Truth be told, I would much rather fix the health care and health insurance system in this country than pay my medical bills. But the reality is, I still have to pay my medical bills.
Remember that scan two weeks ago that made me cry? Despite all the phone calls and the time spent trying to get my insurance straightened out beforehand to avoid the crying, I still received a letter from the insurance company saying the scan wasn’t covered and that I owe $8,000.
My oncologist called this the “stupid price” of the scan. He said no insurance company pays $8,000 for a PET-CT, and almost no individual without insurance has to pay that much either. He lost me back at stupid price–wait–why isn’t there just one price?
I’m finding that there isn’t just one answer or one price for almost anything in health care. And that almost nothing is cheap. I take three types of chemo; none of them are generic. I see my oncologist at least once per month: more, if my blood counts aren’t cooperating (like this month). I have at least three other doctors that I sometimes see for hormonal issues that come with having an NET, my surgery-induced diabetes, or more surgery. I get a scan every two months. I don’t have to pay the “stupid price,” but I usually have to pay at least a couple hundred dollars. I also just turned 26. Which is good, because it means I got to celebrate my birthday, but it also means my policy got a lot more expensive. But I have a pre-existing condition and no insurance company wants to cover me–so a $500/month premium is my best option.
That’s a lot.
I’m torn between wanting to give it all up and go back to my pre-cancer, bare-bones monthly budget (on an island where health care doesn’t exist) and wanting to keep living and feeling relatively good–at a high price. I believe to some extent in eating right and exercising, but, I don’t believe that any of these alternative cures that have been flooding my inbox are going to cure me. So if i’m going to keep living and writing and dancing, I am, realistically, going to need some help.
Many of you have been asking how you can help. You can help by sharing my video and by continuing to send your words of encouragement. Or you can Give Forward (or visit my “Help” page for more information). I’m trying to raise $10,000–which is ambitious–but if things keep going as they are, it will cover the organization’s 7% cut (which is low), plus, most of my insurance premiums and doctor’s visits and prescriptions for one year. At which point I will finish grad school and hopefully, maybe, get on top of my finances again. If that’s possible when you get diagnosed with chronic cancer. Or i’ll decide to move to that island.