This is just one of the many reasons, and many stories lived and/or heard, that make me want to support #FairCancerCare:
When I was told it was definitely breast cancer in my lungs, I was also told it was slightly estrogen receptive. That means it kinda likes to eat estrogen. (A change from the first time, when it really liked to eat estrogen.) My options in this case involved hormone therapy.
Except I’d already been on Tamoxifen, the only breast cancer hormone therapy I know of for women before menopause, and it had stopped working.
That meant I needed to but put into menopause.
I would be put (back) on Zoladex, I was told, which is a drug that puts your ovaries to sleep. Zoladex is not covered by OHIP. The oncologist wasn’t sure if it would help, but he figured we should try that first and foremost before doing anything else. Except. . . except that monthly shot costs about 500 bucks a pop. Or I could pay 1500 a go and get the three month shot.
But insurance would pay for it.
Oh wait, you don’t have insurance? Well then, you need to have your ovaries removed via surgery.
That is seriously what I was told. And if this post seems a bit fragmented in pace, it’s because to this day I’m stupefied by the solution to my struggling to afford medication – cut out perfectly healthy pieces of my body, despite there being an effective pill that could do the same thing minus the traumatic surgery.
Ultimately I was able to get onto Trillium because we’re a lower income family. Though even that has had its challenges – and of course I am grateful to have that. But for many others they end up paying loads out of pocket (not on the table here, but also worth mentioning is the cost of alternative treatments. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the cost of complimentary health care was built into our treatment plans?)
Anyhow, for many, many reasons, I want to direct you to #FairCancerCare, an online petition for Ontario healthcare that moves for more treatment coverage. They want to gather signatures before the provincial election to bring urgency to these needs.
“As Canadians, many of us are understandably proud of our health care system. In Ontario, most of us believe that, should we ever be unfortunate enough to get cancer, OHIP will cover us. Unfortunately, in far too many cases this doesn’t happen.
Sometimes, the very best treatment that your doctor prescribes for your cancer is not covered by provincial insurance. Patients have to choose between a fully-covered treatment plan that may be less effective, or following the recommendation of their doctor and paying the high cost for chemotherapy out of pocket.
This is two-tiered health care. Wealthy patients and those with good private insurance have access to the best care. Those who are not so lucky either go deeply in debt or take their chances with what OHIP will cover.
In 2014, no Ontario cancer patient should be accumulating thousands of dollars of debt. And yet it’s happening more often than most of us would think.”
If agree with their mission, then do sign the petition and please share their campaign.