Keeping Abreast

Guido warns me about this post before I even write it.  “Do you EVER want to get laid again?” she asks.  “Do you know how long EVER is?”

In response, I say: nothing,  Zero.  Zilchophonic.  I have read Paradise Lost, all 12 books, and damn it, I’ve learned something about eternity.  Besides, well, read on, and you tell me….

Two days after disclosing her fight with cancer, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz launched into advocacy Monday, championing legislation that calls for greater awareness of breast cancer among younger women.

”It is my hope that by sharing my story, we will pass the [bill] and further reduce the death rate of young women diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Wasserman Schultz, 42. “We have to ensure that every young woman can rely on more than just luck.’  ‘– Miami Hurled

Debbie, I’m with you.  Let’s reduce the incidence of breast cancer to its minimum, and help ease the suffering of the unfortunately afflicted. Anything you can do to achieve this objective is to your credit, and I wish you every success.

Your story is intriguing.  You discover your cancer and take appropriate, if radical but necessary steps to survive.  As the story reveals, you schedule your surgery to ensure minimum interference with your professional activities, ans_breastsd keep your family affairs private.  At the appropriate moment — this week — you share your experiences with the world to achieve maximum impact to address a genuine problem that you now commit to resolve.

So why am I uneasy with this?

As a member of Congress, your health care was beyond ideal, better than that of any of the rabble you represent who paid for it. Like ordinary people like me and my spouse, who have gone through breast cancer on our own time and dime.

How many times did you, as a member of Congress, attempt without success to contact your physicians, insurance company, hospital representatives, etc?  As a member of Congress, with power and the best medical coverage your constituents could purchase for you with their our tax dollars, how many hours/days/weeks did you spend waiting for a call back, an appointment, a conversation with a knowledgeable professional, to discuss your case?  Think your position of power had any effect on your care and treatment?

Did you ever wait for hours to speak to your surgeon, only to get a lame excuse about the delay in the return of lab reports which determined whether or not you would need chemo or additional life-threatening surgery?  Did your husband need to physically intimidate the surgeon in his examining room before the sonofabitch would give you a straight answer about a life and death circumstance the way my spouse’s  did while she looked on in horror and despair?

Do you imagine your position as a member of Congress has nothing to do with the way your capacity to handle your cancer influences your attitude, energy, confidence, and function as a mother, spouse, and professional?

Was this issue of any even minor significance to you before you discovered your own cancer?  So despite your statement that “it’s not about me,” it is, in fact, only about you, and moving forward, it is likely to remain so, something to gain political points, perhaps?

Yes, I think maybe it has something to do with this.  But that’s just me, a cretinous citizen of the United States with the minimal health insurance coverage I can afford, dealing with the physicians and hospitals  on my plan as best I could.  I’m glad I had that much.  After all, not everybody can afford the coverage and care we buy for our elected officials, who go on to crusade for a cause they personally endured.

Best of luck, Debbie.  I’m on your side, and happy for your recovery.  Just maybe it will lead to something universally more worthwhile.  Now that your eyes are open, let me know if I can help.

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7 Responses to Keeping Abreast

  1. Beardsley says:

    I agree that there’s something especially annoying about advocates whose crusades are inspired by their own self-interest. This ranges from recovering alcoholics to born-again evangelists and survivors of diseases. What was Congressman Schultz’s interest in breast cancer until now, and what’s the major factor in her conversion?

    But in fact, self-interest serves as perhaps the major motivating factor most human activity, including this kind of advocacy. You’re within your rights to point this out, but what’s far more significant, in my view, is being sensible about moving on progressively and productively. I hope you’re sincere about that part of this as well.

    Did you actually punch out Guido’s doctor, or just make him believe you were ready to?

  2. Helen Highwater says:

    I think what she’s doing is wonderful, and I’m certain anybody who has been affected by breast cancer is happy to have her on their side. Including me.

    And you’re 100% right about the health care issue. As hard as it is to endure the disease and its treatment, the stress created by layers of bureaucracy and redundant administration are almost as bad. I doubt Ms. Wassserman-Schultz will have to confront even a fraction of what those who paid for her policy and care must.

  3. Great post. This needs to be emailed to her.

  4. Travis T says:

    Beardsley makes a good point about self-interest. It also shows why we don’t have universal health care: the people responsible for its development and implementation (Congress) DO. It’s not THEIR butts in jeopardy, it’s OURS.

  5. Ms Calabaza says:

    Excellent. I agree with Carlos Miller ~ this needs to be sent to her!

  6. Piles says:

    You’re not fooling anybody, Squatman. The only reason you’re fired up about this is because there’s tits involved. Like Beardsley says: self-interest.

  7. Camiel Toe says:

    She’s implementing the Rahm Emanuel rule: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Making a loud statement like this does her a world of political good. Maybe it even means something to her, too. It’s very hard to figure out when a politician is sincere (it happens so rarely).

    But after all, who ISN’T opposed to breast cancer?

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