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AMACAR63's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2011

Hello fellow caregivers. I came across this discussion board while trying to do some research. It seemed like a good place that I can get some insight, advice and perhaps vent. My husband and I have been together for 28 years and married for 26. He is a long haul driver and has been for 26 years. Last September 27th he went in for his DOT physical and that is when this whirlwind started for this segment of our life.He has stage 3 head and neck cancer. His last day of work was October 1st and then all the doctors appointments and surgeries began. We had already exhausted what little bit we had because up until last April we had custody of our four grandchildren for 3 1/2 years. Because of his income we weren't eligible for any assistance even though we suddenly added 4 mouths to take care of so everything we did have went to supporting them. Then less than 5 months later, after daughter was granted custody back, this all happens. Since then we have depended on others to help with prescriptions, bills and gas(which we do not take for granted and appreciate more than anyone knows). I really haven't had to worry about food because of the way I have always shopped so, with the exception of fresh produce and milk and bread, I was pretty well stocked. I still can go about another 2 months with what is left. His short term disability check was literally taking care of the insurance and life insurance. There was only $1.67 left after this was paid. Not even enough for a gallon of gas. Yesterday we received a notice that he is losing all his benefits as of April. That means we are losing his health insurance, the one thing I had not had to worry about. I have been doing what I can selling childrens cloths etc at the flea market and do little things here and there but I don't know what we are going to do. I am already a month behind on the rent and now everything is due again for March.I have worked most of my life up until 11 years ago and I was suddenly stopped with my own health issues(fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and a few others).After having my grandbabies and the stress of getting my daughter back on track it has took it's toll on me and I am finding it harder to get going in the mornings much less any other part of the day.We are losing everything and I do not know what to do next to stop this from happening. We have over 30 medical bills with more expected to come in.Our regular living expenses and every time we turn around a new prescription, doctor co-pays.I had to stop taking alot of medicines when I got the children in order to be there for them so at this time I do not have any.I have always just got up and got things done all my life. Somehow it always works out. This time I am not so sure and I am feeling the stress big time. I'm not sure what step to take next to keep our home and keep things going. Thank you for taking your time to read my plight and having this board so I may vent for a moment. ((fibrohugs))

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello and welcome to you and your husband to our caregivers discussion board. I was a caregiver for my dad. He passed March 9, 2010 from esophageal cancer with mets to liver. You guys are the second couple going through similar situations. Her name is Cher. What we have been suggesting to them is to reach out for help. Call the American Cancer Society. They can be very helpful in many ways. They helped me with gas reimbursement. Ask for financial help from the hospital. Ask your church or local food bank for help with food. They will help you. This is the time to not be shy or ashamed. You will not get help if you do not ask. Yes, it will all work out. Pray, pray and pray. Remember...Come to me all that are heavy laden, and I will comfort you. Everyone is wonderful here. Very helpful, supportive, and knowledgeable.
Lean on us whenever you need to. We will be praying. Keep us updated. Hugs back to both of you.
Tina in Va

AMACAR63's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2011

Hello Tina, I'm Mandy and hubby is Rick. Thank you for your reply and I will add that to my list of errands for tomorrow.I know there is help out there somewhere but people don't always know where to look for it. I know that the doctors, nurses and everyone involved in this field do their very best and try to help you through some of this but it seems they don't really prepare you for what you are about to go through. It's almost like a live and learn as you go type of thing. Some of the side effects and hospital stays could have been avoided had they been explained a bit better with more detail. I know they are doing their best at the Thompson Cancer Center but I think where they say it so much it becomes like every one should already know this so just skim over it type of thing. I started writing all my questions down that I think of because when your there you can"t remember everything you want to know. Hubby doesn't really ask anything because everything with him is what ever the doctor says, so questions are left up to me. I am glad I stumbled across this sight because it does seem like it's everything you said.

Your family has my deepest sympathies for your loss. I have never been able to find words to console during this time but know your family are in my prayers.

Mandy in Tn

Posts: 296
Joined: Jan 2010

Now is the time to lean on the kindness of strangers.
We are all independent people, with our own cares and dreams. But sometimes we need each other to get through the rough times.
I have NO experience with support systems, as my wife and I are fortunate to have good benefits. But I would not hesitate for a second to apply for SSI, Medicare/Medicaid, Disability, whatever.


AMACAR63's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2011

thank you here4lfe, we are trying to find out who it is we need to talk to. this is all new and we have no idea how to go about any of it.

have a wonderful day


Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2011

Mandy, I'm so sorry for what you and Rick are dealing with. The cancer journey is not an easy one. It's all new to my hubby and I also. I did get a book from the cancercare website it's called: A Helping Hand The resource Guide for People with Cancer. It list places and help available maybe something that could help you. www.cancercare.org or 1-800-813-HOPE (4637)
I'm sure having your grandchildren was hard also but glad you were able to care for them. Wishing only the best for you.
Please keep in touch and let us know how things are going.


AMACAR63's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2011

thank you joyce for your wonderful kindness. i will definitely be looking that information up. everyday is a learning experience with cancer. i know we will make it through this, like we have every hurdle that has ever been placed in our path. our entire marriage has been faced with one high stress situation after another and we are all the stronger for it. although i will admit gaining custody of the grandbabies was unexpected as well as having my daughter becoming another person unknown to me.but....hubby and i gave up everything and the 4 grandbabies became our #1 priority. i would have appreciated a rest before being thrown into our next adventure(lol!) maybe it will come after this journey has past. i am sorry that you and your hubby are going through any of this but it's a pleasure to meet you. i met have met several very nice people on here and everyone is more than willing to help. although i wish this horrible disease did not exist for anyone, it is so comforting to know i am only a click away to all that are on here.

have a wonderful evening and keep the laughter,

mandy in tn

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