CAUTION(!): Unhinged RANT!!
This is more a "just venting" thing and will be poorly written and choppy in thought..at best.
I have had a sibling who has battled two forms of cancer for the past four years. One has required surgery, multiple radiation therapy, and two "full powered" chemotherapy treatments...only to see it coming back. The other is slow moving, weakens the bone mass to "peanut brittle", and is...incurable. Yet this bone cancer has brought all of the above treatments with it as well (Separate treatments for each form of cancer).
While the afflicted endure multiple types of treatments and high levels of pain, not to mention suffering.... Cancer also exerts high levels of stress, mental anguish, and, in some instances, pain to those "near and dear" to the patient. In addition, cancer treatments rack up financial bills that rival congressional spending...These bills are even higher if the patient does not have insurance.
So, you ask, what am I ranting about(?) Well...three separate myths that have persisted in our cultural thought throughout the past several decades.
MYTH 1: "Shucks, what a shame. He/she has cancer...unavoidable, I suppose."
WRONG! For at least the last 15 years, we have been inundated with science that tells us the many various ways/things we can do to lessen the risk or even avoid getting cancer. Yet, we collectively gorge on sodas, fast food, and highly processed foodstuffs all while addicted to tobacco products. It is all about choices. The choice between fresh produce, fruit, meats, etc, versus pre-packed, micro wave ready processed dinners. The choice between getting up and moving around and not just sitting in a recliner watching TV. The choice to choose a quality older age...to not be a burden to others OR YOURSELF.
Yes, I feel empathy and heartbreak for my sibling and the others that I see, but, 9 out of 10 could have either lessened the impact or avoided this illness altogether with some simple choices. ("There, I said it!")
MYTH 2: "Aren't we something? Thanks to the strides in modern technology and nutrition, we are living a lot longer than even a single generation ago!"
NO, not really. If it wasn't for the daily breakthroughs in modern medicine to COUNTERACT modern nutrition we would be dying sooner than our great grandfathers/mothers. (Just my opinion, no factual basis for this one)
MYTH 3: "We need Health Insurance for Everyone."
Oh give me a freaking break(!). I have witnessed, first hand, what it means to not have health insurance. The dirty little secret "they" forgot about when Lawmakers passed "Obama Care" was a little publicized rule (Law?) that ALL hospitals follow in this country: A patient cannot be turned away from medical care because of inability to pay. Let me repeat that...A patient cannot be turned away from medical care because of inability to pay....My aforementioned sibling, despite having been a medical professional for more than 25 years, had no health insurance (that is a sore subject for another rant). Despite the lack of insurance, they received quality care from competent doctors, got the latest drugs and therapy, and in a timely manner. All they had to do was sign a document that they would make a a small monthly payment to the hospital (the hospital eventually sells the debt to a collection service, who will make obnoxious attempts to collect, eventually collecting a profit by attaching to the patients estate upon their death)....Oh, and after racking up a SEVEN FIGURE bill, Medicaid swooped in and provided some relief on future treatment costs...because the "sib" qualified for disability...(heavy sigh)
Huh? Tell me again why I pay exorbitant premiums, as a self employed individual, to the health insurers (with exclusions, I might add)?? AND explain to me why "we" mortgaged the future on "Health Reform"??
Finally, I'll end with a true absurdity that any of you can witness at almost any super market, on almost any day....The grossly over weight man/woman, in the electric shopping cart, cruising the aisles while breathing pure oxygen through a nose tube (oxy tank between their feet), ......and, wait for it.......smoking a cigarette! (And if you look close enough, they probaly have a permanent medical port in their arm)...Ever wonder how a person can be breathing pure oxygen, while smoking a lit cigarette...without blowing up?