Clean Slate

The year is coming to an end, and what a year it’s been . . . for all of us. Trump has dominated the headlines, but I don’t want to talk about him. I want to talk about me. It’s my blog, after all.

I have had a good balance between positive and negative experiences in 2017. I went to Rochester, NY in January to attend the March for Women’s Lives with my brother and his daughters. I was so excited to see people coming together to celebrate the importance of women’s history and women’s leadership. The icing on the cake was watching my nieces making their own posters. They were eager to be a part of social justice activism. My heart melted when my oldest niece told me she was a feminist without any prompting from me.

My tumor is stable. I’m cutting my chemo treatments back to once a month. MRI’s will be quarterly, rather than every other month. I’ve graduated from speech therapy and have been enjoying the challenge of intense physical therapy to help me maintain my balance. My quilting skills have grown, thanks to volunteering with Project Linus Tucson. I get to drive once a week to run errands. These may sound like small victories, but it’s the little things that help us create and share positive energy. Just think of the atom. It’s miniscule, but it’s the basis of all life. [Read more…]

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Dear Senator McCain

Senator John McCain returned to the Senate floor today, after spending just five days in recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumor. Senator McCain’s office released a confirmation of his diagnosis on July 19th. He has a glioblastoma, one of the most difficult types of brain tumors. I applaud McCain’s tenacity, but I am very disappointed by his stance on the Affordable Care Act. This is my response.

Dear Senator McCain,

Congratulations on heading back to the Senate floor. I admire your tenacity.

I am reaching out to you as a fellow brain cancer warrior. I was diagnosed with stage 3 Astrocytoma five years ago. I was self-employed, and my partner was in graduate school when I received my diagnosis. We did not have health insurance. However, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in the Spring of 2012, and I was fortunate enough to get insurance coverage through the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). I paid for my policy, deductibles, and co-pays, just as anyone else does. My partner dropped out of grad school so he could find a stable job that provided health insurance. Thanks to the PCIP requirements, I was able to obtain stable health insurance when the PCIP expired.

I have been on chemo for five years. I have had three separate different sets of radiation. I have had bi-monthly MRI’s for the past five years. I have utilized speech therapy and physical therapy. If the ACA is repealed, I (as well as every other cancer patient in the United States) could be at risk losing health care insurance. That is unconscionable.

Please vote no for the repeal of the ACA. Healthcare is a basic human right. You owe it to yourself, your constituents, and all your fellow cancer warriors to stand up and speak out.

I look forward to your support and send you positive, healing energy.

Sincerely,
Serena Freewomyn

Dealing with cancer is hard work. I am blessed to have the support of my family and friends. However, I have wracked up over $300,000 of debt ($60,000 was from one visit to the ER) because of cancer. Please contact your Congressional representatives and urge them to keep healthcare coverage available for everyone, not just the one percent. We can’t say that the US is the greatest country in the world if we don’t have equitable access to healthcare.

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