Monday, February 25, 2013


i know a woman who has recently encountered the dreaded breast cancer recurrence.

she is a self employed exterminator, though not gigantic enough to afford her own health insurance.

this is a particularly dicey subject for me.

who can like the idea that health care is provided for those who can somehow 'afford' it?

or not?

i have breast cancer.

and insurance, thus good medical care.

thanks to the godfather.

this woman does not.

how is this fair?

it's not.

courtesy of health insurance, i've had numerous diagnostic procedures done.

biopsies, surgeries, sci fi screening this and that.

i've said it before.

this woman has not.

she was told, by her paltry and non existent medical team, let's watch it and wait six months.

i said no way. that's bullshit.

how is that possible?

and she told me, katy. it's bc you have insurance. 

and i don't.

i said but you have cancer too.

she said i'm not like you.

i said yes you are.


my buddhist friend happens to also be a writer.

i remember a piece he wrote a long time ago that reminds me of  this kind of thing.

he was in nyc, and if you've ever been there, then you know that when you're standing on a street corner, and the light changes, then you and an army of folks surge across the street, together, at the same time.

my friend was carrying an armload of books.  and in that surge, he noticed a guy crawling, trying to make his way, just like everyone else.  

 it was painful to witness.

in that crossing, my friend tried to adjust his books, while at the same time trying to help this guy cross before the light changed.

bc in new york, the cars can move so damn fast.

time waits for no one.

everyone just kept crossing.

and it meant enough to my friend that he tried to write about it later.

he tried to address that crowd of people crossing.

he said pretty clearly -

i'm no better than you.

i'm no damn better than you.

but you've got to help a man trying to cross the street on his hands and knees.

xx katy

1 comment:

  1. I'm in Canada, so can't really judge the US system of health care - but I've heard this sort of story too many times. It's heartbreaking and infuriating. The man crossing the road while everyone walks past seems quite a good comparison.


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virginia, United States