CSN Login
Members Online: 5

You are here

“The Road to Ruin” – At the Financial Crossroads – A Sundance Update

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

The sign up ahead said “Rest Stop.” So, I thought I would pull over and talk to you again this morning. You know, I just really need someone to talk to today…I hope you have a minute? Well, maybe more than a minute…some of you know how I am :)

Lots of things have been rollin’ around my head lately and I’ve been wrestling with big decisions that could affect the outcome of my future health situation. This has led to some deep thinking and some frustration on my part as I was deciding what to do. And reading some posts about insurance woes and the key role they play – literally holding our lives in their hands, has given me many things to ponder.

And then….this morning, it sort of all came together, as I had to do what I did not want to have to do and what I had been fighting against. It took just ONE phone call and now the attack plan has changed, and not necessarily for the better. Just sort of let the air out of my tires, and it felt like I was back out “on my own” trying to find the way again, after I hung up the phone with the nurse.

So, what happened?

Well, after nearly 6 long years of the battle, I finally came to the “Financial Crossroads” in my journey today. I cancelled my CT scan for this Friday, because I can no longer afford to pay for the scans anymore.

I also cancelled the lung surgery that was already scheduled as well.

I’ve prided myself on being able to stay afloat and get done what needed to be done – it all just becomes another monthly payment in the end. But therein, lies the problem.

After nearly 6 years, I am paying on close to 10 medical bills per month, for about $600 per month. Two other bills (at the new hospital) are on their way to Collections, because they want $138.70 for one of those and another $90 for the other one would add to that total, putting the price tag over $800 each and every month.

I have tried working with the hospital on a lower amount for both of the ones scheduled for Collections, but they won’t budge and I just can’t pull it out of my a$$ anymore.

I’m still paying on the CT scan from Oct2009, right before DaVinci surgery. Each CT costs me $753.00 out of my pocket. So, I’m due to have last year’s CT scan paid off in early 2011…you can see where this is going. Each CT scan done represents another YEAR of my life to pay that one off.

And since I’ve run out of “monthly payments” (for now), essentially, I’m Done and on hold for this stage of my journey until I can clear the way to get back in the fight and go some more.

Which brings me to this update:
Early in January, I had posted the results of a CT scan that was done for free (I had met my out of pocket deductibles) for that year and I said go ahead. Well, they found another tumor, as large as the previous 2 they had removed.

Many of you had posted back that it was probably scar tissue, or a granuloma. John23 jokingly referred to it as an “M&M.” I laughed at that one, very funny, and wish that were the case. But, it was not then – and it is not now.

The new tumor is located 6” further down from the previous 2 excised tumors. Since the previous 2 tumors were benign, I feel confident that this tumor more than likely is as well. What we do know is that the tumor was large in Jan2010 and is undoubtedly still growing – the question is “How big is it now?” A question that will have to wait awhile longer.

Could it be Cancer? Don’t know, probably not, but time will tell. One thing is for certain though, even if this tumor is benign, it is GROWING, and eventually I’ll have to deal with it. Gonna’ cost me another lung surgery to find out. Sort of like “playing poker” and “calling” – show me your hand.

It is frustrating to know that after all that I’ve gone through with rectal, liver, and lung surgeries, along with all of the radiation, CyberKnife, chemo infusions and pills, and lastly doing the DaVinci, becoming the 1st person in North Texas to do this procedure on the lungs, that it all boils down to a “piece of paper” with numerals written on, that makes All the Difference.

What’s even more frustrating is paying every month for a medical plan that you can NO LONGER USE. You gotta’ love it, right?

So far, I do not meet the monetary guidelines set forth by most organizations that offer assistance. We both work and either individually or combined, we exceed the limit. I also checked into our employee assistance program, but they do not cover “any” medical expenses whatsoever.

It’s all about the “Benjamins” – it is a “Money World” – you have to “pay to play.”

So, what is Craig’s GamePlan now?

Good question, what I plan on doing is continuing to get my bloodwork done – I’ll evaluate those results and look at my CEA numbers and take it from there – and hope for the best for now. As soon as I can get this addressed, I’m All In again!

I accept this “Stop in the Journey” as part of “Doin’ Business.”

Realistically, I would say that I might have to sit out the entire year with no CT scans. I’m going to hope that things will not get out of hand during that time and if the tumors continue to grow, that they grow slowly. You can send your best wishes for this.

I will remain positive during this time and by no means have I “mailed it in.” I’ll fight on until my last breath – that you can take to the bank :)

I’ll close with one last thought – and a funny story…

Last Thought:
I’ve read many posts over the last couple of days about “Scanxiety” and the apprehension that comes with waiting for your scan results. Many of you have had or are doing them right now. I certainly understand those thoughts and feelings all to well.

Right now, I wish that I had those same feelings that you do. Why? Because that would mean that I could have a scan and would be waiting on results as well.

We never REALIZE what we’re missing, until that option is no longer available, or is taken from us. Something to ponder about…a fresh perspective about a tried and true subject.

Funny Story:
When I was first diagnosed back in June 2004, I told the Onc, “It would be easier if I just died.” He said, “Craig, when do you think that will be?” And I so famously said, “When you can’t AFFORD the scans, treatments, and medicines….that’s WHEN.”

I want to thank each one of you for taking your time to share my thoughts with you today. It’s always a real pleasure to talk with you when I have something on my mind. It’s a comfort to know you are around to listen during those times and can understand what it is that I’m trying to convey. I carry my thoughts around as long as I can, then I remember the Board and know that I’ve got an outlet when things get overwhelming.

I should have told you sooner, but there are so many of you out there, with more dire stories than mine, and I feel I don’t want to burden any of you unnecessarily with something silly that I’ve got going on.

Things Happen for a Reason – and I’m sure it will all work itself out. I did not come this far over the past 6 years to be defeated by $$$’s.

Everyone take care and remember “You’ve still got a friend” in me. I’m watching so many of you out there – you are all an inspiration and I’m so proud of each one of you.

Keep firin’ as long as their are bullets in the chamber – leave it all on the table. Continued best wishes on each of your battles (CareGivers TOO) – and keep going for as long as you can – rest when you can – then get back after it when you can.

Cancer is like the fable of the “Tortoise and the Hare.” The race is not always won by the swiftest, rather slow and steady steps will still get you to the finish line.

“May your best days be ahead of you.”

