Fun with Medicaid

Medicaid is amazing. We’ve been on Medicaid since April of 2020, just after I was laid-off due to the pandemic. Until I was on it, it was really just something I heard about in news stories — I had no idea of the actual experience of it.

On “Full Medicaid,” our family has paid zero dollars for medical treatments and prescription drugs, of which there have been quite a few. While finding a private practice that accepts Medicaid is tricky, especially in the “nicer” areas of town, the major hospital systems all accept it and for our purposes, it works. We just made sure our pediatrician and PCP all took the coverage and all is well.

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The Great Journey begins

It’s been five days since I was woken from general anesthesia with the news that my sore throat of 6+ months is not just a sore throat.

The words have sunk in. Hypopharyngeal keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma, well-differentiated. A ~3cm mass of mutated cells that have convinced my immune system to ignore them — nothing to see here folks!

As it turns out, at some point the medical oncologist was supposed to have reached out to us in these last five, excruciating days. That would have been nice. The system has failed.

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“It’s cancer.”

Dr. Dobson’s eyes said it before her mask-covered mouth could say the words. Even in my post-biopsy-operative anesthesia haze, the words still hit me like a ton of bricks.

The bright side is, the Dr. explained, my children are safe, this cancer was not hereditary. No, this one was all my doing. A silver lining, however tiny, indeed.

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