Skin cancer

Skin cancer sucks, even in its mildest early stages. Between doctor visits, ointments, creams and cutting, there's nothing to like about it except for the fact that it's not brain or liver cancer. But you know what would suck even more? Skin cancer with no insurance.

I've been lucky. I was able to see a doctor early and often, staying ahead of the disease. Without insurance, I might be well my way to dead right now.

More than 1.5 million adults in North Carolina have no health insurance. With an incidence rate of 30% for skin cancer, that means more than 450,000 uninsured citizens would be diagnosed if they somehow managed to see a doctor. But they won't see a doctor. They can't afford to.

The Republicans in Raleigh don't give a damn about people who can't afford to see a doctor. Just like they don't give a damn about people who have lost their jobs.


Death beds

I sometimes wonder what it must feel like to be Art Pope, a multimillionaire whose fortune was made exploiting poor people, a person wholly dedicated to making life more difficult for those most in need.

When death comes knocking at his door, it's going to be one very ugly scene.

It's pretty incomprehensible

I imagine that people like Art Pope or John Hood tell themselves stories saying that they're actually helping poor people by forcing them to be less lazy or spendthrift or something. Such stories are seductive because sometimes you can help people this way, kicking them out of the nest. I guess that they can't distinguish - or won't distinguish cases where people need to be partially forced to see work from cases where there simply is no work or no work enabling you to live or have health insurance.

It's a mystery why some people are Jim Sinegals, who help people to help themselves, while others are Art Popes, utterly without insight or mercy who enjoy forcing people to help themselves, even in circumstances where they cannot.

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Sorry to hear about this

One of my sisters has been dealing with carcinoma for the last 4 years or so. I hope you don't have to go through too many more of those sessions, my friend.

Not to steer the conversation

away from cancer, but I've been suffering from something for several weeks now, and it's getting decidedly worse.

A few months ago I had a kidney stone "event" resulting in a very short (yet expensive) visit to the ER. Long story short, 2 1/2 hours racked up a $3,500 bill. A big part of that ($2,100) was for a CT-Scan. Which I don't really understand, because a few weeks later I had a much more extensive series of scans using the very same machine, and they only cost $450 or so. Granted, the second scanning was scheduled in advance by my urologist, but it's plain that emergency room procedures are vastly overpriced.

Anyway, I've (hopefully) got the kidney thing under control, but in my initial urologist session, my doctor walked me through the entire (ER) CT-Scan and, in the process, he showed me two tiny arthritic growths on each side of my lower vertebra. It appears one of them is now messing around with my sciatic nerve, and sitting down (in the car or chair) produces a sensation not unlike someone ramming a bayonet into my hamstrings.

I'm standing right now, with my laptop sitting on top of some hardbound books, which are in turn resting on top of a barstool. As a matter of fact, I'm contemplating converting my entire house into a bar-like environment (sans booze), with those tall tables and such.

Just a footnote: I'm extremely lucky these things didn't happen until I had health insurance again. As it is, my share of the costs (so far) will take me another 15 months or so to pay off.

Disqualified for the Olympics

I just got a shot in the ass of steroids three hours ago, and the pain has (for the most part) disappeared. I'm still standing for the time being, because I don't want to put the kibosh on it. But I take back all those bad things I said about doctors and the medical-industrial complex. They're awesome! :o

As a fair-skinned

gal of Scandinavian descent, whose early memories of summer vacations include the most horrible sunburned/Noxema-coated nights, I worry about skin cancer. Since I have no insurance, if I got skin cancer, I would try cannabis oil although it would probably mean I'd have to go to California to get it. The greatest insurance I have right now is Dr. Fuhrman's nutritarian diet. He claims this cruciferous veggie intense way of eating can protect you from all kinds of cancer, not to mention stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

According to the CDC, only one-third of U.S. adults eat two or more servings of fruit per day, and only one-quarter of adults eat three or more servings of vegetables per day.27 These minimal amounts cannot be expected to provide disease protection. I recommend a far more substantial intake of fruits and vegetables with 90 percent of calories coming from nutrient rich plant material, lots of it raw and green. I recommend about two pounds of vegetables and at least 4 fresh fruits per day. Most importantly, attention should be paid to the highly cancer-protective plant foods, greens, onion, berries, beans and seeds.

Since last January, I've lost 60 lbs and during the summer months I spent many days outdoors in the sun and I can tell my skin has much greater defense against damage now.