-Craig

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Craig,

Wish I could give you a hug right now- I'm sending it across the miles. I'm sorry- this is so lousy. You said it well when you said you don't realize what you have until it isn't there anymore. Up until recently, I had everything paid for- I mean everything. I didn't pay one cent for scans and not one cent for my liver surgery and week long hospital stay. Wow- do I value what I have had- huge expenses completely covered. And now I've been balking because they dare to not cover something anymore. I still think it should be covered (the chemo gemcitabine), but it certainly puts it all in perspective. Like you've said, our income w/ my husband's work and my disability actually have us doing fairly decently financially, thankfully. But it did get tougher when we started having to shell out the $1500 a month out of pocket for health insurance 2-1/2 yrs ago(my school district used to cover the entire family at zero cost to me). Now add on monthly payments of my chemo and likely future procedures, we won't be doing very well anymore. Even with the monthly medical expenses starting up, we're considered to be making "too much". It doesn't seem that they take into consideration the very high cost of living in southern California either. When the average cost of a house here (even in this economy) still runs between $600K-$800K (and that does not give you a mansion, by ANY means!), you know that we have to make more to just survive here. My husband and I have even given thought to moving somewhere where it's less expensive to live, but that's about impossible because my husband's work ties him to California and we have family here that we'd hate to leave and we'd hate to uproot the kids. So, we're staying put- don't think we could even sell our house if we tried, anyhow- houses in our neighborhood have been on the market for over a year.
Craig, I know I haven't had it anywhere near as tough as you, but I'm worried we'll be heading in that direction soon with having to dish out of pocket for uncovered "experimental" drugs and procedures in my future. I'm sorry you have gotten to that financial point where you just can't do it anymore& don't qualify for financial aid or help either. Lousy- stinks- it's HORRIBLE! It seems like there would have to be somewhere to turn- keep unturning rocks in that area. I know it's tough, though, because if we were making 400% of the national poverty level (which is what they're now going by in talking about the nat'l healthcare plan of who "needs financial help")- we wouldn't even be able to afford a two bedroom apartment around here, let alone a house. If you own a house and a couple of cars, they look at those assets as well, which also "helps" disqualify you from any financial aid.
We're doing okay for now, but your heartfelt message really struck a chord with me- I may be there sooner than I realize, too. It's a CRIME that anyone has to be stuck in the position of saving their lives vs. paying the bills!
**Have you written/emailed your Texas state Congressmen and Senators about your situation? Especially since you had the media exposure with the DaVinci surgery, I bet you could get someone from a newstation to do a story on your difficult situation right now. Health care issues are hot in the news right now & I think that'd be a good thing for you to try to do! Maybe some good would come out of it for you, in someone seeing you/hearing your story and finding a way to get you help. Maybe someone even would step forward and donate to you. I'm getting excited with the thought, Craig! You can do this- write to your Congressmen, Senators, anyone you can think of- and contact your local and state newspapers, as well as the newschannel that covered your DaVinci story before!
Ok- here's a new plan for you... what do you think??

Hugs,
Lisa-

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

Craig that is all so sad...just reading the thoughts you have written today...right now I would say my response is speechless....there must be a way

mags

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Lisa. have you looked in getting a modification done on your home? With your cancer and bills you just may be able to get one. I would give it a try. They bring down the home loan to it's current value, or give you a lower interest rate? and other options.

Contact these folks if you are interested and they will let you know if they think you qualify, then you need to contact your mortgage company to send you a packet.

https://www.hopenow.com/

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

This is breaking my heart.It is not fair. How, in a country like this does someone have to quit having their medical needs performed because the money runs out? It isn't fair and I know surely we can help think of a solution....

I know you have thought long and hard about this decision...now we need a miracle!

For once I find myself speechless....I don't know what to say except you are a brave, kind person Craig and I don't cry easily but tears are falling from my eyes as I try to put into words how I feel about this...and I cannot find the proper words.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to update us. You are an inspiration.I know someone will come along who can properly say what I am trying to say.

Sending love, hope, sparks, well wishes, prayers, and good vibes your way.

-Pat

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

previously, if sympathetic to your current needs, may be able to exert enough press(ure) on hopitals or doctors to do what needs to be done for free....Its ashame what you have to go thru....steve

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I'm where you are hun. I haven't even paid a penny to anything this past year...the hospital stays, the scans, the doctor visits, nothing. I just cant right now. Not living on unemployment, kids are first, but are they allowed to cut you off if you give them what you can??? I thought as long as you are giving them something, they can't bring you into collections?

Don't feel bad or ashamed talking about it to us, I'm glad you did. If I were rich, I'd pay off ALL your medical bills! What about this new health reform bill that the president just signed, and he said things will begin happening this year?? I am not sure how that's supposed to work, but hopefully it's something that will help us?

I wish you wouldn't stop going for your scans, you HAVE to keep a check on this growth somehow! I know we can't get assistance either, since when hubby goes back to work, he makes to much to apply for anything. I would soooo worry about you if you just let this thing grow and not take care of it, just go anyway, whether you can afford it or not, they don't say no to you, it'll just be another bill in the pile, don't worry about keeping up, your health is first! Harley needs you, and so do we! you keep on that growth!

Anytime you need to talk, I'm usually here, just give me a call!

Hugsss and Love!
~Chicky

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4888
Joined: May 2005

I've very sorry to hear of your situation. It's too bad the reforms won't kick in faster for you. We all know deep down that there was trouble in River City and no one should face a decision between medical care and keeping the house.
Steve has an GREAT idea, contact the news group that ran your story. Make use you show pictures with you, your wife, and the "kids".
Hang in there Bud.
-phil

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Craig,
I just hate it. We are in almost the same boat. Our premiums went up so much and our deductable and out of pocket went up too. All I can do is put the medical bills on my credit card because the intrest is less than what the hospital charges.
I am affraid to call and see where we are at with the life time max. It is just crap.

We also fall into the make to much for help but are just making enough to get by. and that is on the edge of going over. I thought my MS stuff was expensive until cancer came into our life.

Sorry to hear you are in the same boat and glad you are venting. Good luck, Paula

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

Oh Gosh, Craig!

I hate to hear this. I'm sure many are in your shoes or about to be in your shoes.

We're VERY low income but hubby went back to college at age 60 to get his teaching cert. During the last 3 years he's brought home around $850. a MONTH. That's after they take out $273 for ins. and $75 for dental, tho. Just this past year, Jim got social security and we are so thankful for the extra money. Still makes it almost impossible to pay doctor bills, tho. I'll have to pay my 20% on my CT scan and have put off my 1 year colonoscopy til the end of April when we'll get a check for excess funds from Jim's college grants. If it weren't for those grants, I couldn't afford my tests either.

