I feel like you and I have to have a “come to Jesus” conversation about pandemics.

A pandemic is essentially a chronic condition we all must learn to live with for the foreseeable future.

Sit with that a second.

Harsh, right?

It didn’t suddenly go away or get better with the new year or the announcement of a vaccine. In fact it is worse than ever because we haven’t done, or continued to do, everything we needed to do to mitigate the spread. Now, collectively, we’re dealing with mutations because the disease had so much room to grow, it did.

Anyone who is actively paying attention.

From January 2017:

Over the last year and a half, this man successfuly hijacked a pominant political party, discredited its established leaders, and created an environment ripe for the beginnings of an American dictatorship.

Last night, listening to Donald Trump’s acceptance speech, I could hear what appeals to his voters; The theatrical intonation, the appearance of strength, the condemnation of those who wish us harm. Without looking deeper, one might believe this man could save our country from a most certain doom. …

Fired Because of Cancer

By: Erin Havel

If you clicked on the title thinking, “Employers cannot fire employees due to illness, we have laws in place to protect people in our society” — half of your thought is correct. We do have laws meant to protect the vulnerable people in our society. The question you need to ask yourself is, what other laws have you seen “massaged” over the years to fit what a person/company/industry wants to do?

Released, let go, fired; there are so many ways to forget a person’s livelihood is dependent on those casual words. …

by: Erin Havel

Erin Havel’s exterior AVM prior to surgery

Happy Rare Disease Day everyone! Today is the rare occasion when rare diseases actually find a little attention. It is not lost on me that this year the date falls on the 29th of February. A rare date to acknolwedge the rarest of the rare in our society.

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS was an anomaly when it brought wide focus onto a rare disease. Most rare diseases never find that type of publicity. …

photo credit: Erin Havel

by Erin Havel

Say them with me: Cervical, Ovarian, Uterine, Vaginal, Vulvar. These are not shameful terms, and they are not cancers we can ignore due to discomfort. Let’s women-up and take back our health by educating ourselves instead of burying our heads in the sand.

By now you’ve probably read that Johnson and Johnson was ordered to pay 72 million dollars in damages to a woman’s family after she passed away from ovarian cancer. This is because the jury believed the woman’s heavy use of talcom powder products for feminine hygiene may have been the cause for her ovarian…

By: Erin Havel

Becoming disabled is painful. It is an upsetting truth to not be able to do all the things you once took for granted. Thankfully our society offers safety nets like short term and long term disability through private policies, and Social Security Disability.

However, these policies are not always easily approved or re-approved. If you find yourself in a situation where you are disabled and have been denied coverage, consider following these 5 steps.

1.Hire an attorney.

I know this is not what you want to hear, but attorneys specializing in disability cases know far more about…

by: Erin Havel

In recent weeks, I’ve been watching The Left begin to criticize eachother for their choice of candidate. Please stop doing that. You are not in the same position as the Republicans are with this election cycle. Support who you want, but feel confident in knowing you have two really great contenders representing your party.

Senator Sanders and former Secretary of State Clinton are both well seasoned, perfectly capable people to lead this country. They may not agree on everything, but in general their hopes are in line with the greater democratic belief system. …

by: Erin Havel

Nine years ago my family went on a vacation to Disney World. I hadn’t visited Mickey Mouse since I was a kid so I was really excited to check out the changes to the park and see all the sites from an adult perspective. Unfortunately, I spent most of the vacation sick in the hotel room.

While the majority of my family went to Epcot Center, I, in a delirium, crawled back and forth to the bathroom and bed. Looking back at pictures now, I can see the leukemia; my eyes were droopy and vacant, my hair…

by: Erin Havel

“Your co-pay for this month is $2,986.00. Would you like to use your credit card?”

The customer service rep at Accredo Specialty Pharmacy asked the question as casually as if she were asking if I wanted fries with a burger. I’m guessing her nonchalant attitude is because I am not the only one on such an expensive medication. She probably states these insane prices and asks for credit card numbers hundreds of times a day. The costs probably feel less and less like real money the higher they become.

For most Americans, she might as well have…

by: Erin Havel

Today, I saw yet another article about someone who successfully faked having cancer. She apparently raised a ton of money for her medical costs, and survivorship. Then, eight years in, it turns out she was lying.

The timing and location of this particular faker is especially difficult for me. I am someone living with chronic leukemia (CML). I’m coming up on my nine year cancerversary in a few months, and I live just across the bridge from this woman. We’re even close in age.

I had to file for bankruptcy because of the exorbitant medical costs. I…

Erin Havel

Writer, Author, Blogger, Advocate, Leukemia/AVM Survivor, LGBT, Spiritually Minded. Past Lives: Traveling Actor, Singer/Songwriter, Corporate America Serf

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