Monday, April 16, 2012

Let's talk about boobs. And let's throw in some ovaries as well.

I bet you were hoping I would flash some boob for you, but alas... I have failed you. There will be no gratuitous boob flashing here this evening, but instead let's talk about something that I've always felt was wrong but now that I'm a victim of it I'm even more enraged.

Which is how every good vigilante starts out.

I will start this off by saying I am a huge supporter of breast cancer awareness and prevention. I feel my boobies regularly and suggest you all do the same. Apparently though, I kind of suck at it? At my last doctor's appointment about two weeks ago or so she felt a lump. Not a huge one, not something glaringly obviously, but noticeably different than the other boob. She tells me I have very fiber cystic boobs anyways so it could very well mean nothing, more so because my period was about to happen and that kind of shit happens when your ovaries decide to attack you.

It's awesome to be a girl.

The only alarming thing was that in the back of my head I heard the exact same thing about the same boob at my OB appointment back in like November. Not one to jump to conclusions like a crazy white girl, I remain pretty calm and noncommittal about it. Then the doctor starts asking me about family health history and I wasn't super clear on it so I told her what I did know. My mom has had a biopsy, my maternal grandmother had a double mastectomy and eventually died from breast cancer (second bout of it). Her mother died of it as well even after a mastectomy. An aunt or something had breast cancer as well. Everybody was in their early 30's when it was first diagnosed and they all died by age 60. Except my mom who's never had it and is just fine now. But as I'm saying this, a little bit of dread comes creeping up my neck and I think... well shit. I always thought I'd die of a brain tumor but alas, my fucking boobs might be waging a sneak attack. Whores.

That's when my doctor flat out tells me that it's not a matter of if I'll have breast cancer, it's more like when. Well golly gee, that makes me just happy to hear. But she's right. I could do all of the genetic testing in the world but if you were a gambler, you'd gamble on me having breast cancer eventually.

So we go through the procedure of contacting my insurance about getting a mammogram and guess what they tell us? That I am not eligible to have my mammogram covered until I'm 40. FORTY. That's in ten years. A DECADE. I could very well be dead by then.

Now, I think this is some kind of bull shit because as a tax payer I am appalled that my government has nothing for me. Wouldn't you think an insurance company would rather pay for preventative things rather than surgery, chemo, and every other expensive treatment out there? You'd think that but you'd be wrong. The pisser of this was that the doctor, who was just as pissed off as I was, tells me if I lived in Canada and had universal health care this wouldn't even be a question. There would be no discussion it would just be assumed I could get this preventative care. But here? GOD FORBID we do such a thing.

So what do I do? Here are my options:

A) Wait until I'm 40 and hope for the best.
B) Get a mammogram and pay out of pocket. This would be a huge financial burden on us. I can't even ask Matt to work another hour of overtime because he is consistently at 70+ hours a week at work as it is.
C) Try to see if I can get an ultrasound instead and see if that would detect anything suspicious. Even if it did, I'd be right back at B again.

What I'm going to do:

I am going to call the insurance company yet again tomorrow to see if I can get a mammogram. I hope that maybe if I get someone who speaks fluent English and is the owner of two boobs and a vagina, I can get a better answer. Failing that, I'm going to ask about the ultrasound. Ultimately, I will be making an appointment for something because to not do anything would be reckless and irresponsible considering I have a family to think about. Unfortunately, we're in the always fucked over Middle Class living the American Dream, so we do not qualify for any programs to help defray the cost of things like this. It just frustrates me that resources out there who are meant to help people are either not there or are being used up by people who are fully capable of helping themselves and choose not to. (I'm talking to you, Mrs. Prada purse carrying, designer clothes wearing, Hummer driving welfare recipient buying Cheetos at the grocery store because you flat out tell the cashier you have the worst fucking munchies in a week, as you drive back to your income housing. Yeah, I'm pretty sure you could get a real job if you had none of the handouts that let you afford all of this.)

And can I just say I am really pissed off about all of the birth control debate right now? Seriously, I don't think any man has a right to say whether or not birth control should be covered under a health insurance plan or not. The fact is, some of us take it for reasons other than contraceptive. And not all of us are whores. I have to take it because my insurance won't cover Matt to get the big snip snip, and I'm sorry- I don't have $1500 just laying around. But if I have to pay for a mammogram and he works more hours, that might just work itself out since I'll never see him and getting pregnant won't be a concern.

Ah-- I see what you did there, Government. Sneaky bitches.

I'd also like to know how its fair that rulings and laws and such are made based on religion or what could very well end up being a book of fiction? Really? Not everyone is Christian, why should we have to live by the rules of that general faith? I don't get it. If you don't believe in birth control or abortions or whatever, then don't do it. Why can't it just be that simple? Why can't we offer the choice to everyone and if it suits you, super. If not, no harm done?

But the bottom line? Every time I hear someone bitch about Obama, ObamaCare, or Democrats? I get angry. Because I feel like until you are in a position like this or where Matt and I have worked so hard to get back from, you don't get it. Unless you know what it's like to not qualify for WIC while pregnant but can't buy milk for your daughter? I kind of feel like you shouldn't have a say in any of this. Especially these people who are grossly wealthy telling me that moving towards a universal healthcare would only make everything worse. Oh yes, because what we have now is so stellar.

So. Think happy thoughts about my boobies, even though I'm sure it's nothing and I'm just angry and hyper sensitive and frustrated. No matter what, I will get checked out even if it means I sell one or both of my cats into prostitution or breeding. Matt and I both have good kidneys, maybe we can each sell one. Who knows. But it'll happen and I'll keep you updated. It'll be fine, but just think of people like me who get stuck in these ridiculous predicaments because people don't consider the consequences of refusing to compromise with others.