My local hospital has funds through Uncompensated Patient Services and they paid my co pays for my original surgery last year. Gosh was I thankful for that!

Please check out www.modestneeds.org This is a group that donates money toward a cause. It might be 'Jimmy's roof' or 'Sally needs brakes for her car'.... but people can go there and choose a cause and donate $1.00 or $1 million dollars. It's not for those who have constant needs but those who have a one time type need. Do check it out.

We love you Craig and I don't want you to go 'untreated'. Certainly there must be an answer for all cancer patients in true need!

lcarper2
Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

contact the media that ran your story and tell them you are giving up any further test or treatments because you ran out of money if they run that story they can have folks donate to a medical fund only account at your bank . If you feel like you cant do this than send me the info in a message and I will call them myself...

luv3jay's picture
luv3jay
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

Craig, this is so very hard to read. We spend so much time and energy fighting this disease and the last thing we should have to worry about is the financial aspects of it. I was just commenting to my friend the other day that I am going to go broke just trying to stay alive!! Just plain awful. Have you thought about a fundraiser of some sort? I am truly contemplating having one of those myself. Anyway, I'm praying for you and Kim and the new puppy always.

-Sheri

greybeard64's picture
greybeard64
Posts: 254
Joined: Mar 2010

I am so sorry! I do not how, in this country, we allow people like yourself to "fall through the cracks".
I am currently waiting for my one year out scan, and truth be told I am facing the same thing you are. I have insurance and still we, my wife and I, have both cashed in our 401k's, depleted our savings, sold the extra vehicle, and we arent holding our own. So many outstanding hospital bills, collection agency mail fills the mail box because you forget to make some twenty dollar payment to someone you set up a payment plan with... I dont have answers, how I wish I did. Like many on here my reacation is "speechless", and then I get angry!!
My wish for you is peace, strength, and the ability to hold on to the person you are. I know I am new here but I have read quite a few of your posts and you seem to be one of the "good guys"! I dont know what else to say. Bless you.

GOOFYLADIE's picture
GOOFYLADIE
Posts: 233
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Craig,
First off, reschedule your CatScan. Then you follow thru with surgery or whatever you and the doctors decide. Because here is the deal or big picture from me looking in. YOUR FAMILY NEEDS YOU, so you can work do your job at home as well, be the lion tamer, the shoulder to lean on the rock you have been, even if you need others to lean on like us, we're just guides your doing the work.

If you skip the scan, skip the surgery you won't know if you have cancer or not. If you do, your family won't have you because after six years you let it go. Now family still left with all the bills and so what if it goes to collection. It is not like you have been out shopping at the mall or hanging out in the bar ringing up the bills this was legitimate reasons.

Sometimes the best choice is to let it go (the bills) let it go to collection they can't squeeze it out of turnip. Here as long as you pay one dollar on a bill, it shows you are attempting to pay it back as long as you are not out ringing up Macy bills etc....

So if your not here because you didn't do the test or surgery your wife is still left with the mess, which she will probably have to let go to collections. One idea for extra cash may be Angies list and Craigs list for odd jobs you could do for extra cash. I know you probably been there already just throwing it out there.

I am looking at Bankruptcy issues right now. I don't want to file and I can't pull cash out of my a$$. I have done everything I can do for now,since I am still restricted by doctors orders. I just can't do the big B word so I understand you completely but come on.

Maybe some business friends of a little business for you!!! You never know. It never hurts to ask? Please take care of your health first, then let the freakin bills go, your not too old to remember the basics. I remember we always had more fun before everything got so phooo, phoooed and car payments, and extras etc......

Love ya,
Goofyladie (Cass)
PS HAVE A BETTER FREAKIN DAY!!!! MAKE IT A GREAT DAY!!

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Craig-

That just sucks. I'm getting there very quickly. When I had to stop working a year ago we took quite a hit as I made much more money than my husband does. We've already filed bancruptcy. At that time we thought we could afford our house. We can't. We're in foreclosure now. My mom and best friend are in the process of organizing a fundraiser so I can continue with tests and treatments.

I know you like my quotes - so do I:

“Defeat is simply a signal to press onward.” ~ Helen Keller

‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.’ – Mahatma Gandhi

Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.

''If you are going through hell,keep going.'' ~~ Winston Churchill

You will figure this out and we'll be here to help how we can.

Love ya,

Kimby
Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Craig,
I wish there was a way for you to get a scan but I sure do understand. Sick that in this country fighting an illness can lead to this. My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend.

Aloha,
Kathleen

WinneyPooh's picture
WinneyPooh
Posts: 318
Joined: Jul 2009

craig, i know where you are coming from, this cancer coupled with tthe economy has spelled finacial ruin for most of us.

Here is a crazy idea but it will help get your medical bills paid why don't you stop working and go on disability, you sure would qualify and with no insurance you could qualify for cancer state aide( if your state offers it, I used it when i had non hodgekins lymphoma, (in Georgia) and they paid for everything, . look into it. ( i don't have the option to use it now because i have insurance).

i wish you all the good vibes i am able to send
live, laugh, play
winnie

sheri22
Posts: 278
Joined: Jan 2009

ThAT IS NOT FAIR, But I was working full time until the stage IV I also had insurance but had to drop it couldnt afford it or the deductibles which is why it went from stage II
to stage IV my DR would have kept doing the test but I couldnt afford it and didnt think it would come back, anyways when I found out I had stage IV my DR told me apply for disability
I am only allowed to work 2 days a week but because of that
I get Medicaid which thank God pays for everything and I get the social security I do have to pay so much a month but not what I would have to be paying I dont know your work situation but if you can have a talk with your DR about the disability I really hope you are in a situation where you can do this I know it is hard but it is soo worth it
I did not want to accept the help either but I wanted to be with my family as long as possible and it is is hard to go from 5 days to 2 days but it is worth
it
Sheri22
\

CanadaSue's picture
CanadaSue
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2006

Craig,

I cannot grasp that this could or should happen in a country such as the USA....

I also cannot add much more than everyone already has. Do push the media, and hopefully something can be done to help you.

Sending sparks, good mojo, and good old prayers for a speedy resolution to your situation.

HUGS,

Sue

sfmarie's picture
sfmarie
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

I too am angry and sad to read your post. To think, you have come all this way, fought so hard, and to give up now because you simply cannot afford it. Seems so very wrong to me.

i wish I knew the answer. I do not know where you can turn but wonder if your human resource department at work may have some answers?

Sending good vibes your way. I do hope the news coverage leads to something!

