Friday, September 30, 2011

Think Pink

Tomorrow begins Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Pink will be everywhere.  And countless lives will be saved due to walks, races, and parties contributing to further research.

A few years ago, I underwent a lumpectomy.  I was lucky.  The mass that was removed was while not benign, still in pre-cancerous formation.  That was a new term I had to learn in a hurry.  It seems cells go through a process before turning into cancer and mine were caught in time.  And I was lucky that I had insurance at the time.  The insurance covered the surgery and the pathology..neither of them inexpensive.

Now we come to today.  I am still considered at risk but I no longer have health insurance.  My husband's employer made the decision that spouses were not worth covering so set up the insurance plan that the employee pays $10 a check for their coverage and an additional $300 per check to add a spouse.  When it comes to the value of an employee's family versus her personal profit margin, the profit margin will always win.

And there are no other options available.  My husband makes enough to provide for us and pay the bills.  But that also puts us in the class of being too "wealthy" to qualify for any kind of health insurance assistance.  I am one of millions of Americans who is falling through the cracks of our health care system.

There are programs available for free mammograms.  But even if I take advantage of that...I can't afford whatever treatment or further testing might be required.  So I have made the decision not to get my mammogram this year.

My point in all this?  If you have insurance, get your mammogram!!!  You have a resource available to save your life.  Use it!!!  This simple test removes fear.  There is absolutely no excuse not to get one if you have insurance to cover the cost of your care.  If you are a man reading this, share it with every woman you love.  Keep them in your lives.

In plain English?  Don't be me.

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