About the Author

In October of 2011 I went to see a doctor because I was suffering from incredibly heavy bleeding. He took a biopsy and had his staff wheel me to the next door hospital immediately. I learned there that I had a red blood cell count of about one-third of what was required to live. I was admitted to the hospital from the emergency room. The very next day I learned that I had uterine cancer.

My doctor ordered a transfusion of eight packs of blood and scheduled me for surgery for that week. He asked the hospital’s well known gynecological surgeon/oncologist to perform the surgery.

I subsequently learned that my cancer had spread from its point of origin to one fallopian tube. There also was some “cervical involvement.”

I do not have health insurance. I ended up going to the county hospital for radiation and chemotherapy and ongoing treatment.

This is not simply a story about having cancer or not having health insurance.

I am an adjunct instructor teaching law classes at three different programs on four different campuses. The law school for which I work decided to remove me from the classroom when my supervisor heard I had cancer. She doesn’t think cancer patients can be counted upon to do their jobs. I objected to this treatment. I am back to teaching for that law school, but the relationship between us is not “back to normal.”

You might be wondering why a woman with three jobs cannot afford health insurance. Academia defines part time without regard to hours worked or responsibilities shouldered. It pays poorly. But I love teaching. I am now paying a heavy price for doing what I love.

The county is paying part of that price, too.

This is not a politically motivated blog. I wish things were different, but there is no particular plan on the books or the table that addresses my situation at the current time except for the county’s charitable care program. I do not know what I would do if that program did not exist.

If you have health insurance then you have nothing to worry about–unless or until you don’t.

My experiences with cancer, the cost of medical care, and employment discrimination would be sad except for the fact that my family, friends, and county have been there for me. I am cancer-free and fighting the good fight. I have not lost my sense of humor.