Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Survivors Response to Angelina Jolie

I cannot listen to the media anymore talk about Angelina Jolie's choice for a double mastectomy.
I am not unsympathetic to her fear. I know that fear. My issue is this:
She has all the money in the world to be completely out of commission while her home, children and family went on in working order.She has enough money to not argue with doctors and insurance companies to have a realistic reason to use insurance monies.
I live in a woman's house that was killed by breast cancer. I have had breast cancer twice. When you are a slave to the insurance companies you are on the slow track to anything you used to have as a normal life.
Again, I understand her reason and her fear. But for every media outlet to act like her coming out with this information is such an act of bravery, is eye rolling to me at the least.
Most insurance companies would say what she did was elective. She was asymptomatic  I read about her mother, I read about her chances. Average Americans like myself struggle for healthcare. We struggle after lifetimes caps on treatment and cost. We have fundraisers. We gather up meal trains and babysitting. Things that when you have the sort of time and money that this celebrity has, is not a factor.
Again I get her reasons and fears.
All of us want to see our children grow up. All of us want to hold our grandchildren. All of us would LOVE to get this all done in 9 weeks (or so) time. All of us would love to have beautiful new breast. But at certain Stages of cancer you do not get that choice. Most of us have to wait until we get through chemo, while our chest skin tightens and scar tissue is created. Then we begin the reconstruction surgery that take away even more time from our families and jobs. That's just not reality for the average American diagnosed with Breast Cancer to have the experience Angelia Jolie had.
We worry about if our employers will give us the time off and hopefully paid. We worry that if we do get to go back to work out job will be waiting for us. We worry about how our children will get to school or how they will be taken care of during an entire day filled with chemo and doctor appointments. We try not to ask our spouse to take off too much time. We have to keep some kind of insurance somehow  We have to worry of changes in insurance and now having pre existing conditions.
Again I get her reasons and fears.
I really do.
Insurance and the highest of care is not for the poor or middle class.
I cannot blame celebrities for for their wealth That would be silly. I do blame the media for glorifying the choice of a person in this world for coming out with her situation, while millions of people cannot afford something as simple as insurance for a check up on a lump the found.