During lively remedy, I didn’t have the most effective medical health insurance via my job. At the time, I used to be working in radio gross sales for a serious media firm. Due to a technicality when renewing my medical health insurance and the timing of my breast cancer prognosis, I wasn’t eligible for paid short-term or long-term incapacity. Instead of with the ability to concentrate on surviving the cruel most cancers remedies, which included chemo earlier than surgical procedure and radiation post-surgery, I had no selection however to work and let go of my delight. I began a GoFundMe to assist meet my deductible and out-of-pocket bills and continued paying the medical and common payments.
I reminded her that I’ve most cancers, not the flu. I actually had poison coursing via my physique and making an attempt to not die so I may get again to full working capability. I felt huge stress to work even after I had no power and combating extreme chemo mind. I additionally felt deeply damaged. I used to be not on the trip. I used to be combating for my life.
I needed to get one other main surgical procedure after that first-year post-cancer as a result of my physique was unable to tolerate any of the pre-menopausal drugs wanted to assist forestall a recurrence. Two months after a radical hysterectomy and oophorectomy in February 2017, I had gotten what I believed was my dream job at a serious promoting company in downtown Atlanta. I used to be thrilled and eventually made the wage I wanted with main obligations. I had felt prepared and thought it might be an enormous step ahead in my profession.
I had underestimated the impact of getting one other main surgical procedure on prime of therapeutic from breast most cancers. The chemo mind I believed I had overcome got here again in full power. My work started to say no. I had notified my new bosses that I used to be a most cancers survivor and recovering from one other main surgical procedure proper at first of my job. Instead of supporting me and creating methods to assist handle my workload as I attempted to heal, these two girls instructed me, “You need to keep your health and work separately.” It was one other slap within the face.
Too many employers don’t perceive the toll any kind of most cancer can have on an individual’s bodily and psychological well-being. I additionally realized how dependent I’ve now grown to be on medical health insurance tied to an employer. Though I resigned from that place with the advert company, it was a blow to me professionally as a result of there was no approach to maintain my well-being and profession separate anymore. Cancer not solely kills the great and unhealthy within the physique, however, it could additionally kill careers. It was attributable to that terrible expertise that I had determined to not inform any future employer that I used to be a most cancers survivor till after I had been there 90 days.
I had been one of many tens of millions abruptly out of labor and stripped of employer-provided medical health insurance on the top of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. I had been an advertising venture supervisor with a stellar repute and was nominated for awards, so the layoff got here as a shock. My medical health insurance was ending the day earlier than my newest spherical of scans, which are scheduled 6 months prematurely, to ensure I used to be nonetheless in remission. I’ll by no means be capable of totally specific the stress and anger I felt by having to scramble to push my scans up earlier than dropping protection. There was no supply to even assist with my resume or job search. I discovered that ironic, contemplating they had been a staffing firm.
To have medical health insurance ripped away even and not using a pandemic causes pure panic for individuals who put it to use frequently, particularly those with most cancers and different power well-being situations that require fixed upkeep and drugs.