You may have been glued to the television or internet on Tuesday, but I didn’t have the time or energy for that. I must say it took considerable effort to avoid watching the U.S. election results. I had to resort to Chopped on Food Network for distraction. While you were fretting about the election, my Tuesday was a typical day in the life of a cancer patient.
I visited the Cancer Centre with J., where I attended my regularly scheduled appointment. We arrived early to secure parking and I trotted off to the lab for an up-to-the-minute blood-analysis (ca-ching). While we awaited my appointment, the volunteer Cookie Ladies appeared with their warm tea and snacks (ca-ching for that endless supply of cookies and drinks). Sipping on tea is the perfect antidote to the stress of a cancer-related appointment.
A lovely hematology nurse called me in and assessed me (ca-ching). Then I saw a knowledgable hematology fellow (ca-ching, ca-ching), who consulted with with Dr. Blood (ca-ching ca-ching) and sent me off for another two months. My body and my blood are stable, except for an odd mouth infection I developed after a trip to the dentist last week. My magic mouthwash–yes, that’s what it’s really called–seems to be helping. Finally, I stopped by the in-house pharmacy to pick up two months’ worth of free chemotherapy (ca-ching ca-ching ca-ching, although there could be more ca-chings; those drugs are expensive).
Have I ever mentioned that Dr. Blood had to seek special dispensation for the government to fund one of my chemotherapies because it is not normally used for polycythemia? I’ve often wondered how I’d pay for that medication out of pocket or, even worse, whether I could afford it at all. Would my functioning decline were I not taking it? Thankfully, I needn’t worry about those things.
For my excellent and timely care on Tuesday, we paid solely for the cost of gas and parking. I’d pay an arm and a leg for parking in order to receive such fantastic medical care. (As an aside, I saw this picture in the news recently: in it, a hospital-parking-fee protester vandalizes the parking meter. Mr. Destructive, who do you think will be paying to fix that machine? Perhaps you might consider another means of protest.)
All this has me thinking of J.’s decision, at age 53, to retire in 13 work days (not that anyone’s counting). She could not have fathomed doing so if we lived in the U.S. Our health care costs would have been daunting, and early retirement would have been impossible.
While that new president was being elected, our grand niece was admitted to the children’s hospital in need of delicate spinal surgery to remove a growth. Imagine any family having to bear the cost of neurosurgery. Thank goodness these parents don’t have to worry about paying for treatment and can focus on more important things.
The results of the U.S. election remind me of how lucky I am to be sick in Canada. 20 million people in the U.S. have benefitted from Obamacare, and I can’t imagine their fear that their new government may alter or eliminate their health-care benefits. If need be, moving to Canada is always an option.