“The Greatest Gift is PEOPLE” – New Sundance Update

Sundanceh
Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
First, I wanted to thank all of the ladies I missed, who had placed a reply towards the end of the 'Road to Ruin' post: FFML, AnneCan, Devastated, Shanna, Holly, Margaret, Kathryn, Lizzy, GrammaD, JoAnne, Michelle, Kimby, Maggie, Gail, and Raquel.

What would I do without you ladies in my life? I don’t think I want to know – thank you for being with me :)

**********************************************************************************************

Well, since Sheri22 asked, let me update you on what has happened since we last spoke:

I had my scheduled appointment with my onc and talked things over with him. He asked if I had scanned and I told him what had happened and the reasons that I had cancelled it.

I had just done bloodwork and the results were not in, so there was not much to talk about really – “he suggested I get a scan.” No $hit, Sherlock – wonder what his “bill” will be for that sage advice? Coming to a mailbox near you, LOL :)

He put me in touch with a social worker. Long story short - he explained to me that there was nothing that they could do for me. No financial assistance will be available for me because I exceed the guidelines. He said State and Government run hospitals, simply do not have the funding available to offer any help, especially to those with jobs and insurance.

It seems the middle class is affected the most by this, as we need help sometimes but either individually or jointly, the household makes too much and thus you are disqualified. This was not news to me as some of the research I’ve done has confirmed this. A lot of us are going to get hurt by this.

The social worker put me in touch with a financial counselor and she did help me set up the 2 bills that were marked for collection and lowered the monthly payments down to $50 each, so that was helpful for us.

I notified “Dr.DaVinci’s” office as well – have not heard back from them and do not expect to – they are going to fall under the same State and Government regulations. Still, I wish he had called and at least said, "Break a leg." But, he's a busy guy...

***************************************************************************

And now - the good news – it appears that Angels indeed walk among us:)

And you never know where they are going to come from in your life.

There is this wonderful lady, from our Semi;Colon Family, who had read the post, and apparently other posts I’ve written in the past, and she knew more about me than I could ever realize. She wanted to help very badly and her sincerity was so genuine and honest.

She saw this juncture as a “turning point” in the battle, and did not want me to get down the road, and look back wondering if something could have been done at this time that would have made a difference.

She’s experienced tremendous tragedy herself, and from her experience, she decided to make this all happen for me and take the stress out of things. She just wanted me to get it done and not have to worry about the bureaucracy of the hospital and insurance. She’s an incredible woman - a woman of swift action and deep conviction, with a heart as BIG as Texas, that much is for sure!

Pat (Jaylo969) mentioned that a miracle was needed – and now that’s going to happen!

I had initially declined her generous offer, but we talked for a couple of days and I agonized and even prayed for the “right thing to do.”

She so much wanted to help, and it’s hard for me to hurt people’s feelings. Plus, I know sometimes when people really want to help, they really want to do something good for someone and do something positive with their life as well – and by “Paying it Forward”, she became the embodiment of what we all aspire to be.

I’m honored, touched, humbled, and guilty, all at the same time. I’ve never been one to think that I am worthy of such a good deed such as this. I enjoy being on the giving side and enjoy helping others and brightening up their lives – but “accepting” help, gifts, or monetary gain, I’ve not done too well at in my life. I carry plenty of shame and guilt with what has transpired over the past few days.

I’ve learned over the past 6-years to sometimes be gracious enough to accept when someone is giving from their heart and with both hands. I know when I give to someone, I don’t let much stand in my way – I want so much to “reach out and touch” that person’s heart, that is what matters to me more than anything during that time. So, I tried to put myself in her shoes and look at it from her perspective. She now lives in my heart and no matter what, how will I ever live up to be what she has shown to me. She asked for nothing in return but to live a long and happy life. How I hope that I can be somone like her - she has showed me the true meaning of Life. Her Kindness & Consideration will forever live on in my heart.

Words fail me at a time like this. What she has shown me goes far beyond what Money can buy - money is a tool and we all need it to survive - but what she has really shown me is how someone you have not met physically, can still play such a vital role in your life.

When you post, it's sort of what Forrest Gump's mama said, "Life is like a box of chocolates - you never whatcha gonna' get." How true are those words!

It has been said that this Life is a “school of learning” the lessons in Life that we need to learn, while we occupy this space in time, before we move on to the next phase of our being.

And, with that in mind, I’ve learned yet another valuable Life Lesson about HUMANITY.

What has helped me through this “CrossRoad” in my Life is experiencing the BEAUTY of people’s souls – the depth of their feeling and their humanity - the witnessing the generosity of people whom you have not met – and knowing how much you care about me.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, especially now, more than ever….having folks like you in my life has been such a blessing. I can sum it up this way:

“YOU are ALL - a well that never runs dry - when you need comfort, you dip from the waters – and are renewed again.”