Take care. I always enjoy reading your posts. YOu are a great inspiration to us all here and we do not want to see your journey end.

Marie

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

You gotta listen to what these people are telling you. The heck with the bills...the collections... I agree FULLY with GOOFYLADIE...... Just go get what you need done....the tests...the surgery...whatever. You can't just give up now cause you're out of money.... NO...Quitting now..or ever..is just not an option. You are needed by way too many people at home....HERE...and every form of life you touch. Don't stop now...don't.

Jen

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Craig,

First of all I want to send you a big cyber ((hug)).

I am both at a loss for words + full of thoughts at the same time, if that is possible. I also want to say in advance that I am sorry if anything doesn't come out as I intend, I just got back from chemo when I saw your post.

Because I live in Canada, + have virtually all my cancer costs paid for I am distraught to think that your health could be jeopordized at all because of finances. Cancer is an expensive disease to have + I know how fortunate I am to not have to worry if I can pay for the next test treatment, etc. That being said I am trying to think (in my post-chemo mind) how you can get this CT scan. I am wondering if you have spoken to your DaVinci surgeon about this situation. I believe it would be in his best interest to keep you healthy for a VERY long time + he needs to monitor your progress. You are his "poster child". Not very many people would have the courage you had to be his very first patient to undergo this surgery + for that I believe he owes you. You have made him famous + given him immeasurable publicity. At a minimum, maybe he can direct you to some financial support. You are worth so much to your family + all of us here. By the way, I looked at the cost for your CT scan + thoought "wow, that seems like a lot!" I checked a hospital bill from a hospital stay last year, + saw 2 CT scans (pelvic + abdominal)billed from the hospital to the Ontario government was $200.90, so I think where you go must be making a HUGE profit!

I want to let you know you are on my mind + I will try to think of any other ways for you to get the CT you need. Please take good care of yourself; you are always there for everyone else + now we need to be there for you. Good luck with this issue.

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I hope there is something in line with the suggestions made here that you can do to keep your treatment program on track.

Be well... Rob;in Vancouver

lcarper2
Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

When a collector calls you tell them you can pay $10.00 a month and forget it they have to work with you . don't let them bully you around if it goes to collections it has already affected you credit score so get well and clean that stuff up later...

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

That's all I can say! GAHHHHHHHHHH! I agree with others, get the treatment and worry about how it gets paid later. They do have to take $10 if that's all you can afford and it shows you are trying to pay it off. Bankruptcy can be something you consider in the future after you're all better.
mary

pokismom's picture
pokismom
Posts: 153
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Craig,
I am so saddened by this news, I hope that you will take everyone's advice and continue to get your scans. I think the idea of offering a payment of whatever you can afford is a good idea, and I don't think they will cut you off if you are making an effort to pay. Life is just so unfare at times, and I am so sorry that you have to go thru this on top of everything else. Big sunny hug from me!
Donna

christinecarl's picture
christinecarl
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

this saddens me to read. I always like to read your posts, so smart and hopeful they are. If I ever win the lottery you are on my list to give too. I hope and pray there is some resource or way for you to continue with the medical care you need and deserve. Keep your chin up.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

My dear Craig,

That is just so sad to read. You've spoken with your usual care for our feelings and with your good humor. I know, though, that deep inside is a scared cancer patient that needs something like this like a hole in the head. I wish you hadn't thought you needed to wait to tell us. You're always there for us, so don't feel you're a burden if you share your troubles.

I don't have any magic answers, but I will pray that the answers for you will come somehow.

*Hugs*
Gail

Aud's picture
Aud
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

I hope you will reschedule your scan and surgery. The bills are always going to be there, small or large. There has to be a way.
Sometimes, the answer comes seemingly out of the blue, like when you put a difficult math problem on the back burner and then all of a sudden, "Eureka!"
I wish I had something wise and useful to offer. But only my hope that you'll not put treatment on hold. I know, easier said than done.
Holding you in the Light,
Aud

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

I am so sorry that you have gotten to this point. I fully understand because I like many others on the board are in a similar situation. I separated from my husband around the same time I was diagnosed with cancer. I receive child support for my youngest daughter only at this time even though I have 2 other children living with me. I qualify for nothing because I was a stay at home Mom for many years and didn't pay enough into social security. I can't even qualify for food stamps because my daughter works part time and puts us $20 over the limit. I sold my home 4 years ago and have been supplementing my income with that money and have finally run out. After I pay the rent I have very little left for bills, basic utilities, medical bills, food etc. I have no idea how I am going to cover these bills next month.

Last night, during another sleepless night worrying about this it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I will just not pay my rent. I'm moving in June anyway so what's the worst thing that could happen to me. They'd evict me? This is a complete stretch for me. I pride myself on being honest and doing the right thing. I don't lie and I would never dream of trying to get away with anything. However, I feel completely backed into a corner. I have tried to work within the system and have ended up with no help. I feel I have come too far and worked too hard to put my life on hold because I ran out of money 3 months too soon. I am not happy about this possible decision and not really sure I can pull it off, but at least it's an option.

Please reconsider and look at all the possibilities and options that are out there even if it means going against the grain or thinking outside the box. Since this possibility occurred to me last night I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. I wish the same for you. When all is said and done it's life that counts and yours is much too valuable for money or lack of it to stop you from living.

Take care,
Jamie

Joy1216's picture
Joy1216
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

I'm so sorry that you have come to the point where you are postponing your scan and surgery for financial reasons. It just infuriates me that you or anyone else should be placed in such a position. You have already received some really good suggestions here. I've been racking my brain for suggestions,too. Why not contact ACS CAN (Cancer Action Network - www.acscan.org)? They might have some ideas on who to contact. Does your onc or any of your other specialists have a social worker or financial resource person who could point you in the right direction? I'll keep you in my prayers.
Joy

thready's picture
thready
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

Craig,
I posted to this earlier today, and my post is gone. Nothing in it was offensive, just letting you know that I think you should offer to pay the people asking for money $10 per month. I know they want their money and if it takes years they can wait. You also might look at JPS or Parkland (not sure which county you are in) you could have your scan done there. Then take it to UTSW for the doctors to look at. (Have the scan done at a free standing MRI-CT scan place, they often will take the $10 a month plan.)

It is good that JPS advertises free services for those who can not pay, (in other words tax paying citizens like yourself are the ones who pay) but why should someone who pays their bills be denied or treated in a way that is horrible. WHY can the citizens of either Tarrant county or Dallas county pay for health care for people who do not choose care policies through their employers (this happens at the company I work for) yet people who try to provide for their own needs have to put up with this nonsense.

