It didn’t take long after my diagnosis to know that I can’t afford to have cancer. I can’t afford my electric bill or groceries some months let alone thousands and thousands of dollars to cancer treatment. In fact, the reason I hadn’t been to the doctor in six years was because I couldn’t afford it and my co-pay is $40. It took even less time for my girls to suggest to my sister a GoFundMe because #murica, and my crappy insurance and my out of pocket would bankrupt me, and they were really worried about it.
Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in this country. And I didn’t research it, but I’ll bet medical bills are the main source of GoFundMes, too.
My stepmom said not everyone deserves good insurance and went on to tell me why universal healthcare wouldn’t work. My eyes glazed over. She’s had cancer twice and is far from bankrupt. She has the good insurance because my dad worked for the government. He didn’t have the good cancer because he died three weeks after being diagnosed, but she had the good cancer(s) and good insurance. And why doesn’t everyone deserve it? Do I not deserve good insurance or co-pays and deductibles that don’t bankrupt me just because I didn’t marry well ?
Cancer is so expensive even with insurance. I had to get a crash course in insurance to find out how much I actually have to pay out of pocket and I hope I was right. I called and had them explain why there were three or four amounts listed on my claim forms. Well, one is the amount it actually costs, one is the amount the insurance agrees to pay, one amount is what the insurance actually pays, and one is what I owe. And that all falls on to me until I pay that $1,250 deductible and then I cover 20% until I reach my max out of pocket.
When I first got my colonoscopy and my sweet doctor said it might be quick and painless, I thought, “I hope they wrap this up before the end of the year so I don’t have to pay another year of deductibles and co-pays.” I was so naïve. I’m seasoned now. The lady at the insurance company said, “You’ll have to pay that deductible again when the first of the year comes.” And I said, “I know, I got cancer at the wrong time of the year.” She said, “That’s okay.”
And here’s where I thank everyone who contributed to my GoFundMe. Knowing I won’t go bankrupt and my cancer is curable is a blessing. I know how blessed I am, but just know I was against it. It’s embarrassing telling people you can’t provide for yourself. And I had Moonshine and Tenderheart’s college-age friends donating their last $10 to a grown woman who can’t afford cancer treatment.
However, everyone has been so amazing and generous. And it’s not just monetary, I’ve had people bring meals, which saves me on having to figure out what we’re going to eat. I’ve had people who I haven’t heard from in years reach out every day to see how I’m doing. Little stuff like that really lifts my spirits on weekends when I can’t unclench my teeth or I’ll vomit. And I once said in my old blog not to reach out to me if I’m on my death bed and we haven’t talked in years, but I’ve changed my mind about it.
Note: One of my favorites was my friend who said she wouldn’t be reliable for anything I need, but she’ll be there if I ever want to vent. I love someone who knows their limitations.
And so many stories. Cancer affects everyone. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t been touched in some way by cancer. And I love you and I love your stories, so keep reaching out.
Also, I’m posting my GoFundMe for the last time. I should send it to Joe from Craigslist who scammed me out of $300 for a broken refrigerator.
My sister posted some updates on the update tab, and I really do appreciate everyone who’s contributed. I’ll especially be thinking about you in July when I get part of my colon cut out and have to have an ileostomy bag for two months. I’d say, “Kill me,” but cancer’s already trying to do that.