We have Aflac insurance (yes, the one with the ads featuring that annoying duck). To my understanding, the way Aflac works is that you choose various situations and pay for coverage for those only.
For example, based on our coverage, if we have major surgery, we're covered. If we contract leprosy, we aren't. Things like that.
One of the "situations" we have covered is cancer.
This came in very handy three years ago in helping us pay my medical bills and cover my nearly five months of missed work as I recovered from cancer.
Aflac is all about being proactive in managing your health so they send us a letter every year offering us a $60 bonus if I've had a cancer screening within the last twelve months.
Of course I've had a cancer screening. Until this year, I had to go in every THREE to FOUR months to have an exam. Now I go in every six months. Calling the procedure that I endure a "pap smear" is like calling the Sears Tower a tall building: it just doesn't do it justice.
In a regular pap smear, a gynecologist uses a metal speculum roughly the size of a plantain. My oncologist uses a metal speculum more suited to examining a full grown elephant. I make sure I have a fairly empty stomach because I don't want that thing shoving along my lower intestines and causing any embarassing digestive upsets.
In a regular pap smear, a gynecologist makes appropriate small talk about your kids, your hobbies, and the weather. My oncologist asks about lumps, bleeding, and spouts off stark statistics about my increased odds for contracting breast cancer.
In a regular pap smear, a gynecologist uses a swab roughly six inches long to take a cell sample. My oncologist uses a cotton probe long enough to activate my gag reflex if he isn't careful.
In a regular pap smear, a gynecologist does a gentle examination that is over with inside of twenty seconds. My oncologist examines me thoroughly enough to comment on the size of my spleen. When he's done with me, my ovaries ache, my abdomen cramps, and I can't do anything worthwhile (especially work!) for two days.
So, when Aflac sends me their little "cancer-screening" form, I proudly mark off "pap smear/pelvic exam", send it back, and wait for my check. After all, I've more than earned it.
My check came in Saturday. It was made payable to my husband. When he proves that he can withstand my oncologist in full pelvic exam mode, he can cash it.