I say do what you need done, let the bill collectors call, but don't answer the phone. I would be willing to call the local news media-this would make a good story for them, or make a quilt and offer tickets for a chance to win it.

How come we have all these "race for a cure" or do this or that for a cure yet there is no help so people can keep going on!

Let me know how you are doing
Jan

k1
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm going to be there quickly myself, having lost my job just before my cancer was dx last year, and just starting to get the collections notices from last fall's hospital bills. I am hurrying to try and get what treatment I can before my COBRA insurance runs out in just a few more months. I liked the person who made the analogy about the difficult math problem that you have to put out of your mind for a while, and then later when you think you have forgotten all about it, your subconscious mind has been working on it and pops a new idea into your conscious. This also works for lost car keys in my life. Here's hoping you will get new ideas popping in your mind on this problem. And if you do, be sure to share them :-)

K

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

Craig, as much as you know about this cancer, you understand that you must rely on the scans, and not just bloodwork. Screw the bills, your health comes first. I am quite sure your wife would rather have you around and could care less if you guys had a stack of bills through the roof. I don't like to hear you talk like this, I know your not giving up but giving in to bills will put you in a bad place. Use all of the advice given to you regarding calling the newspaper and letting them know that the hospital will not budge on working with you. Get something stirred up, with all the talk of healthcare it is the perfect time to do this. You are highly intelligent and you use that to work for you in this situation. If everything fails just don't pay them and get your scan!! Love ya, Patti

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

Sent you a pm, and Lisa's idea is great.

Hugs
Sonia

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Such passion and compassion from you all:) Thanks so much for all of your suggestions and concerns. I will certainly consider them all. I appreciate you taking the time to express your thoughts on this issue.

I certainly did not mean to upset you all, rather my intent was to just give you an update on where I was at since my surgery and that financial health crisis issues had finally caught up to me, as they had so many of you out there. Reading your stories was truly touching and made me think of a famous cinematic line from the movie, “Jaws.”

In the scene, Brody is chumming the waters trying to attract the shark, when suddenly Jaws comes out of the water…Brody backs up and tells Quint, “We’re gonna’ need a BIGGER boat.”

Seeing all of us facing these same issues is poignant about now – and we do need a bigger boat, ‘cause there are a lot of us out there facing this mess – and it is the last thing we should have to worry about. I’ve found that whether it’s a tornado or cancer, it’s never the EVENT itself, rather, it’s the fall out and after effects, where the real battle is waged and ultimately won or lost.

Just to clarify: the 2 bills out to Collections, are the bills from DaVinci from the new hospital. Consequently, this is where my current treatment and surgeries have been done. Not paying these bills, will only lead to them denying me services in the future. And I certainly would just give them $10 a month, but they will not accept any amounts lower than I quoted yesterday, and we have escalated to the management team. So, that’s the problem there.

Bankruptcy is out of the question – the institution I work with dictates that you have to handle your finances accordingly…failure to do so…

Disability I have used when I’ve been out with surgeries. LTD only pays 60% however and I have to pay for %10 of that, so I try and keep my career afloat at all costs – we’re just dead without it – and we need her income as well.

I meet with my new onc this Friday and plan to tell him everything and see what he says and go from there. I’ll get lab done and be able to check my results via PC at home, so we’ll see how that’s going.

I can talk with the DaVinci surgeon’s PA and maybe him too, to fill him in on what’s happening – and see if I can call in a marker, if not now, then maybe in 3 months.

And I’ll talk to the producer that ran my news story here in DFW just to “test the waters” and see what comes of that. You are right, Lisa and everyone – healthcare is a hot potato right now, so the timing might be good.

Another thought: I received a PM from someone very dear to our hearts offering to pay for the procedure – how very sweet! Of course, I politely declined as I can’t rob Peter to pay Paul. But, I was floored by this person’s compassion and concern. She really wanted to help me and I hope I did not hurt her feelings by not accepting. I won’t betray her confidence, but she is a well loved person, whom we followed closely and has experienced tremendous tragedy – that’s all that I can say, if I have not already given it away.

I also received a couple more PMs with offers to contribute – even one from a guy on the Head and Neck board, because I gave him some info on DaVinci and lung tumors and how that might relate to him.

The true goodness shines through with people when we’re in distress – I was flabbergasted by people I had not really met, offering to help me out. I mean, does it really get any better than that? Talk about “paying it forward.” The Cancer World ROCKS and in a good way.

All of these offers were 100% sincere and I really hated to hurt people’s feelings, because I know when people give with both hands, from their heart, that they want to help, they want to do good. It’s a lot of what I’ve spent my time talking about on this board. To personally experience it, is a cathartic experience, and one that will stay with me for a lifetime. How does one thank someone for being the kind of person, such as this? Wow!

So, you guys really responded yesterday – I spent most of the day thinking about all that you said, and could not even sleep last night, with thoughts and tears rolling down my cheeks, thinking about all of the amazing conversations that we had yesterday and seeing everyone coming back together again, united and working for a common cause. It really was quite inspiring and very moving.

I felt the momentum building and saw the wheels spinning around in each of your minds, searching for a solution. I’m not sure if I warrant that kind of attention, but it was humbling to see everyone’s care and concern. So, thank you everyone who contributed their time and feelings – I won’t forget it or you.

I will be ok – I’m not quitting, not giving up – just pulling over to reassess the situation. Most of you know the word QUIT is not in my vocabulary. A good way to remember me is this saying, “No matter what’s happenin’, Craig’s toes are always tappin’”

And now, I wanted to say something to each of you that posted:

Lisa42:
I felt your enthusiasm yesterday, it was contagious – thank you for putting your heart and soul into your post. I will certainly contact the news station and talk to the producer. And dear Lisa, I do not have it hard as you said– your situation is much more dire than mine. Your health concerns me and you are one of our TOP PRIORITY patients right now. I see you paying out of pocket now too, and it breaks my heart. We need a great big “surgar daddy and mamma” to take care of all of us, so we can fight the fight and not the bureaucracy. Thank you for all that you said and for taking your time to worry about me, when you’ve got so much going on.

Mags:
I did not want to be the one to bust your “chemoite” mood, I’m so glad you are feeling well and in good spirits. We will find a way for sure. Thank you for stoppin’ in at the post. Texas is a big place and don’t forget about Fredericksburg….always room for one more if you cross the border, LOL:)

JayLo969:
Our first conversation yesterday…thank you for your thoughts and I’m sorry I got you teary. I like to knock on the “door to people’s hearts” – that where the LIFE is. And thank you for sending love, hope, sparks, well wishes, prayers, and good vibes my way.

