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Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Posted by Julie on 3/04/05 at 16:40 (170459)

A friend in New Jersey has just sent me the following link:

http://www.lifetimetv.com/reallife/bc/pledges/bc_mast_pledge.html

Apparently women who have had a mastectomy are sent home the same day, groggy with anaesthesia and with drain tubes still in. The link is to an explanation of this horrific practice of 'drive-through mastectomy', and an opportunity to sign the petition calling for insurance companies to cover a minimum two-day hospital stay.

Most of you probably know about this, as you live in the States. I didn't until ten minutes ago, and am appalled. When I had my mastectomy, I had nine days in hospital - a long stay because there was a lot of trouble with drainage. Most women now go home in five, which I would have thought was the minimum. The thought of having to go home the same day is simply unbelievable.

10 million people have signed the pledge so far. I can't, as there is no provision for people who live outside the US, but maybe some of you can do it in my place.
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Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

marie on 3/04/05 at 16:45 (170462)

Julie not only did I sign it but i'll move it across the net.

Thanks for sharing this message.

marie

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Julie on 3/04/05 at 16:47 (170464)

Thank you, Marie!
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Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

marie on 3/04/05 at 17:05 (170467)

http://dawnofnewamerica.blogspot.com/

It's on the move Julie.

marie

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Linda V. on 3/04/05 at 17:39 (170470)

That petition came to me the other day, as it is being widely circulated among the nursing field. It is HORRIBLE to have to tell a 70 year old woman with arthritis living alone with no support system that she has to go home while still in pain and empty 2 or 3 bulb drains that are placed in a position that ANYONE would have trouble being able to do themselves. And also replace the dressings...I have called their insurance companies and doctors myself and pleaded for an extra day or so stay....sometimes I won, sometimes I didn't. But just like the drive-through deliveries were defeated, this can be too. We just need a loud and clear voice to the powers to be.

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

marie on 3/04/05 at 17:46 (170472)

At this point I have written several senators and have contacted the media asking them to address the issue. Also contacted Elizabeth Edwards with the information hoping she will put a word in for it in the media. So far I have gotten word from several who are signing the pledge! :)

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Julie on 3/05/05 at 06:21 (170490)

That's great that you've done that, Marie.

And what a great collection of weblogs, full of interesting stuff. Thanks for the link.

And for writing to senators and contacting the media.
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Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Julie on 3/05/05 at 06:28 (170491)

Linda, I'm still gasping at the discovery that this has been going on. No-one who hasn't experienced it (i.e. 100% of male, and even most female, doctors, politicians, insurance personnel etc etc) can have the slightest notion of how it feels, and what it means, to lose a breast. The hospital stay, especially the presence and nurturing care of the nurses, was a vital part of my recovery. To be pushed out into the world immediately after such a major trauma must be terrible. Even I have difficulty imagining how it must feel.

I suppose the reasoning is that it's 'external' surgery, which is true. unless, of course, it's accompanied by axillary clearance, which is major surgery. Even so, that takes no account of the effect of general anaesthesia, or of the physical problems that follow the surgery, or, most importantly, the emotional impact of it.

It's barbaric, and I am so glad that that loud, clear voice is building.

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Linda V. on 3/05/05 at 07:12 (170492)

Julie,
One of my best friends had a double mastectomy with axillary node dissection at one of the leading teaching hospitals in Boston. The surgery was completed at 5 PM on a Saturday. It also involved plastic surgery, as she had expanders put in for later reconstruction. They released her on Sunday afternoon. I told her to fight it, but her insurance company said no way. Lucky for her, she is a nurse and has many nurse friends who helped her out...dressing changes, emptying those drains, etc. And her husband was supportive and stepped up to the plate as well.

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Kathy G on 3/05/05 at 08:08 (170496)

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I received an email about it about a month ago but thought that the legistlation had been passed about six or seven years ago. A woman who was on Lifetime television, I think her name was Linda Ellerbee, had battled breast cancer and she used her 'bully pulpit' to call attention to what the insurance industry was doing. I swore a bill was passed at that time but quite obviously, I'm wrong. I just went to the site and signed the petition but will also send on a reminder to my email friends to do the same.

When my sister came home from the hospital, after only a couple of days, having had double lumpectomies, she had a visiting nurse who came and changed the drains, etc. When I got that email a month ago, I asked her about it and she said that was mandated under Maryland state law.

I shall do my best to pass the word. Thanks.

Re: Another Breast Cancer Link

Kathy G on 3/05/05 at 08:46 (170497)

I am providing a link to the 'Breast Cancer Site.' If one just clicks on this, it helps to provide free mamograms to women who would otherwise not be able to afford them. At the bottom of this link, you'll see links for other worthwhile causes and you can click on them if they are a cause you think is worth supporting.

I have done no research on this but I have also received no unsolicited email from them or their sponsors. I've been doing it for at least three years, almost daily, so if this was an attempt to insert spyware, etc., I think I would have seen something when I run my antispyware and I haven't. My niece said she did checking up on the site and that they were legitimate. I figure, all it takes is a couple of seconds to click and you may be helping a worthwhile cause.

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CTDSites

Re: Another Breast Cancer Link

marie on 3/05/05 at 10:17 (170503)

That is a great site. I will add it to my blog roll.

Thank you Kathy

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Suzanne D. on 3/05/05 at 11:51 (170508)

Count me as one more person who read and signed the petition. I signed it for all women and especially for one - a 29-year-old who works at the establishment where my family gets haircuts. She had a double mastectomy about a month ago and since then has been diagnosed with lung as well as breast cancer. She was discharged from the hospital not even 24 hours after the surgery to a home with two little boys, ages 3 and 6. I couldn't believe it. Her mother, a breast cancer survivor, was there to help her, thankfully.

