see a solution. I do not have this amount of money. I do not have the option for making anywhere near enough at my current job. I am struggling to find a second job, or just a whole new job all together, due to the demands and constraints of this new plumbing system I had installed. I can't seem to be able to work a normal 8 hour shift with regularity. I'm lucky that my current employer is so understanding and flexible and has been there with me through it all already.

I don't apparently qualify for Social Security, SSI, Disability, Medicaid, etc. For who knows what reason.

I just don't understand. I feel very defeated. Very discouraged.

I don't know how people do it. How am I expected to pay this? It'd be one thing if I was just a normally broke fresh out of college kid. But I don't get a fresh start on this. I get to be held back by a year of treatment and surgery, barely able to work, and of course incruing massive debt well beyond even the most well established persons income. (let alone that I was not well established previously)

You always hear how a medical crisis just shatters people, not merely emotionally and psychologically, but financially as well. And I know the stories. But it's hard to fathom when it's you in that position. It's hard to dig yourself out of that pit of worry, anxiety, and fear. This wierd obligation I have. I've never imagined the statement "stuck between a rock and a hard place" to ever be so true. though for me it's essentially a life or death kinda true.

And well. That's it. I don't even have anything more to say. I barely can muster the energy to be angry. it's just too heavy. I'd rather just sink into a corner and disappear. money, insurance, the health care industry...all be damned.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The after effects noone mentions

I know i know i know....i'mma bad bad blogger.

I've been on a itty bitty break. Sorta forgot bout writing. No real good reason. Other than maybe, trying to get back to living.

It's cool seeing all the comments on here though. Sometimes people comment and I realize I have no way to answer em back. Which is sorta sad.
I want you guys all to know I do read every comment and I'm so honored, flattered, touched, surprised, embarrassed, and humbled that anyone even reads what I have to say.

It was really cool that I got a comment on my last entry from a nurse that I had at Cleveland Clinic in September for my surgery. It feels awesome that they not only remember me, but actually got online to see how I was doing.

And for anyone that I've come across in this mad journey that is cancer...I'm doing well. I think about lots of the nurses and fellows and doctors I've come in contact with often. Believe it or not.

I remember one nurse (or nurse aid?) at cleveland clinic who sat in my room when my mom was out doing errands, and talked to me for the longest time about her sister, and their quest to decorate her sisters house by going to every yard sale they could find.

And I remember the Radiation Therapist who would buy at least 2 of my "CANCER SUCKS" bracelets every time she saw me (and seeing as I was there mon-fri for five weeks straight...that's alot of bracelets). She single-handedly outfitted almost every person working in radiation and the CT Scan dept.

And I remember the Stoma nurse from Cleveland emailing me months after surgery to see how I was doing, and to say how great my stoma looked.

And not even just in the medical area. From the first day I told people at work what was going on, the person that runs the cafe in my job decided there wasn't alot he could do to help me, but the one thing he could do was feed me for free the entire time I was in treatment. I didn't even realize til I came back from surgery and having not worked for two months how much of a help this was to me.

A friend who I didn't even know for too long, or too well at the time found out what was going on and singlehandedly organized, and executed an amazing classical concert as a fundraiser for me in a city that I had never lived or visited, on a school campus which I never attended, nor had any connection to.

And the Radiation Doctor who ended up leaving to a new hospital right on my last day of radiation, but made sure she was the one who saw me on my final day, and then gave me her personal cell phone number in case I had any problems later on.

A nurse that my mom works with, but whom I've never met decided her family and her would not give each other presents this christmas, but instead take money they would have bought presents with, and donated it to my fundraising.

There were so many people I crossed paths with that made the experience just a bit more bearable, and helped me continue to feel like a person rather than a number or a disease. This teeny tiny blog entry doesn't touch on even half. I wish I could detail out for you all how many amazing things that have happened due to such an awful diagnosis.
I felt I needed to take a sec to reflect on some of the more positive notes and all the great people I'm lucky enough to have in my life. Since I'm not in the greatest of moods right now, and my next entry will probably be a wwwwwhhhoooooollllleeee lot more negative.

but first...sleep is an order.

obrigado gentes