I am blessed to live in an amazing community with extremely loving and generous people. When I got out of the hospital, people brought me food every single night for three weeks straight. In case you missed all that, here’s the deal: I went to see an OBGYN Oncologist on February 22, and on February 23, he opened me up. They found three large tumors and many, many, many smaller tumors diffused all throughout my abdominal cavity. They spent hours (and even called in another surgeon) trying to get every bit of cancer they could see, and taking the organs that were ravaged by the cancer. In the end, a complete hysterectomy was performed, and I came away with no spleen, no gall bladder, and no appendix. My pancreas was cut in the process and I had to wear a special tube that pulled out my pancreatic fluid for three weeks after the surgery. Needless to say, recovery was looooooonnnnnnnggggggg and hard. We had to train my two-year-old that he could not be picked up my me any more. I spent a great deal of time on the couch, unable to do much of anything. Those meals were a Godsend. People from both my church and the extended community have been more generous than I deserve.
When my son was born, I attended a support group for breastfeeding moms, at the encouragement of another mom. It was the best decision I ever made. I made some great friends with the amazing women there, and two and a half years later we still hang out. One mom in particular really felt led to help us out. Three months ago when she brought over a meal, she broached the idea of holding a fundraiser for me and my family. At the time I didn’t have the slightest clue what our medical expenses were going to add up to, so I told her yes. She has been working hard to put this event together and it will happen this weekend. Another mom who is a certified yoga teacher will be teaching a class in a local park that anyone can attend and all donations will go to help me and my family.
I am blown away by this.
It is the epitome of generosity. A lot of the moms attending don’t even know me.
I try not to talk about money matters on here. My mother is a financial genius and from a very young age she taught us how to manage our money. But no one can plan for cancer. Especially not a rare and aggressive cancer that requires almost 700 miles of travel, hotel rooms, and extra medical expenses. Very early on in my diagnosis, I gave the money stuff to God. Because there is no way we would make it on our own. And He has been good. Our families have been unbelievably generous and we have kept our heads above water so far. My husband’s salary covers all of our day-to-day expenses, with the exception of our son’s day care or groceries. Before my diagnosis, I was working part-time to cover those. Now, though, that is not possible. Because my spleen was taken, I really have to limit my contact with people. I am sick all the time now. Every time I go in public I risk catching whatever is out there. Where I was working, hundreds of people come through every day. Even when I was working in the back, we had between 10-20 employees back there on a regular basis. It’s too risky. I haven’t been to church on Sunday morning in three weeks because I’m always sick. Because I have a young child, I am considered high-risk for germs and such. What does this mean? Well, to put it bluntly, expenses. Here’s an example of the “above and beyond” expenses we have had since this diagnosis:
- We spend $150/ month on drugs for me, and that’s if I don’t get sick (and doesn’t include whatever my husband and son might need to take)
- Each doctor visit is only $30, but each emergency room visit or outpatient visit is $150
- Since his tubes fell out, my son gets ear infections regularly. Because I have to limit my time in public, I cannot take him to the doctor, which means my husband has to take off work to do it. On average, we spend about $75 per ear infection, and the price keeps going up because the previous medicines are not working. We hope to put tubes back in soon, which will be another $150.
- Travel expenses to Houston are around $250 per ticket
- Hotels in Houston are unbelievably expensive and the hospital-run, patient-priced one is $169/ night. Everything else runs closer to $250.
Needless to say, it adds up. I really, really hesitated about writing this post. I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not asking for anything. I just really felt if people really wanted to donate, they should know where their money is going.
I say all that to say: I am putting a “Donate” button on the blog. It makes me incredibly squirmy, but people have asked for it. I will say it again: I am not asking for anything. If you have prayed about it and feel like God is really laying it on your heart to donate, then by all means do. But please don’t feel obligated to. My God has come through time and time again through the generosity of family and friends, and He will again. But I must step out of my comfort zone and allow Him to work through others. If a “Donate” button will accomplish that, then who am I to argue against it? So I am getting out of my own way and letting Him work.