For a couple of months now I've been away from here more than I've been around. There are many reasons for that, but the main reason--the major reason--is because one week ago today I had a radical mastectomy. My right breast is gone, along with a nasty tangle of lymph nodes.
I'll have a bit of a reprieve while I'm healing but chemo is ahead, followed by radiation. It won't be a walk in the park--I'm not looking forward to baldness and barf buckets--but the one thing I have going for me that too many women in my same situation don't is the reality and the promise of excellent care. I've had plenty to worry about, but throughout it all--expensive tests, surgery, after-care--cost has never been a factor.
I have Medicare and a moderate-cost, very good supplemental plan. As long as Trump and his cohorts don't foul it up, I should be okay. But too many people--men, women, and children--are facing frightening medical issues exacerbated by worries based solely on their ability to pay.
We live in a country where most of our wealth has been shuffled to the top 10 percent of our population, where wages and benefits have dropped like rocks and are dropping still, where social and health care programs are at the mercy of reckless, thoughtless, profit-driven politicians.
In every city, in every town, concerned friends and families are forced to set up Go-Fund-Me pages or place money jugs on store countertops in order to pay for desperately needed health care. It kills me to see it, knowing it doesn't have to be this way. It's obscene.
There are bigger fish to fry out there, and I don't plan on using this blog as a personal heath diary. Ever. I want to be here and everywhere, still fighting against a system that has to be challenged at every turn, and, if necessary, stopped.
The posts may be shorter for a while, using links to pieces I've found that I want to share, possibly adding more guest posts, but I'll be here. This blog has been up and running for eight years, and with that fool Trump out there stomping our country to bits I'm not about to give it up.
One thing I need to stress: You should know me well enough to know this is not a call for sympathy. In fact, I forbid you to feel sorry for me. I'm in good hands, both personally and professionally, and I have great hope that after the long haul I'll be fine.
There is a cancer among us and it's much bigger than the one newly removed from my body. It will keep growing unless we weaken it, stop it in its tracks, and then find a lasting cure.
We're not quitters and never have been. The GOP is banking on short attention spans to get them through this, but we're paying attention. We've been paying attention. And nothing's gonna stop us now.