The time has come! Our second young adult cancer book club has begun of Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20’s and 30’s by Kairol Rosenthal! A huge shout out to Ms. Rosenthal for all of the help she provided with the purchase of these books as well as the special touch she added to each one!
A bit of logistics before we start: If you are just getting on board, are interested in reading Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20’s and 30’s along with us, and are also interested in having your thoughts and comments on each chapter published here on Lacuna Loft, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! If you would like to read along with us, Lacuna Loft is offering a free book to 20 survivors or caregivers. To get your free book (I have just a few left!), email email@example.com with your name, mailing address, and a little bit about yourself.
Ok, the last of the logistics from me: we will talk about a chapter each Monday until the book is done. Then, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss. Join in, in the comments every week! Also, there will probably be spoilers. Read along with us!
Let’s get started! Chapter 1: Ramenomics!
Intro – Only a few pages through the introduction, a few words really stick out – life sometimes sucks. And when the sucky parts of life include health issues, life really sucks.
I was one told, “If you have your health, you have everything.” That always stuck with me. Throughout the years, I’ve really fallen back on that conversation. Sure, a shitty co-worker, breakup, or dead car battery can suck. But those things don’t come close to any health-related issues you, your friends, or family may have. Ever.
Chapter 1- I can certainly relate with Nora when she describes the call to tell her mom as “probably the worst part of the entire cancer experience.” Even to this day, I don’t remember the details about the physical pain much. Sure, I had it. But it doesn’t stick out to me in my mind like when I had to call my parents (out of town with all my siblings for a sports tournament) and tell them the news. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday and it still makes me sick to my stomach.
My blood boils when reading about how Nora was treated by the state and her healthcare professionals – a common story I hear way too often: young, educated, hard-working adults essentially being punished because they get sick. It’s total bullshit. At a time when you are doing everything to survive, the “system” is working against you and making it harder to focus on what’s really important – surviving.
This chapter focuses on health insurance and access to healthcare. Nora had great difficulty accessing health care in the US because her mother dropped Nora from her health insurance. With the implementation of ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) in the US, children are permitted to stay on their parent’s health insurance until their 26th birthday. I dreaded my 26th birthday. The possibility of losing my health insurance was the absolute worst birthday present ever. For the past ten years, my medical costs have exceeded one million dollars a year and insurance has paid for most of it. Luckily for me, my parent’s health insurance has a provision where children incapable of self-support may remain on their parent’s insurance until they either become self-supporting or die. My family knew I qualified for this provision and we started working on getting my exemption approved before my 24th birthday. Three months before my 26th birthday we were still waiting for the approval of my lifetime insurance extension. I did qualify for Medicaid, but like Nora, we knew Medicaid would not pay for almost all of the medications I take and only one of my physicians would accept it. I got the best birthday present any chronically ill young adult could ever want: lifetime health insurance. Getting that approval was better than getting a car or a house for my birthday because I knew without it, I would be homeless trying to pay for my medical bills.
Thanks for joining us for our Chapter 1: Ramenomics of Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s! Join in next Monday for Chapter 2: When G-d Things Happen to Sick People.
If you’re just joining us, here are some logistics:
We will talk about a chapter each Monday until the book is done. Then, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss. Join in, in the comments every week! Also, there will probably be spoilers. Read along with us!
How are you enjoying our young adult cancer book club?