Suzanne

Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Julie on 3/05/05 at 12:51 (170510)

I'm glad you've signed, Suzanne. I wish I could! But there doesn't seem to be any provision for 'absentee' citizens signing. Not fair! But at least I had the sense to give the link here.

I am so sorry to hear about this young woman. Breast cancer is affecting more and more younger women, and is generally much more aggressive. As I guess you know, the prognosis, if she has lung secondaries, probably isn't good. It's tragic for her and for her two little children.
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Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Julie on 3/05/05 at 12:55 (170514)

That sounds, unfortunately, like a pretty typical story, Linda. I hope this bill goes through! What are the chances, do you think?
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Re: Another Breast Cancer Link

Julie on 3/05/05 at 13:03 (170519)

Thanks, Kathy. That's another good thing to do.

In the UK all women between 50 and 70 are entitled to three-yearly mammograms and are routinely called for them. In fact, the age has only recently been raised from 64 to 70. What's the cutoff age in the States? It beggars belief that although the risk of breast cancer increases with age, older women are cut out of the programme. They can be screened if they request it, but are not automatically called for it. The fact that there is an upper age limit, and that they aren't called, gives a false sense of security: people think that if they aren't any longer eligible for screening, they are no longer at risk, when in fact the risk is greater than ever. It's crazy.

Not that I'm a great believer in mammography (or at least in such infrequent screening), as I myself was an 'interval case' - I had a clear mammograph two years before my diagnosis.
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Re: Mastectomy Bill in Congress

Suzanne D. on 3/05/05 at 13:57 (170526)

Yes, Julie, she is taking chemo, but I understand that the dr. has stated that he hopes these treatments slow the spread of the cancer and give her two good years. It is very sad. She is the young woman to whom I gave a pair of Birkenstock Bostons a year or so ago which had been given to me (and were too wide). She was having foot pain, and she really liked the shoes.

Thanks for your concern.
Suzanne

Re: It's on the move!

marie on 3/05/05 at 14:47 (170529)

http://www.lightupthedarkness.org/blog/default.asp

Check out the second post.........

Re: It's on the move!

Julie on 3/05/05 at 15:37 (170531)

Good!
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Re: It's on the move!

marie on 3/05/05 at 17:51 (170537)

I just made a post on Bill Clinton's blog and requested he post the link. Yes, Clinton has a blog too.

Re: It's on the move!

marie on 3/05/05 at 18:24 (170540)

http://billclintondailydiary.blogspot.com/

Check for my comment under the first post. It's kinda cool to be able to read and post on President Clinton's blog. The blogosphere is simply amazing.

Re: It's on the move!

marie on 3/05/05 at 21:12 (170548)

Made ya look........Sorry it's a blog by the serial blogger. I think he's up to about 100 or more prank blogs. But what the heck he gets alot of traffic so maybe folks will read and sign the pledge.

Re: It's on the move!

JudyS on 3/05/05 at 22:39 (170552)

Marie,
I'm afraid that I have to make a confession.........

I know they've been around for awhile but, well, I don't really understand what a 'blog' is (hanging my head in shame here....)

Would you mind educating me?

Re: It's on the move!

Julie on 3/06/05 at 02:17 (170556)

Judy

'Blog' is short for Weblog'

Web log. Get it?
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Re: It's on the move!

john h on 3/06/05 at 10:32 (170565)

Sorry Marie I cannot help myself. If you want to go to George Bush blog site go to 'www.winner.com'. By the way the Clinton Library has entertained nearly 300,000 people since it opened . That is very impressive. I would truly expect to see you here someday. Today we are having the Little Rock Marathon with over 5000 running from all over the country. It goes by the Clinton Library of course. Or Governor has lost over 100 lbs this past year and he and the Governor of Iowa are running. Our Governor has been in heavy duty training and he will finish. He is in his last term and an impressive sort of guy. Think we will probably see him in Congress at some point. Outstanding speaker, former minister, and even a smart guy. Great wife also who is tough to say the least. She is sort of a Tom Boy, Plays basketball. I was on a plane with her recently to Dallas and had a few words.

Re: It's on the move!

JudyS on 3/08/05 at 23:15 (170759)

ummm...sorry Marie but, no, I don't get it :(
Have I ever mentioned that where my brain is supposed to be there is actually mush?

Re: It's on the move!

JudyS on 3/09/05 at 00:32 (170760)

Hey Marie - I went to the Clinton blog site that you posted here and I just have to say I found it mind-boggling! I'm not sure I can believe that he is actually posting such private information on the World Wide Web. And I'm not so sure I can believe that he was riding around the LA streets without Secret Service in the middle of the night.

Is there any chance that that blog site is a hoax? Or am I that naive?

Re: It's on the move!

JudyS on 3/09/05 at 00:33 (170761)

Oh gosh - OK Marie, I guess I've been had!

Re: It's on the move!

marie on 3/12/05 at 15:39 (171038)

Yes it is a hoax. It is ran by a member of Free Republic. He has some other hoax sites to but won't post as they are shocking to most and kinda realllllly weird. Even Republicans would be shocked by his posts as they are reallllllllllllly weird. I did email the Seceret Service as they are directed towards Jenna Bush. They concern me. I'm sure they are already aware of the blogs but felt I could not let this one fly. I was able to track him pretty easily but won't share that info here. Even oddballs have the right to be oddballs. He is known as the serial blogger and has about 100 blogs to his name.