Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Only One Party Supports Voting, Jobs And Helping ALL People


-by Tracy B Ann

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I chose the treatment I felt had the least side effects. I declined Chemo, Radiation and a nasty drug called Tamoxofin. It may indeed help with breast cancer but it’s been proven to cause other types of cancer. Umm..., no thanks.

I did consent to two surgeries though, I mean, I had a malignant tumour in my body, of course I wanted it out. During surgery blue dye was injected into me to trace the cancer. Had it spread anywhere? Particularly lymph nodes?

Turns out it had, so 2 lymph nodes were removed and sent to pathology. They came back 95% and 98% cancerous which led to my having another surgery so more lymph nodes could be removed to be tested. Of these, only one had a tiny % of cancer. That was good.

The Lymphatic System seems to me to be a pretty fragile system and one that defies the laws of gravity. It flows from the bottom up and is sensitive to any blockage in it’s path. Missing nodes create a huge problem and sometimes major blockage. When that occurs, as it did in my case, the arm that had the nodes removed begins to swell, and swell, and swell. This is a condition called Lymphedema.

There aren’t a whole lot of ways to treat it so it’s best just to prevent it. As I studied everything I could about it, I was advised to call the American Cancer Society for suggestions. Seriously, I should have just discussed the matter with my cats.

Some of the suggestions were fine; never sleep on that side again, always wear gloves when gardening, avoid any cuts or scrapes, always wear a compression sleeve, avoid heavy lifting or repetitive movements. Okay, maybe I could do some of that. Then I described my jobs. The things I do for a living. Neither of which I can wear a compression sleeve while doing, both which require heavy lifting and repetitive movements.

The American Cancer Society’s advice? Oh, I’d just need to get a different job. Well, all righty then. Sounds easy enough. Except, I’ve spent over 20 years building a great clientele, and I don’t really know how to do much else that pays a decent wage. Yet, my job is becoming increasingly difficult for me to perform well.

Which makes me think of voting in an odd parallel sort of way. It can be very hard to vote and that’s on purpose. Take an absentee ballot for example. In the old days you just asked for one to be mailed to you and it was. Today in some states, you have to prove you won’t be home to vote and have your ballot sent to an address far, far, from your polling station. Otherwise you’d better show up in person.

In North Carolina if you want to vote by absentee ballot you have to have it notarized or signed by 2 registered voters. WTF? But ok, say you want to vote in person but are disabled. How easy is that going to be? Depends on where you live.

In Tennessee we vote on computers that are one height fits all. So if you are in a wheelchair and can’t see that high, tough. If you don't have the use of your hands but can read a ballot and then tell someone who you want to vote for, too bad, no one can go in the booth with you to help. If you are nonverbal but have other ways to communicate? Sorry, there’s no ballot for you.

Who do you think cares? I know one group that does not give a fuck and that would be the Republican Party. It’s possible that they are delighted that large groups of people are prevented from voting, from registering to vote and from finding well paid jobs. I don’t know that for a fact but I do know that only the Democratic Party, the progressive side of it, is doing anything about making voter registration easier, accommodating disabled voters, or creating a living wage for folks without them having to work their asses (or in my case, arms) off.

That’s the party I’m voting for. I find my Democratic candidates by going to the website 90for90, started to honor Dr. Fergie Reid, an old black dude who was advocating for fair voting and equal rights for all back in the Jim Crow days. He’s still doing it too. I pick my candidates from the 90for90 Face Book page or website because these are the folks that support Voting for ALL. I’m convinced that’s the only thing that’s going to make the world a better place, make my life a little easier, and maybe even help me find a job that accommodates my disability and pays the mortgage.

It’s not just political candidates I find on 90for90 either. There are unions, organizations and business that I want to support because they support voting. This guy, Jeffrey Joseph is a 90for90 supporter, which would be enough right there for me to support him. I also totally relate to his view of the big job search. Life just shouldn’t be this hard and I think with progressive Democrats in charge of government at every level, life will get easier for ALL.

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At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes a lot of sense. Everyone should have an easy and accessible voting experience. Great blog!

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

90 for 90 is awesome!

I hope one day the whole country can vote like we do in Oregon. We vote by mail. Ballots arrive weeks before the election so one has time to fill them out. They can be returned by mail anytime before Election Day or dropped off at any ballot box location (which, in Portland, includes every public library). Registering is easy. In fact, when you are renewing a driver's license, you are asked if you want to register to vote. Ditto signing up for social services. The State of Oregon bends over backwards to get everyone registered. It is easy, no time off from work is required to vote, and there is a paper trail.

At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article. Fun video, too. I like your humor and the way you don't take yourself seriously -- even on a serious subject.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I never have heard of this site, 90 for 90, but now that I have I surely will go to it - and also, I never thought of the difficulty for many people to be at height of the voting booth standing level - but also, how did your cancer work out? I hope well?

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing me to 90 for 90. I hadn't heard of it until reading this blog. Very cool. Keep writing!

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Rachel Friedman said...

I think you're on to something about asking the cats. They may have a more realistic view of options. Great post!


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