Cancer, New Year’s, and My Odd Relationship with Obama

Cancer, New Year’s, and My Odd Relationship with Obama
A Lump in the Road column This time of year, I always remember New Year’s Eve 2014. I wore a silver skirt that shone like aluminum foil, blue earrings that lit up like tiny glowing jewels, and a black sweater that glimmered like the fur of a kitten, soft and irresistible. Underneath that sweater, I could still feel the icy slab of the mammogram I endured earlier in the day. And in my head, like an echo, I heard the tech say from behind her screen that she knew where I could get “cheap chemo.” I was the designated driver that night, so while my friends passed around charming pink cocktails almost as cute as my outfit, my brain was sober enough to keep replaying words I kept to myself that night. Otherwise, it was a great party. The following day, Obamacare kicked in, and when I tried to make an appointment with a doctor, I was told, over and over again, that because of the Affordable Care Act, my insurance policy was flagged with a new three-digit code that rendered it invalid. Not a single doctor would see me. Ten days later, my husband Gary tucked three crisp $100 bills into his shirt and drove me to an oncologist, the only one who agreed to an appointment and on the condition that we bring cash. That was another memorable day. I don’t recall my outfit, but I do remember that austere office. Fluorescent light fixtures. A dusty plastic plant in a cheap brown pot. Vinyl chairs that reminded me of the Greyhound bus station back in Missouri, where I grew up. That doctor told me I’d
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