Rebel Reality Check

I admit to being shocked on November 8, 2016. I thought the world I would leave to my son and husband would be a kinder and more tolerant one. But I should have seen the writing on the big, disgusting wall.

2016 was quite likely the last election that I will have been able to vote in. It sounds grim, but survival rates for lung cancer patients are just that. I don’t want to be blind or blind sided by the disease like I was by the election. I don’t want to pretend that everything is all right and will continue to be that way as long as I have a great attitude.

Lung Cancer Facts

One by one, the treatments have stopped working. Cancer is an evil genius. Still, I am grateful that there have been so many treatments to try. And I’m grateful to the researchers and advocates that keep trying and keep our hopes high.

Thanks to them and my family and friends, I haven’t given up. My hopes get higher every day. But I feel the need to keep one foot in reality. And while I’m here, I’ll try to get kinder and better every day. I’m a rebel.



This pill costs over $12,000 a month without health insurance. The costs to keep me in medicine and treatments and doctors and everything else would be over half a million dollars by now without it.

I am incredibly lucky to have so much support from my family and was lucky to have had good insurance through my job and the teacher’s union. Now – our insurance costs are high, but what would we do with no insurance?

I found these thoughts from Janet Freeman-Daily on Gray Connections to be important and urgent and frightening. Repealing the ACA without a replacement plan may force cancer patients to choose between bankrupting their families or skipping treatment altogether. Very scary business.

Dear Congress: Please Consider Lifetime Caps and Pre-Existing Conditions Carefully

Dear Congress: Some voters say they don’t want the government or insurance companies to spend THEIR money on other people’s healthcare.  They think repealing the Affordable Ca…

Source: Dear Congress: Please Consider Lifetime Caps and Pre-Existing Conditions Carefully


I was friends with a poetry student for a summer in Syracuse back in the 90s. Her name was Betsy, and she was a totally exciting person. She was driving me to go swimming one day, and on our way I remember she was reading from books as she drove. She was in love with a poem that she read to me from behind the wheel.

I didn’t stay in touch with Betsy, and I have no idea where we were swimming outside in Syracuse, NY. But I remember the end of the poem she read went, “not dead, not dead”.

I just thought of her the other day when I was looking for swimming lessons for my baby.  I searched the internets, and I’m pretty sure this was the poem:

By Roger Fanning

My car passed over him but I could see
in the rearview mirror he was okay.
Then again, is a thing so soft ever safe?
I drove on to sit by a bed in Intensive Care,
where my father slept among machines. As if grateful
for wet grass, the frog wept with all his skin,
so happy, so helpless: not dead, not dead.


I totally relate to that frog. Today! Today! Today!