The Ice, the Moon, and Me

It’s still freezing here. That makes everything a bit more difficult. Not so much for me because I like to just sit and stare out the window. It was great during the storm (see pic), and it was great the next night when the moon was rising over the snow.

The deep freeze is not so great for my children, and their children, and anyone who has children under twenty. During school vacation it was too cold to go outside, and then two days after school opens twelve inches of snow falls and everyone is back home for more cozy time. I mean, let them watch their iPads. The dog won’t even go outside to shit.

As for me, besides watching the moon, I still have cancer. It still seems strange. Everyone has been so nice to me, that remains strange also, but it’s good to see and feel. It’s kind of difficult to respond to everyone. I will try to do a better job after I finish this. But thanks everyone. It really does make me happy. Hsere’s what I was thinking about while the moon was rising. .

I am grateful for the kind of quick and thorough care that I am getting, My daughter even has a friend who is a doctor at the famous cancer center in Boston. That woman called me this morning and went over my reports and treatment plans while she coddled her three month old baby in her arms. She was very reassuring. She knows the people who were treating me and thought they certainly knew what they were doing. It seems as if treating men’s breast cancer is almost a simple as treating male pattern baldness. At least if nothing alarming shows up on my next two body scans.

That led me to thinking about how much this will all cost. This is America; it always comes down to how much it cost. I figure having cancer will cost me about $3000 this year, out of my pocket, maybe more. That’s fine, I can certainly afford that if it will keep me alive. My government will probably spend for to five times that amount because I have a government insurance plan. I am very happy about that.

I think everyone should have a government insurance plan that’s as good as mine. I am aware that many of the people who are running our government right now don’t agree with me. Their vision of America seems to be more that the rich should live and the poor should die. They call the kind of payments I am getting for my treatments “entitlements.” And yes, I agree that every American citizen should feel they are entitled to get to stay alive as long as is reasonably possible. In the Constitution it clearly says that the purpose of government is to insure the general welfare of it’s citizens. What else would that mean?

But clearly, the way of the world has always been that governments have always felt that many of their citizens are easily dispensable. World War I immediately comes to mind. Verdun, 500,000 people died in few months from living in mud shooting at each other. I’m sure the kids in those trenches had very little idea of why they were killing each other. They were told that they were the good guys and the other side was bad. We still are not too sure why this happened, but those people are still died young.

World War II of course had the slaughter of six million Jews, along with Gypsies, gays, and anyone else who was not considered pure. What many Americans don’t realize is that between twenty and thirty million Russians died during WWII, and most of them were civilians. That’s 20,000,000 to 30,000,000 in numbers. That’s a lot of people. A lot of lives. As Stalin said, a family dying is a tragedy, a million deaths is just a number.

Another group of expendable people of course, were those who died, and even those who lived, as slaves. That number also reaches into the tens of millions. No one really has any idea of how many lives were just tossed away so that some people in power didn’t have to work so hard.

We can go on and on. The refugees today who are stuck in camps all over the world. They have been driven out of their homes because…. why? They worship the wrong god, they said bad things about their leader, they are the wrong color. The kids who live in American cities, and get to go to crumbling schools, and barely have enough to eat. The families who lived for years in small Texas towns who are now getting sick because fracking has come to their neighborhood. I’m sure you have your own list.

So, in some ways, it is amazing that my government will spend a few thousand dollars to keep an old man like me alive. It’s clear from talking to the doctors that we have the knowledge. It’s clear every time I lie down on the table for a CT scan, an MRI or get genetic testing, that we have the technology. We didn’t have many of these things even ten years ago. That’s all fantastic!! And they are letting me have it, and I still have enough money to stay warm while it’s 4 degrees outside — and even go to Europe if I want to, where all of those citizens get the same care, and probably at less cost.

If it were up to me, and in some little ways it still is, then everyone should be treated like I am, and if they can’t pay the thousands of dollars, then I’m willing to not go to Europe this year and help pay for their health care.

What I’d like to know is how Paul Ryan can explain how it’s OK from him to get this kind of health care but that several thousand people in his district will soon have their health insurance made much more expensive, or taken away. What makes him so special? Is it because some ultra-rich asshole paid tons of money to help get him elected.

What I clearly believe, after discussing it with the moon, is that all of us humans are united by our insignificance. We are all here, and at some point we won’t be. We may live long happy lives, or suffer miserably. We may be kind, caring souls, or huge assholes. But we each only get one chance at this, and we should do all we can to make it last, for each of us.

We all do better, when we are all doing better.

Brilliant! Right? ( a little trite maybe, but, hey, I have cancer, give me a break).



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