|The two of us, Speaker Ryan and our son, David|
Well it's over. The much anticipated meetings with the big wigs on "The Hill" are in the history books and the verdict? Time will tell but here's a brief recap of what transpired and how the day unfolded.
First of all, let me begin with a caveat about life as a metster and our days that are the feeling good, conquer the world kind of days; or the down right rotten ones-- leave me alone kind of day. We never know which one will present itself until our feet hit the floor.
Unfortunately for me the BIG day would have better spent in bed than traipsing across Washington DC but, alas, here we were and the stakes were too high to be a no show. The morning began with a sleepless night due to my ongoing enemy--insomnia. From there it continued to deteriorate into a long, and literally $hitty day (TMI- I won't go into details but nearly every bathroom was visited in both the House and Senate buildings). Oh, the joys of the side effects from medicines that are prolonging my life...
But I digress.
The morning meetings with the legislators went smoothly with their aides and Senator Baldwin indicating approval regarding more funding for research. How could they contradict me as I described my limited time here and my mission on protecting my children and grandchild and all future generations from this ugly disease?
My final meeting was at the Capitol for a private session with Speaker Ryan. He agreed that supporting research and curing cancer must be a top priority in our country. I reminded him of the fact that we do not have the luxury of years or even months to wait for the debate on where to find the money. I also informed him of his and our country's moral obligation to solve this "problem" quickly.
Was he listening? He assured me this was an uppermost concern for him as he had a family member die of metastatic breast cancer. I expressed my dismay that 600,000 Americans will die from cancer this year--many more than any terrorist attacks. He nodded in agreement. Rob (the true genius behind all these meetings and best husband...ever) pointed out our concern of the present administration's beliefs on reducing the need for science and research. Ryan responded about being the ballast on the boat driving research forward and would not let that happen (No political comment from me).
One of the biggest concerns for the cancer community is what will happen to our health care and the financial toxicity that we face with this diagnosis. Again, I was assured that we will be protected (Really, I mean...REALLY?).
So, a successful experience or a bust? The verdict is still out until we see NCI's funding increased and our health care becomes affordable. Stay tuned. With a brief 15 minutes of Speaker Ryan's time, the hope is my story and those of you who responded to my request for advice will prompt him and others on the Hill to do the right thing.
Thank you for all your positive vibes and good wishes. My voice was one small whisper in everyone's ear but I am hoping it will resound into a chorus of shouts from all of us.
Our call to action: As the health care legislation is presently working its way through Congress please email your representative and senators--https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials-- of our need for protection in health care affordability. Do it today and then ask twenty friends to do the same. Together we can make a difference.
Thanks for reading # 513 of 7777.