ColoCan:
Thanks for your suggestion, Steve. You’ve got a good memory about me and DaVinci – just when I thought that story was “yesterday’s news.” I appreciate your support and will contact the producer at the news station.

My Chicky:
Seeing your smiling face and hearing your voice, always makes me smile. That’s just the way you are! Your passion is comforting…I know you care and you know I will get it handled. Just a “Thorn” in your Lion’s paw:)

Phillieg:
My boy, Phil. I always look forward to you stoppin’ in for a chat. Us Ol’Timers gotta’ stick together, right? I appreciate your continued support and I’ll take your sage advice and will hang in there.

Paula G:
“We gotta’ get a bigger boat.” You and JR can float along in mine until we can afford to upgrade:) Thank you for your support and tell your significant other, Howdy!

Diane:
You are too kind – thank you as well for the information and your support. To quote you, “Certainly there must be an answer for all cancer patients in true need!” I definitely concur.

Lcarper2:
LouAnn, thank you for such a generous offer – as a former bounty hunter, I’m sure tracking down the scoundrels is what you do best – if anyone gives me anymore trouble, I’ll turn ‘em over to you for due process.

Luv3jay:
Sheri, always there for me in a pinch. You amaze me, just out of lung surgery and up and posting, offering advice – there is no stopping you, honey! Me, Kim, and Harley, all say thank you for your continued support. I’m so glad you are doing better. When I grow up one day, I hope to be as strong as you are.

Greybeard64:
First, it’s very nice to meet you. I appreciate your feelings on the matter. A lot of times when I post, I don’t’ realize how many people may be out there reading it. I’m glad that you have read some of my posts and that you liked them. Type in “Sundanceh” and hit the search button and some past posts will be displayed if you ever want to read them. I’m truly sorry about your financial dilemma as well. I start to get angry when you have to begin to compromise your healthcare after so many years of heavy fighting. The system is just wired together wrong. Too many of us suffer needlessly.

GOOFYLADIE:
Cass, your compassion and concern is overwhelming to say the least. Such fire and passion in your post. I know you are genuinely concerned. I am also sorry that too are facing financial difficulties – it’s as big a disease as the cancer itself. I liked your Phoo-Phoo line. Many is the time I told Kim the same thing – we were happier when we first met and had a 450 sq. foot apartment with rented furniture. We had life experiences then and not things. Adulthood kind of sucks! I liked it better when we used to “play house.”

Kimby:
Another one of our TOP PRIORITY cases. How special it is to see you back on the board and posting with such fervor again. You are one of a kind – when they made you, they broke the mold, as the saying goes. Thank you so much for knocking on my door and posting as well. I do love your sayings – my 2 favorites are:
1. “When you are going through Hell, don’t stop – hit the gas.” From your very 1st post to
Me.
2. “Outwit.Outlast.Outplay” I watch Survivor with Kim and I’ve actually learned a lot
About human nature on that show. For my post, can we change it to:
Outwit-Outlast-OUTPAY. Hope you got a giggle from that one.

Kathleen808:
Thank you for your thoughts and support of me. I’ve found you to be very compassionate and a big support to me and so many others here. I wish all of the good things that life can offer you, Dick and your daughter.

WinneyPooh:
Good vibes received, Winney. Thank you for that. Your right, in reading all of these responses, it is clear how many of us face now, or will face this terrible situation, all as a result of the outrageous prices being charged for health care. I know you have had it rough, and hope things will turn around for all of us.

Sheri22:
Thank you for your suggestion. It’s good to see you back on the board and posting. Your continued support is heartwarming. Glad you’ve got a plan that is working for you. I’ll get mine figured out in due time. Thanks for stopping by.

CanadaSue:
How are you? See, that rhymes:) You remember how long it took to get mail to you from the U.S. to Candada – I’m sure the mail is just as slow coming the other way. So, I’ll be checking the mailbox every day looking for your sparks, good mojo, and good old prayers.

SFMarie:
How sweet you are! You have always been so supportive to anything that I’ve written and I always look to see if you post. Think about you and your sister and hope for the best. I’ll keep “journeying” just for you:)

Idlehunters:
Ah, my dear Jen. You now I’m a Texan and stubborn is my middle name. I’ll never quit – I’m just taking a break till I get a handle on this thing. I will tell you that it is nice to be “wanted.” Thank you for that and for your spirited post. Tell Nicki hi:)

AnneCan:
You Canadiens are really good people, arent’ you? I find it cool that I have several friends across the border. You’ve got a good point – “Dr.DaVinci” might be able to help me out, I’ll have to check it out. You think he’s already forgotten about the guy who helped him get his certification? Who brought notoriety to his hospital? Who helped open the door for other lung patients? I’m so proud to have been a part of it and maybe he will be able to help me. Your last line of me being there for others – and now you guys being there for me, touched a soft spot in this ol’Grinch’s heart. How very sweet!

Robinvan:
We’ll find something, Rob – thank you so much for your continued support. “I’ve learned how to take a beating”, right Rob? I’ve enjoyed many of the deep discussions we’ve had in the past – I find you to be a very deep person. Don’t go a changin’.

Msccolon:
Letting out a roar sure feels better, doesn’t it, Mary. No worries though, I’ll keep the balls up in the air and will overcome this latest challenge.

Pokismom:
I felt a warm breeze sweep over me last night – it was then I realized it was the Winds of Hawaii blowing across my face making me smile. How wonderful to see you again! Pull up a chair and let’s chat awhile:) Thank you so much for all of your wonderful support. You have given me and Kim. I’m still so touched by what you did at Christmas – I told Kim then, what kind of wonderful people I’ve met…they listen and then they surprise you. You are special – keep your treatments going too – one day I’m going to wing my way to Hawaii and see all of you – Kim’s trip of a lifetime – I look forward to it.

Christinecarl:
Hello to you and so nice to meet you! Thank you for your touching words. You are so sweet –how very moving that you would want to share part of your winnings with me – the world needs more people like you in it – you’ve got a heart as BIG as Texas.
Toots:
What can I say about one of the sweetest women in the world? You and Lizzy do Carolina proud – with you gals, “I always have Carolina in my mind.” I always think back to your “France” post and it makes me smile. Seeing you on a post is like a port in the storm, you feel very comforted in the fact…I’ll always try to be there for you and everyone, if I am able.

