Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Surely this is just a fluke...

Ms. Fluke's testimony regarding contraception coverage for students at a Catholic school (

Here is my analysis (Ms. Fluke's words in quotes): 

"I’m a third year student at Georgetown Law, a Jesuit school. I’m also a past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice or LSRJ."

Consider that LSRJ is within a body that fundamentally disagrees with its goals, yet sponsors it, allows it to exist and to speak out.

"I attend a Jesuit law school that does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan."

They also do not require her to have sexual relations. In fact, as she is an unmarried person, I'd bet they discourage it. Contraception for sex isn't like clean air for breathing or clean water for drinking -- sex is (normally) 100% optional.

"Simultaneously, the recently announced adjustment addresses any potential conflict with the religious identity of Catholic and Jesuit institutions."

Gotta call B.S. here. Many (but not all) Catholic institutions respectfully disagree. The 'adjustment' simply said, 'You Catholic organizations don't have to pay for BC, your insurance companies will pay.' Right. Who is being mandated to pay the insurance company to pay for the BC? How stupid does our Government think we are?

"Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school."

OK. This has been widely misquoted as "over $3,000 per year." How long is law school? One major law school reports: 'Full-time students can graduate in three years by taking an average of 15 credit hours per semester.', accessed 10/3/2012.

So she's saying $1,000 per year. In a recent communication, a friend, Rich Glisson, says routine contraception can cost up to $65/month. That's $780.00 per year. $2.14 per day. I'll bet she spends more than that at Starbucks, despite "...suffering the burden..." of paying for her own contraceptives. Georgetown University's Website states that their law school education will cost about $50,000 per year (, referenced 10/3/2012). An additional $780.00 is 1.56% of that cost. My point in other discussions, while somewhat diluted, stands. She has inflated the cost for impact, while apparently ignoring other voluntary costs.

"In the worst cases, women who need this medication for other medical reasons suffer dire consequences."

Another BS call. I know of NO medical insurance program that systematically denies "this medication for other medical reasons." Some have denied "this medication" when it had no other medical reason. Occasionally, I'll agree, mistakes have been made. See next item.

"...exceptions don’t accomplish their well-intended goals because when you let university administrators or other employers, rather than women and their doctors, dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose aren’t, a woman’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body."

I say amen to this complaint. I don't like the bureaucrats determining my medical care, either, but so long as my insurance company (Humana) is paying part of the bill, that's the facts of life, for men, women, children, and sexually active law students. The medical institution, working with (or against) the bureaucrats, will make mistakes and that will negatively impact our health and health care. She relates some examples that are probably spot on. I'm fighting with Humana right now for a prescription that they don't want to pay for because their records show it was refilled when it was not. A doctor would just give me a new prescription. An insurance company cares more about the cost than my health.

Beyond this point, she moves from attempting a fact-based argument to a distressing emotional appeal. Her script is well-written. But, come on. Regardless of her protestations, she is attending an institution of her own choice. She does not like their rules. She knew them before she paid her first tuition installment. She belongs to an institution-sponsored organization that allows her to work for changes that run counter to the institution's dearly held beliefs within that very institution. Failing to win change, she could transfer to a different law school. She (not needing contraception for other medical reasons) could choose to be celibate. We do not need her, or anyone else, encouraging our over-reaching, over-controlling government to press their thumbs any harder on the citizens of this supposedly "free" land.

Catholic institutions should not be forced to pay for contraception (which they believe to be wrong) any more than Jewish or Islamic organizations should be forced to provide pork at their school cafeterias. Note that I am not Catholic, Jewish, nor Islamic; just a believer in and lover of freedom.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Clear margins

Clear margins. The growth was a carcinoma, but there is no sign that it had spread. No medications nor radiation. I'm to go back in three months for further "all over" visual inspection, then twice a year after that. I guess forever. I had the stitches out last Monday, and the incision is nearly healed -- still itches a bit. I've been swimming again since Thursday. That, I had really missed. I guess I'm the King of Denial, but I never imagined that I'd have to deal with cancer, even a minor one like this skin cancer. I do recognize my own mortality. I don't think I'm afraid of death. Pain, on the other hand scares the hell out of me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


On Friday, July 20, 2012, I received results from the pathology exam of the growth removed from my back. The edge analysis was negative. This means that the minor surgery has apparently removed all of the cancer. This is good news and should be a relief. Now I'm just waiting to feel relieved.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


As of today, and for the time being, I am a cancer survivor. Perhaps on the lower rungs of that ladder. Yesterday, my dermatologist removed the offending growth from my back, just below my right shoulder blade. The incision is four inches long and has two layers of stitches. Properly anesthetized, the actual minor surgery was not painful. This morning, with the meds worn off, the site hurts a bit. I have to return on August 1st to have the stitches out. The doctor said they would be doing an "edge analysis" of the removed growth to ensure they took enough to "get it all." He said he would define this removal as an "early detection" and I should have no further problem with this particular growth. The literature they gave me quotes an "85% cure rate with early detection." Time will tell.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Whether 'tis EZier in the mind to suffer...

Squamous cell carcinoma. A type of skin cancer. It is known to spread faster than basal cell carcinoma and can spread to other parts of the body to include internal organs.

I've read that a diagnosis of cancer changes your life. Everything. The way you think, what you choose to believe, what you choose to do, how you feel. I received my diagnosis today by telephone. Other than that it was a very normal day -- I met with clients and with employees, visited with family. So far all I feel is very tired, weary.

The fact that I'm 1,500 miles from home and here to attend the funeral of my sister-in-law whom we lost last Monday to cancer may contribute to my feeling of weariness.

At my ripe old age, I have often wondered what it would be that would end my life. I've actually had a low-grade morbid curiosity about that since I was a child. This may be it--the wondering may be over.

But probably not. I'm scheduled for minor surgery to have the cancerous spot on my back removed in less than a week from now. The literature tells me that, caught early, this cancer is generally treatable, and often does not return, but that I am now and for the rest of my life more prone to skin cancer than if I'd never had it. I am to be vigilant. Right now, I'm just tired.