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Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Holidays were busy but great.  And I am reviewing grant applications again for the DoD Breast Cancer Research Funding.  That and all the other end of the year projects have had me running nonstop!  I will update more later.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taking time for the important things

Tis the season for stress and craziness.  I am certainly not immune to this but this year has come with additional challenges.  Between the economy, medical bills, having to get a new furnace etc I have been less than "Merry" this Christmas season.  But last night I had a moment of clairity.

My sister is visiting from Arizona with her kids.  Last night we got together at my grandma's to do a clothing exchange and decide what we are giving away etc.  None of us can afford to buy anything new right now so getting some of my mom's dress slacks or one of my sister's tops that she doesn't wear anymore is always a joy.  We always do this at grandma's house as it is one of the 99 year old's favorite activities.  For several hours last night my mom, my sister, my grandma and I went through tons of clothes while my sister's two youngest and my youngest ran around and played.  Girls night out on a Friday night in the retirement neighborhood!  LOL!

On the short drive home it struck me that given grandma's slowing down and my sister living so far away this was one of the last times we would all be together and have four generations laughing in the same room.  All of a sudden all my issues going on in my life melted away for a few minutes and I gave thanks that I had that time with all of them last night.  I know things are not going to get better today and might even get worse before they get better but last night with girls was a much needed and much appreciated reality check on what matters in life!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The cost of health care.

I have been pretty quiet during all the health care debates.  I will say that I agree with parts and disagree with others.  Health care reform is such a huge undertaking that it is difficult to agree with every area of it.  Also the new guidelines about mammograms says the under 50 group has too many unnecessary procedures and medical bills. 

Many of you know that in October I had to undergo more testing to make sure a new lump was just fatty tissuse and not a new tumor.  I also had to undergo testing with my gyno to make sure the tamoxifen wasn't causing other cancers to form.  So over the course of 2-3 months I had bills to my oncologist, the labs, the gyno, the breast cancer center/hospital, the radiologist (x2) and the pathologist (x2).  Now the cost of all this is still much cheaper than going through treatment again but it is still overwhelming.  The kicker for me is that we have insurance.  But I still have to cover the deductible and the co-pays etc.  Plus my medication costs currently just doubled and my premiums are going up. 

I know people who have no insurance and didn't have to pay a dime for their treatment or the surgeries, follow-ups or even other non cancer related meds while going through treatment.  So finianically it has had little to no impact on their lives.  But those of us who have insurance are now finding ourselves struggling.  The economy does not help but the medical providers want their money from those of us who they think have it!  We don't have it.  At least not all of it to all of them at the same time!  I know of women with insurance who are having to sell off everything they can and have fundraisers to help pay of the medicals because the providers want it now.

Christmas will be very slim at the Poole house because we need to make the payments on the medicals and everything else is getting so spendy.  Now I know my kids would much rather have me healthy and with them at Christmas than have presents but how can I not feel bad that we are stuggling in part due to my medicals...