Ruth said...

I can't believe your doctor found a lump and your insurance denied you anyway.
That is a bunch of shit. I thought about hospitals and their payment plans, but realized, you are probably in my boat. Too much to get discounted help or for a payment plan.
What about the Susan G. Komen Foundation? Maybe they have something that could help. If I think of anything that might help, I will let you know.

Ashley said...

The American health care system baffles me. While up here we have long wait lists for non-life threatening surgeries like knee replacements and ER waits are horrendous if you're not dying (and let's face it, dying people should get priority in the ER even if they got there after you!), the fact that people don't go bankrupt to receive medical care makes it the clear winner. It's not perfect (my doctor is a two hour drive away), but it's good.

I can't believe you can't get a mammogram. It's an effing glorified boob squisher for goodness sakes. Here's hoping that it's just an asshole of a cyst.

____j said...

I hope that you're able to get your mammogram [through your insurance] and I hope that it reveals no lumps, and that your mind will be at ease.

Nikolett said...

That is such utter shit that you have to wait ten years just to get covered for a mammogram. I hope that you manage to get an appointment and that everything is OK ... you deserve the right to know about your health and to maintain your health.

Stacia said...

I had the same thing happen, but I was 40, and the fibroids were looked at by mammogram and they did an ultrasound right after to verify. I don't know the diff, but that's my experience.

As far as cost, does the hospital have a type of "fund" set up that if you can't pay, they cover it for you? You'd think with your history, they would cover it. Healthcare sucks, esp with preventative procedures. I'm sorry you have to thru this, but you're a fighter and you'll get it taken care of. It frustrates me too, the whole hummer driving people that can live free on the government.

Don't sell your kidneys. Hope you get a good nights sleep.


RandomRambler said...

Well, you could always take option D--move to Canada.

But yes, universal healthcare would definitely be preferable to the United States' current system.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

This really pisses me off too not that I am affected since I am in Aus but for you, here we get free mamograms if we are over 50 unless you have a family history of breast cancer such as you have then you get it free no matter what your age.....
I am hoping you get something sorted out as it is just not right........

Life Love & High Heels said...

Tell your boobs to get their shit together, because I will not let you get cancer. That's an order. :)

Also- I'm personally for ObamaCare. Sure shit can be scary of something, oh idk... NEW.... but seriously- everyone SHOULD have access to healthcare.

Josie said...

I am thinking tons of happy thoughts for you and both your boobies. And just a suggestion.....if you can't afford it, someone could always start a 'Save Sara's Boobies' fund. Just saying. Cause you're awesome.

Adelina Lee said...

iS True if you have cancer I am sorry for what happened yag and I salute you for your struggle and your suamin to get charge for it. Mudah2an what you expect immediately reached ...

Via : Strep Throat Symptoms

Jennifer Kay said...

See if this website can help at all...people are saying the American Cancer Society pays for one per year, maybe you can get one.

Jon thinks your boobs are too good to be cut off so soon.

Ang said...

that's bullshit Sara.
My family has a long history of boob cancer too, so I'm actively feeling myself up. I also have fibercystic boobs, so that makes it 100 times harder to tell if a lump truly is a lump. fuck!

Last month I had my yearly exam and asked my doc "I know the general guideline is 40 years old for a mam, but should I be thinking about getting one?" She told me that the new practice is if a family member (mother, grandmother, etc.) have a history, you take the age they got it (in your case 30's) and go back 10 years to start screen yourself (aka 20's) - otherwise 40 years old is when you start - so in reality, you should have gotten one probably 10 years ago.
Problem here is that the insurance company probably don't observe this practice. Which fucking sucks.

Girl... I don't even know what to say, I hope your insurance covers it (does Matt have better insurance?)
And you're right... why wouldn't they want to prevent it... vs. having to pay for the shit you have to go through if you have it. wtf?

Keep us posted, I'm thinking about you - and your boobs ;)

Stephie @ Our Marriage Adventure said...

I hope you get a mamagram soon. I totally get why you hate "big business" insurance. Evidently infertility is my own darn fault and I should just accept it rather then get the MEDICALLY AVAILABLE help and / or treatment.

The government must love me, my birth control is medically built into my body.

Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

RAGE. My mom has rheumatoid arthritis and the insurance company made her try all the cheap drugs first (even though her doctor knew they wouldn't work) before they would give her the stuff that would actually work. She had to suffer for a year until they finally let her have the drugs she needed. I <3 Obamacare.

Gini said...

WHAT THE FUCK. I am so angry for you I can hardly speak!!!

Shirley said...

That's bullshit about your insurance company. But you may want to consider an ultrasound or xray anyway. If you have dense, cystic tissue anyway a mammogram might not be the way to go.

Unknown said...

keep harassing your insurance company--it is worth it. I'm sure it would be covered if they can figure out how to code it. Usually it's just a matter of coding it so it isn't a preventive thing at 40, but rather a 'we found something and need to look at it' thing at 30. The thing is though if you have cystic breasts (I do too and had to get a mammogram at 18) it's hard for them to see anything, ultrasound or mammogram.
If you need help finding a program in your state that provides low cost mammograms, email me and I'll do some research. Also, as much as I'm a hater on Susan b. Koman after their planned parenthood debacle, you should contact someone from there and planned parenthood if there is one w/in 150miles of you.
Keep us updated ,PLEASE

Julie H said...

That's ridiculous that they found something and they won't cover it.

I get pissed when people are all down on Planned Parenthood. They do many things besides abortions. Where else are you supposed to go to get a pap smear if you don't have insurance? I went to a clinic ONCE and the doctor was such an asshole I wouldn't even let him examine me.