Aud:
Thank you too for your concern. I will get a handle on this. You keep “leaving that light on for me.” That way, I’ll know how to find you:)

Crazylady:
Jamie, hello and thanks for your post. This has been a good post and has given me some insight as to how many of us are in trouble out there. We always tell each other to fight and fight on, but there’s more to it as time drags on, isn’t it?

Joy1216:
Nice to meet you too, Joy. I can feel your expressions in your post – it is not right we have to go through this part of the process. The longer it goes, the worse it gets. I will be at the hospital this week and will talk to some people.

Thready:
Thanks, Jan, for all of your suggestions! UTSW has been pretty good to me, but their billing department has not, LOL:) We’ll see what the 2 docs have to say when I can talk with them. Thank you for your continued support. Hope all is still going well for you and treatments remain tolerable. Pretty spring weather we’ve had a couple of days, huh?

K1:
I’m sorry “they” are catching up to you too. The minute I find something useful, I’ll be sure to let everyone know. Good idea getting stuff done before Cobra ends.

KS:
Patti, I’m hearing thunder claps in the background – wait a minute, it’s you. Wow, you brighten my day…seeing you suffer these past few months has made me very sad. A deep sadness…I stopped reaching out when I should have been checking in on you. Just knew you were in such pain and did not want to burden you with having to respond. Seeing the “fire in your gut” in this post, makes me feel much better. That’s my Patti – alive and spiritied, I’m just so touched by this. I know you don’t like to hear me talk like this – but after 6-years of this stuff, it’s still sometimes so much picking up the pieces. Money makes me sick and it drives this ol’ world to the extent of all else. Your words are so kind and meaningful – I thank you for thinking so much of me. I’ve always thought and think so highly of you – want so much for you to be well. I love you too – and you will always be my special “kindred spirit.” Nothing can ever change that.

Sonia32:
Sis, I hope you can see now why you must be around. I see a new Sonia in your PM – one that’s alive and one that can make a difference. If it takes me to bring you out of “lurking” that must be the reason I’m still here. Thank you for your thoughts and on your willingness to reach out and help me. Stay strong for me and I’ll get things handled here in the Lone Star State.

Well, the responses were overwhelming and heartwarming! I certainly took it all to heart. I certainly did not feel so alone yesterday or today. I’ll let you know how it all plays out. I’ve been carrying this around for nearly 3 months, and wanted to say something, but with all the tragedies we experienced, and with people needing real help, I just felt guilty about talking about this, even though I could see it coming.

This was a good post, and it bother me that we have fought so hard, and there are many of us now, and maybe many more to come, who will face this. Reading your heartfelt stories has made me realize, how we are all tied at the hip in this thing – together we stand, or united we fall.

The board is at it’s best when we come together, united in a cause, each with our own perspectives and experiences, and we can apply them to helping and supporting each other. When all of this dials in and comes together, I still believe this is one beautiful place to be. It is the Diversity and the Personality that makes this place hum and click.

-Craig

Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Oh,it is so painful.Like everybody else says,it sucks.I hope the new "health care reform" would do something for you.I truly understand how hard it is.My husband's insurance has been mailing bills to us since the beginning of this year,it seems every other two weeks when we go to hospital,we have to stop at the first floor to pay bills.My husband says he has to work no matter what,otherwise who is going to pay for the medical bill?I told my husband many times,in this point,I feel I am useless because I can't bring any money home.I wish I could have a job,so he can rest at home and I make enough money to pay bills.This battle sucks out of everybody in many ways,not only physical pain,but aslo mentally frustration and desperation.My brother,please never feel hesitated to talk about something here,you know,the reason that we are being here is we have common ground,we may face the same problem in one way or another, or sooner or later.I hope you will work the financial problem out soon.I really hate to see you can't continue the treatment or the test.You are in my prayers.Wish you the best.Take care.Hugsss.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Craig,

Thanks for posting today + for all your kind words - I don't know how you do it, but you make everyone feel important + cared for; that's an amazing gift you have! I really do think your Dr. DaVinci should help you in some way. He needed to have a first patient for this proceudre + I don't think those are always easy to find. I think there has to be a way for you to use what you went through to your advantage financially. I have been racking my brains to think of alternatives for increased finances to pay for some this + came up with 2 ideas: 1) Get Harley employed - I know I already told you he is cute enough for modelling etc!
2) Would your house + location be suitable to take in a boarder or tenant? I know I have always thought if I needed to I would consider this option, preferably with someone I knew. Just some crazy thoughts on a beautiful sunny day!

PS I think it is wonderful that so many people want to help you financially, emotionally, etc. That says so much about you + the depth of feelings people have for you!

Devasted
Posts: 186
Joined: Jun 2009

Craig,

Haven't been checking the board last couple of days, we were meeting with surg. onc.
Things will work out...I'm sure..you've come so far...thinking of you

soccermom13's picture
soccermom13
Posts: 226
Joined: Feb 2010

I have not been on in the past few days and read your original post with sorrow and tears. Then I read all the posts on your behalf and felt such compassion and again tears flowed because so many have you are fighting vailiantly and with such courage and have given such great advice and words of encouragement. for your last post to be of thanks and encouragement to others is overwhelming!!! You are again, amazing! I am sorry for your difficulties and have no words to add to those posted. I wish I could help and would if there is a fundraiser - I am so in! Just let me know. In the meantime prayers are being offered up
Hugs
Shanna

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

Craig, I'm a bit speechless.

I wish I could win the lottery. Wouldn't that be wild? I know what you're talking about though. My insurance pays well, but not enough to cover what I can't. I'm still in the hole about $700 a month with co-pays and my neulasta injection. I can't afford it and will be making payments for years to come unless either I win the lottery, the ghost of Ed McMahon comes telling me I won publishers clearinghouse, or a dead relative leaves me a boatload of cash. Not gonna happen.

You Craig, are a rock. You've done this for a lot longer than I have. You were one of the first ones to respond when I first got on here. I'm just sad for you. Hell, I'm sad for all of us. Cancer is a disease that nobody can afford to have. It's a huge burden to all of our checkbooks.

I've come to view all of us a family. A family of people who are mostly pixels on my laptop. I love all of you and when anyone here hurts, it hurts all of us.

I don't have any solutions. I don't qualify for any cancer assistance, either. I give you my support and love.

Holly

abmb's picture
abmb
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

Craig, so sorry to hear of your money issues. It is ashame that hospitals think of the mighty dollar, dr.'s and hospitals say they care about their patients, but most only care as long as you can pay. Maybe your church or community can do some fundraisers and then put the money in an account for your medical bills. If you can't arrange this, maybe one of your family members or friends can help with that. I look forward to all your posts, please don't give up, keep up the fight and your faith in God! He does look out for us and He will help when He knows you can't handle it anymore. He is always there for us. God Bless and take care. Margaret

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Kathryn_in_MN
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

I have confidence that you'll find a solution. You just needed to get this out, take a break, and go back and tackle it.

