Dear Senator Gardner, I have recently been diagnosed with lymphedema caused by damage from my cancer treatments. The supplies I need every month to keep my condition under control are not an option. Without those supplies my condition will progress and become worse. With the supplies I can keep my condition under control. My insurance covers none of the cost of of these supplies. This makes no sense! People with conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes get help from their insurance with the things they need to keep their condition under control. I’ve paid my insurance premiums for over 40 years now and until I got my cancer and now this lymphedema I barely used my insurance. Now that I need it, it’s not there…. How disappointing. Please reconsider your position on this important issue and review this proposed Act again with my comments in mind. I still work full-time, and have been able to adjust my budget to pay for my necessary supplies to keep my lymphedema under control. I just wonder about people who are on such a tight budget they let their lymphedema get out of control, what happens to them. Or the young family whose child gets diagnosed with a form of lymphedema and they have to find a way to pay for that child’s supplies. I hope you are able to read my email personally and not one of your staff. I would love to hear from you if you have any information that you would like to share with me. Thank you for your time today, Paula Matsumoto.
Do I sound annoyed? Colorado’s Senator Michael Bennet and Representative Diana DeGette are cosponsoring this Act and are on board.
Got an automatic email response. Hope to get a real one some day.
Compelling message from our around the World Astronauts warning the 2016 Climate Change Conference of a vanishing planet.
Includes a moving message from Netherlands’ Astronaut Wubbo Ockels, Ph.D where he describes his love of the Earth and stating his beloved Earth has cancer. He recorded his statement the day before he died from cancer.
Offering hope if we all work together we can save our planet.
You can’t cheat lymphedema. It can affect a famous actress, different cancer survivors, the soldier who suffered a terrible trauma, a child with a genetic or inherited issue. It’s with you forever. Don’t follow your treatment? Serious complications will follow.
I will need to wrap my arm like this every night for the rest of my life.
Some of the supplies I need every day, these are a just a portion and these along with the rest are not covered by my insurance, there are much more not pictured here. I spoke with my physical therapist about why some people let their lymphedema get out of control. Came to light that perhaps they could not afford all of the supplies. Homeless? Have to choose between your lymphedema supplies and paying your rent or mortgage or groceries? The truth is my insurance pays for none of the supplies I need to keep my lymphedema under control! They pay for a portion of one sleeve and glove each year that is my daytime therapy (I’ll need at least 2 or 3 each year minimum if I am really careful). I am not alone, another lymphedema sufferer I know is in the same boat as I am. We both have jobs so we are not going to sink but that boat next to us is sinking.
I am getting my lymphedema under control and was just measured for my first sleeve and glove that I’ll wear during the day. My insurance is not covering all of this and the supplier called me to make sure I knew my out-of-pocket was quite hefty and not part of my deductible and I was responsible for this uninsured portion.
Here in Arvada, Colorado our woman of the year, Rebel Rodriguez runs an amazing food bank serving disadvantaged residents and Arvada’s homeless. She also stocks an equally amazing little free food bank on the corner of Grandview and Olde Wadsworth at the Rising Church. The Blessing Box.
Inspiring me to make snack and lunch bags for our children and homeless.
Thank you Rebel for your community service, to read more about Rebel go here to Rebel’s article.
Lymphedema is a swelling caused by excess fluid. Cancer patients can get lymphedema because lymph nodes are damaged or removed during surgery and damaged by radiation. Lymphedema becomes uncomfortable and limits movement as it progresses.
Treatment? The therapists through my current insurance are booked weeks out. As lymphedema progresses it can cause tissue damage and other permanent damage. Waiting weeks for some relief was not an option. I increased the exercises for stimulating lymphatic system and added a manual lymphatic drainage (light self-massage) to reduce the swelling. I was unaware of this simple technique until a friend told me about it.
The results? Swelling reduced and movement almost back to normal. Much more comfortable. Since I was previously doing the exercises, I believe the light self-massage was the thing that reduced the swelling so dramatically.
At the preliminary therapy appointment I was told that my insurance did not provide any massage or self-massage techniques. I was told that the self-massage probably did not help. If I wanted to continue self-massage to go ahead because it probably didn’t hurt anything.
My first therapy appointment to learn how to do the compression bandaging designed to reduce swelling? Two more weeks.
The interesting thing about this self-massage is the light touch used. One therapist described it as pushing a dime across your skin. It is just a suggestion to your tissues to wake up and get that fluid moving. Anything more aggressive is a no-no!
The Doomsday Clock has lost one-half a minute, apparently at least partly (possibly largely?) due to comments made by President Trump. How close are we to destroying the planet? Read the whole story here:
A friend invited me to join her at the one night showing of George Takei’s Broadway Musical on the Big Screen, Allegiance. The theater here in Denver was packed and sold out.
Based on the experiences of George Takei and his family’s internment in a concentration camp when he was 5 years old. 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes and imprisoned in these camps after Pearl Harbor. Watching this production was a sobering experience. I kept imagining my parents living through this.
My parents shared little of their experiences as a United States Army soldier and his wife who was imprisoned even though she was married to a soldier. What they did share I now realize was pretty sugar coated.
As we were leaving the theater another attendee, a Caucasian woman, turned to me with a pained expression. She said that she never learned about this in school and was unaware that this even happened until she met and heard about the camps from a Japanese family.
Ditto. An important part of history that I may only know about because my parents actually lived through it!
The Denver Voice is a local nonprofit newspaper providing a unique source of income for Denver’s homeless and unemployed.
Venders purchase newspapers for fifty cents and sell them for $2 or whatever you wish to pay. Venders keep the difference. This is not a charity. Venders must purchase the papers they sell. They are not panhandlers. You are purchasing a newspaper filled with information about Denver and stories from around the country and around the world.
Venders work hard and are trying back on their feet. They have earned the respect and friendship of their regular customers.
This months issue was especially fun as the center pages were wrapping papers designed by a variety of Denverites.