Always Regret Reading the Headlines in the Straits Times

All it does is to give me intense anxiety. Why is there never any good news. It’s all gloom. It’s all about money and it feels like in this country (and perhaps many others other than the Scandinavian countries) you can only be free of worry if you’re rich.

I just skim the articles to get a gist. It gives me too much anxiety to read them word for word.

The government keeps writing about rising health costs and now they are specially targeting cancer related costs.

Why I’m distressed? You see my oncologist says if my cancer ever recurs it means I’m resistant to chemotherapy (it’s already recurred once, so a different chemotherapy drug was used and it worked) and she said not to worry as there are advances in immunotherapy and it has worked for others patients.

Now however, the government seems to be taking away that option as they are only going to subsidise certain drugs that meet their ‘cost effectiveness’. They say that affluent countries are being charged more by drug companies. If just feels like it’s a war with drug companies and cancer patients are the collateral damage? I don’t know, I may be using the wrong metaphor.

If it’s totally on a cost point of view I don’t think many lives including mine are worth extending. We are just a drain on resources.

If you’re not a cancer patient or don’t have a family member who has cancer it probably won’t register much with you. You might even cheer for the fact that it’s controlling the rise of insurance premiums. I on the other hand, just feel so resigned to the fact that I won’t be able to afford effective treatment.

All I can hope for is the cancer doesn’t recur. It feels like Russian roulette. Don’t think I would have made it past 45 if these rules were in place a couple of years ago and for that I feel much luckier than the unfortunate patients who just got their diagnosis.

The bright side is it’s just me and not a loved one. I wouldn’t be able to bear seeing that there is an option for them and I can’t afford it or it’s just not available (such as a clinical trial). That would be a far greater torture.

I’m not asking for sympathy, but perhaps empathy. Also just wanted to record how I feel. The perspective of an actual patient. So far I don’t hear their voices much in the news. Sometimes writing it all down helps rather than letting it eat you up inside.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
This entry was posted in Cancer, Singapore Living and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.