Make us your home page

The Feed

What you're talking about today

St. Pete Times contributor Marty Clear writes about fighting cancer without health insurance



marty20clear20sig201111.jpgFor everyone stuck in this relentless, ongoing media recession, it is a fearsome possibility:

To have a major illness with no health insurance.

That's why this column for the Health News Florida website from Marty Clear, a freelance contributor to the St. Pete Times' arts coverage, is so affecting. In it, Clear describes the confusion, fear and uncertainty of trying to get treatment with no health insurance, less than a week after learning he had a tumor on his kidney the size of a baby's head.

He writes: "The hospital – where I had gone for an unrelated, routine procedure -- was chaos. On two of the four mornings I was there, right after I finished breakfast, I was told I wasn’t supposed to eat. I had to stay an extra day or two because of that.

One doctor ordered a procedure and another canceled it. One night, two people told me I’d be going home at 8 or 9 p.m. At 9 p.m., when I asked when I was going home, no one knew what I was talking about.

When I asked who was in charge of my overall treatment, nurses gave me a name that rang no bells.

I’m now finally back home, waiting to hear when and where I must report to have my right kidney removed. No one seems to know yet. Or at least no one has told me, and I have no idea whom to ask."

There's much, much more. It's a sobering, sad analysis -- especially for all of us who have come to appreciate and admire Marty as a writer and a colleague. And as friends and family try to help him any way we can, his words remind us all of the struggles the uninsured face in today's economy.


[Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 7:59am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours