Tag Archives: health care

Privileged with Cancer

by Libby Goldberg          

It’s been four months since I was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer and six months since my long-term partner and I split up. Needless to say, thirty-one has been a fucking hard year for me. Less than five percent of women with ovarian cancer have my type, germ cell, and most of those who do are between the ages of fifteen and twenty. My diagnosis and treatment have impacted my life in deeper ways than I have words to adequately express, both negatively and positively, and I have faced enormous challenges. One of the major factors contributing to my ability to successfully meet these challenges has been my class identity. My recent experiences with cancer have provided me the opportunity to more viscerally understand the individual and institutional privileges I have access to and have inspired me to share this understanding with others in similarly privileged positions. Early on my process with cancer, I made the decision to use all the angles I could, however unfair it might be, to take care of my body and to save my life. While this decision feels like the right one, my experiences have continued to feel complicated and riddled with questions. What does it mean to be a radical with access to the best medical care in the country? What privileges are okay to use? Can I still be part of the “movement”, even though I belong to the owning class? What is the best way to leverage the resources I have towards social change? For those of us whose fire inside burns stronger with the possibility of a just world, where every human need gets met, where we are collectively liberated from oppression, I am hoping that my story will encourage discussion and action. Continue reading