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Cost Scarier Than Ovarian Mass

Yesterday I spent the day with oncologists planning surgery to remove a large mass on my ovary. Everything happened so quickly. I went to my Primary Care Doctor on Thursday and by Tuesday I was facing very scary surgery. The mass may or may not be malignant but it is making me very ill and has to come out. The surgery is expensive and involves several days in the hospital. The first words out of my mouth to my PCP were “Send me to UNC they will work with me on a payment plan I can afford”. I did not say get me the best oncologist. I think UNC has the best but I should not have to think about cost first.

I am in debt for health care now due to my Multiple Sclerosis. I live a very healthy lifestyle. I am 49 years old am unlucky enough to have a Progressive form of MS and now have to have radical surgery and I do not know what else. I am trying not to think of the cost.

Congressman Price when I was in his office in Washington in March thought everyone with MS automatically gets disability and Medicare. I can’t get it. We are middle class homeowners who were scraping by with one major illness. Now we have two major illnesses to deal with to deal with.

My Doctors feel badly because I do all the right things and yet I have bad luck and bad genetics. I want to pay my medical bills and will but I do not think in this country people should lose their homes or retirements over a hospital bill.

3 Comments


  1. Rob Schofield

    May 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Thanks for posting this Alex! Your determined advocacy for reform even as you wrestle with personal health challenges and our maddening, corporate health care system is inspiring. We will be sending our best energy your way.

  2. Adam Searing

    May 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Alex – your strength is inspiring. We are on track to fix our crazy health system and will do it no matter what. We stand behind you.

  3. Alex O'Connor

    May 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Rob and Adam I will never give up on this issue not just because of me but it can be anyone. I luckily am still very much healthy to fight. I will be a voice where ever I can to educate people that it can be any of us. Also to put a face to lawmakers. It is so easy for them to look at us a statistics, to think of the cost now versus larger cost later, or to assume we some how deserve our fate.

    I am accepting that with two serious conditions I do not know what tomorrow brings for my health. The pressure comes with the not knowing what the medical bills will be. With the one out patient visit I was given a paper saying it would be between $120-$2000 dollars. My PCP said cash in your Retirement. I am only 49. I need that retirement to grow. I do not want people to feel sorry for me ever. I want people to understand this could happen to anyone and it is wrong.

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