Friday, March 21, 2014

Way Down in The Mines

Like the pain of childbirth, forgotten until the next baby, there is a lot in the process of cancer treatment that I had put behind me, only to be rediscovered once I found myself back in thick of it. The biopsies, the PICC lines, the needle sticks.

The bills and lost wages.

After the distress of the diagnosis, I lifted my head up to embrace the gifts in what is to come, and then put my head down to focus on the work of illness and recovery. John dropped everything else to support me, to deal with the emotional and physical needs of two young children and a seriously ill, hospitalized, wife. Then, at some point, the stacks of envelopes started arriving: insurance claim denials and thousands of dollars in medical bills at a time, credit card bills for gas and groceries, rent, and utilities, with nothing on the revenue line because there's been no time to work. 

The marrow transplant will take place in Boston, where I will be in the hospital for at least a month. Following that is a recovery period of about a year during which time I will be severely immune-compromised and not able to leave the house without a mask and gloves. Already this year, John has missed two months of work, and there's plenty more disruption to come.

I remember the hollow, fearful feeling of these envelopes three years ago, and I remember all the help we received in getting through them. I spent the first night talking down the anxiety, reminding myself that we've been here before, that no one is going to let us starve or destroy our credit over this. I trust that we will surf this, and I'm sleeping well again, but I know we are going to need a lot of help to get through this year.

Some friends have set up a fundraising drive for us, for which we am very grateful. I struggled with the idea, but I have to admit that it will make a big difference and I know it is an easy way for others to contribute. We are so thankful for all that we have received, emotionally and physically; all the lovely meals and help with the kids and everything, but if you would like another avenue for helping us, check out

We'll never be able to sufficiently express our gratitude for all the love and support we have received; our only chance is to pay it forward at every opportunity.  Whether or not you can contribute to this campaign, know that we thank YOU.

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