Lots of good ideas thrown out there. It was good you took the time to vent and lift the load that has been weighing you down. The financial tragedies that cancer creates for families is kind of swept under the rug too often. We've exhausted what was left of our home equity loan (which was supposed to go to a few problems with the house that need fixing). We've exhausted our savings. We've taken a small loan from my parents. And next we are probably going to take a small loan from my father-in-law. I applied for a grant from a local founation and got $500 in the form of a mixture of Cub Foods and Holiday Gas cards. A huge help for us! The Angel Foundation in the Twin Cities area rocks!

I have a hard time asking for help, but decided I spent a lot of years doing a lot of volunteering, and I've given a lot to various causes over my lifetime. So if I need to ask for a little back in return now, I shouldn't feel guilty about it.

I have one more suggestion for you - I may have missed it if someone already suggested it here - but ask at your oncologist's office if they can point you in the direction of any help. Mine sure helped me out by telling my about the Angel Foundation. I have a request in with Angel Clean by Green Darlene too. I may be able to get a couple of house cleanings to help me out too.

Ask around, see what is out there that you can benefit from.

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi Craig,

This is some tough love for you. Do not give up! Now is the time to work harder and get those tests and surgery done. By working harder, you should get a form letter typed which includes much of the information in this post (but maybe a little shorter -lol). Customize this letter to reflect each organization. Tell them your story and ask for their help. Send it to your State of Texas agencies (DSS, Health & Human Services, etc.) Also, send it to the churches and synagogues in your area (you do not have to be a member at many of these. Send one to Joel Osteen. Send a letter to the American Cancer Society, Colon Cancer Alliance, C3, Lance Armstrong organization, United Way, write your physicians, your politicians, and the list goes on & on. Get busy and put those letters out there. You have nothing to lose but a few stamps and much to gain.

I have extra time on my hands, if I can help by gathering addresses & names, let me know.

Please accept money you are offered too. It would not be offered if they could not afford it no matter how much it is. It helps the giver as much as the receiver. I know that you will pay it forward when you are able. You gave all of your friends such a nice CD gift which meant a lot to us and most especially the thought behind it.

I love you Craig and we all need you here!

grammadebbie's picture
grammadebbie
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2009

Dearest Craig,

I am sorry that you are facing so many obstacles in your treatment. You have always been such a warrior and encouragement to all. Now is the time for you to do what is best for Craig. I have been contemplating how to reply to your post. I sit here with tears running down my face wondering how I could possibly offer anything that would comfort you. There have been so many good ideas already posted. I guess the only thing I have to offer is from the heart and from experience.

My husband and I have lost our home and investments. Alot of that was a choice, to some degree, that we made. I was so sick for 3 years and during the cancer surgery and treatment I needed my husband by my side. I had alot of pain and fear and he was my rock. I needed him more than his paycheck. I guess it doesn't really matter why we couldn't afford to keep everything... cancer seems to be a good enough reason to those of us who are fighting it. We were on Cobra and lost our insurance so I am now on Medicare/Medicaid and disability. But I am here fighting. It's easier for us as our kids are grown and we don't have that worry. What I'm trying to say is.....let it all go if you have to. I know it's hard but when it's all gone you have what is important. The love of your family and friends. We fought hard to keep our home and it didn't work out. We have wonderful family who love us and help us. God works things out. The main thing is for you to be able to get the treatment you need - anyway you can. I have a social worker at my hospital that helped us thru the insurance maze. She is my angel. Hopefully you can find someone to help you and give you your options. There are alot of hoops to jump thru but you know all about hoops!!! I know it's hard not to worry about the stability of your family, but Craig, you are their rock. They need you..not a house. you can make a home anywhere. We went from a 3600 sq ft home to living with relatives. It has been a blessing to all. You just never realize how much you don't need. We all need you to be able to continue treatment. I'm just saying....do what it takes...you are more important than any material possession.

It is so hard to have to deal with all this "stuff" when you're fighting for your life. Remember, you are a warrior and you will win this war, one battle at a time.

Your in my thoughts and prayers always.

Your friend,

Debbie (gramma)

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

I have been out of town a couple of days and missed this post. I am sad to hear that you have been put in such a stressful situation. Like you and many others on this board, cancer has certainly taken its toll on our finances as well. I am confident that you will find a way to continue taking care of things, that is what you do. You are such a sincere individual and that will serve you well as you put together a plan to get the attention you deserve which will bring you the help you need. I will be praying that it will all come together and that your health will not be compromised in the meantime. You are an inspiration to us all. The heartfelt messages on this thread are confirmation of now much you mean to all of us. Hang in there my friend.
Blessings to you,
Joanne

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Hey, check your email. Sorry I missed your note and I've finally responded. So embarrassed. I'll not let that happen again anytime soon. Jo Ann

Mchapp's picture
Mchapp
Posts: 96
Joined: Jul 2009

Craig,
You are the heart and sole of CSN - we ALL love your posts and you are a true inspiration to me - you were the first to welcome me here...We ALL need you here...don't you give up and don't let the cash flow be the dictator....you have fought long and hard - and still have lots of fight in you....reschedule your appointments and keep the fight!
Michelle

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Just wanted to thank everyone again for all of your help and suggestions. I feel so embarassed to have opened this post, when everyone else has so much going on. I should not have opened the post, I let my emotions get the better end of my normally sound judgment. I'm ashamed.

I've always tried to portray strength and comfort here on the board, and just got weak there where I should have kept my big mouth shut.

Your stories are inspirational, in reading your replies, I realize how so many of you have it so much rougher than ourselves. Seeing how you are handling things, has given me new insight on this type of fight we face in our battles and how to persevere.

Thank you for your concern and your willingness to come up with ideas - really smart people here.

Thank you all for being you :)

-Craig

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Craig,

Please don't feel embarrased; feel loved + cared about.

You have shown strength, courage, comfort, etc. on the board, but you are human + you needed a wee bit of help; that is very normal! Take good care of yourself!

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

This was a great post, Craig. It made us start thinking about what happens to our friends and what we might need to do in the future. It also is an informative session which others can benefit from too.

Pages

Subscribe to Comments for "“The Road to Ruin” – At the Financial Crossroads – A Sundance Update"