Survivors

Survivors
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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • I celebrated my 11th anniversary with my hubby on January 22nd this year, and had my pap test scheduled for the following day with a nurse-midwife and my physicians office.

    I hadnt had a pap test since my daughter was born 7 years prior, and because of some heavy discharge and cramps that I had been having, I figured what the heck, I just got my health insurance from my job and since I am paying for it I am going to use it.

    Of course, later on that week I got a call while I was opening my store for the day from the nurse-midwife with the test results. I was instantly on guard because it had been like 3 days since the pap test. She told me that I had an abnormal pap smear showing significant signs of CIN2/3, with high squamous epithelial lesions and carcinoma in situ. Of course I was in shock because I couldnt really process what she was saying and she wasnt saying anything that I as a normal person understood, so when I asked her to spell out the words for me, she got a bit irritated and asked me, "Dont you understand what I am telling you?! You have Cervical Cancer."

    One thing about me, is I dont understand "Dr. Talk" very well, so I take what it is they are saying and look it up to basically dumb it down for myself, something I learned while dealing with my moms cancer.

    Anyway, I stayed at work for the majority of the day, trying to process what was going on, and finally went home to do my research.

    Taking the nurse-midwifes advice, I began looking into getting a colposcopy done, double checking with my insurance and scheduling the appointment with my GYN. And here my battles really began.

    I scheduled myself for a colposcopy with my GYN, which I had done. A week and a half later my GYNs nurse calls me with the results showing the same that was on the pap test as well as high dysplasia covering over 1/3 of my cervix. She also tells me that I cannot wait even 6 months before dealing with this. And that was it. No advice on what to do or anything. Numerous calls were made to the GYN and nada.

    So of course, I started to do my homework. One of the things I was looking at are possible treatments and comparing them to the cost and of course what coverages I have with my insurance. You see, I am an average American citizen that lives an average life. I come from a family that lives paycheck to paycheck.

    After 6 months of research, I have come to the conclusion that I as a woman deserve more than just a band aide fix. I deserve to have treatment for this that is more than just "We will try this and see how it goes from there". Why would anyone settle for that.

    Having stressed on this pre-cancer diagnosis for the last 6 months, everything finally came to a head. I finally got a hold of my GYN and asked him why he never recommended that I have a Hysterectomy and his response to me was that if I was his wife or daughter that would have been his first recommendation, but he was not medically obligated to let me know that.

    So with that I checked out the coverage portion of the $20,000 procedure, and found out that my insurance coverage was next to nothing, especially when they ask for 20% down as good faith money.

    So this leaves me with the question, "How could I as a mother, bankrupt my family, losing everything we have, which by no means is much, to pay for a procedure that may or may not work."

    I deserve to stay healthy for myself, my husband, and my children, but why, with all of the other stresses that I have associated with what is going on should have to question the financial affordability of staying alive because the insurances that I have been paying for are not there for me when I need them to be.

    So thus, I am no longer working, no longer under the same insurance, waiting for my husbands insurance to kick in, but as we all know, I now have the magic words associated with me "Pre-Existing Condition" and am no longer covered.
  • 08-15 -2010
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