Medical studies--One in ten, one in 20, one in 100---sounds like your chances for a disease are actually small. Look around the people you are in line with at the market or bank and 1 in 8 means clearly it could be one of them. What medical studies don't talk about is the 1. For the one person who is affected with an illness or condition it is their whole life.
I try very hard on this blog to stay positive, focused on the positive, provide some humor but today I am taking a moment for something else. When we say one person we are not talking about one person being affected. Certainly in my case it was not just one, Not at all.
For me-I was one in eight. But I was THE one to so many people. So my one in eight chance affected not just me but my husband, my two daughters, my mother, brother, friends(can't even count them all right now), aunt, in-laws,my God mother, my mom's friends who supported not only her but also me, my kids friends and teachers and their friends' parents who supported my kids, my doctors, my nurses, techs, radiologists, my dog and even the woman I go to for waxing and facials. Remember, she lost a client for a year but also because she is a friend. Around every patient there is a group of people who's lives are changed forever. They are changed because they love the person and they are changed because into their circle of safety came something to remind them that things can happen.
Back in 2013 when everyone was discussing ACA and its ramifications for everyone I was listening to a group of parents, my friends who were the parents on my oldest's volleyball team. I listened to them talk about horrible Obama and the ACA were. I will admit it is hard on some folks and it is probably not yet the ideal situation. As I listened to them complain about it, these healthy people I finally couldn't take it any more.
I stood up and walked over and I said, "Do you know how much I pay for health insurance?"
They looked at me with blank faces.
"I am paying 40,000 this year. Last year it was raised twice and next year it will be around 43,000 before my deductible. That's a car, a nice one or a year at college. So while you all have your rights to your opinions you have to consider this: you are one doctor visit away from being like me. You are one, "I don't like the way that looks let's check it out. I don't like the way that sounds let's check it out." away from being like me." Then I went back and sat down. I hadn't raised my voice just stated facts and the facts for me don't lie but back before it passed I was sweating over it. I also couldn't change insurance companies because I had a preexisting condition.
For those of us diagnosed prior to 2014 this was the story. "Expenses" caused our insurance rates to skyrocket. I was paying 18,000 for my family of four when I was diagnosed and it more than doubled in the 3 -4 years after diagnosis. I couldn't change carriers due to my preexisting condition. They would never say it was due to cancer. It was "expenses." Expenses like paying for my care and for people who didn't have insurance. Changing within my plan would have meant a lower monthly and a higher deductible which didn't change anything because I would still be out the same amount of money as my deductible was always met. In case you are wondering, the girls and I are now insured for around 14 before out of network deductible. So here is another moment when one in eight is not one in eight. I had the money, sort of, I am thrilled to now be paying only 14 ish and those 4 years of paying through the nose are over. I wish I hadn't had to shell out all the payments before ACA. But for some families insurance used to be and cancer care (or any other major illness) can be the difference between paying for your housing or paying for college for your kid. We buckled down, we used some savings and thank God ACA passed. Would you believe my insurance company tried to get me to stay on the plan I had...Sure I'll pay 47000 when I could be paying 14 just cause I like you!
So when you see those reports of one in eight, one in 100 remember that the one is the whole world and the future to a large number of people who love them and care for them. When a medicine doesn't work for only one or only one dies that is still the whole world to many people and not just a number.
This is a picture of my whole world. I fought hard every day to not miss a minute.