**********************************************************************************************

I’m waiting for the Onc and Surgeon to decide which test I should get…CT or a PET/CT…I hope to hear back from them shortly. My bloodwork came back and my CEA has risen slightly. It’s still well within the normal range. Funny isn’t it how any rise, gets your attention when it’s been stable for awhile?

A reminder to myself, when I’m out there doling out advice to folks, to keep all of your fears and concerns in the forefront of my mind, when I’m out there talking to you. As Kimby so wisely said, “It’s easy to give advice at an arm’s length.”

I must remember the person deep inside that post – because they are the ones that matter and need help. The lesson here is that New or Old to the battle, those fears and concerns reside deeply in each one of us and must not be discounted. Sometimes, that is easy to overlook with all that we've been through and experienced.

Thank you for being you – thank you for being there with me :)

“Life is For Learning”

-Craig
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Comments

  • Patteee
    Patteee Member Posts: 945
    wow
    thank you for your

    wow
    thank you for your words, they always touch me
    and a special thanks to your angel-
  • angelsbaby
    angelsbaby Member Posts: 1,165
    Craig
    that is very good news i know that there are angels out there who do help us when we need it . take care i am so happy things are going in the right direction.

    michelle
  • Crow71
    Crow71 Member Posts: 679
    Well said Craig. Thank you
    Well said Craig. Thank you for being you.
    Stay "honored, touched and humbled." Let go of the guilt as soon as you can.
    Many sparks coming to you my friend.
    Roger
  • maglets
    maglets Member Posts: 2,576
    Crow71 said:

    Well said Craig. Thank you
    Well said Craig. Thank you for being you.
    Stay "honored, touched and humbled." Let go of the guilt as soon as you can.
    Many sparks coming to you my friend.
    Roger

    craig
    wowsers and double wowsers.....

    puts a different complexion on this forum this week....

    kind and generous....just plain wonderful Craig and secret angel

    mags
  • lesvanb
    lesvanb Member Posts: 905
    how marvelous and generous!
    Thanks for the update Craig. I love the Forrest Gump quote; very apropos!

    all the best, Leslie
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
    lesvanb said:

    how marvelous and generous!
    Thanks for the update Craig. I love the Forrest Gump quote; very apropos!

    all the best, Leslie

    You...
    Bring tears to my eyes as usually, I can hear the roar again....

    Thank you to the woman who is helping you, I wish I had all the money in the world to help everyone here as well, screw those darn hospitals, I just want you better too!

    Hugsss!
    ~Chicky!
  • sheri22
    sheri22 Member Posts: 273
    GLAD TO SEE YOUR POST
    Craig

    I am soo glad things are looking better for you, as far as letting someone
    help you I went thru the same thing my co workers and employer did a benefit for me at first I felt really funny about it til I put myself in their shoes and realized that is what it all about we all try to help each other and when we gotta be on the other end THANK GOD there is that angel or angels wanting to help I dont know who your angel is but I am glad she was there for you. take care and keep us posted

    Sheri22
  • Jaylo969
    Jaylo969 Member Posts: 824
    maglets said:

    craig
    wowsers and double wowsers.....

    puts a different complexion on this forum this week....

    kind and generous....just plain wonderful Craig and secret angel

    mags

    Craig
    A miracle indeed.

    A special thank you from me to the angel who is helping Craig.

    Craig...

    5 months ago when I came home from the hospital terribly afraid and fearful of what the future might bring a family member wrote me a blank check. I refused it and it hurt his feelings but he wouldn't allow me to refuse again. I found the check later, after he left and it was for $8,000.00 with a notation that if/when I needed more to tell him.

    I'm sure you can relate to how much pressure that took off of me? After all, I knew my job was gone and we aren't wealthy.My daughter is in her senior yr.of college and it ain't cheap.My check always went to her account for her expenses.

    The money has paid co-pays, deductions for outpatient surgeries, medicines, special foods that I needed, etc. My daughter's college account hasn't had to be used.

    So yes, we are surrounded by angels and they always appear right on time.

    Peace & hope for you and all of us.

    -Pat
  • AnneCan
    AnneCan Member Posts: 3,673
    Wow, Craig, I am so happy
    Wow, Craig, I am so happy for you. Thank-you to the exceptionally kind person who offered you this gift, + to you Craig, for accepting it. We all want the best for you. It is not always easy accepting help when we are used to giving it, but you can continue to give your help while accepting it. Take good care!
  • just4Brooks
    just4Brooks Member Posts: 980
    Life's about
    paying it forword.

    Life is funny sometimes
    Brooks
  • mom_2_3
    mom_2_3 Member Posts: 953 Member
    Thank You
    A thank you to the person who is helping out our beloved Craig. You have a beautiful and kind spirit.

    Craig, we will be looking for good news from your upcoming scan.

    Amy
  • Kathryn_in_MN
    Kathryn_in_MN Member Posts: 1,252
    Awesome!
    I'm so happy you have an angel and that you accepted the offer of help. I know that can be hard. I've had trouble with it myself.

    Early in my struggles with this, I was told I had to pay up front for my part due for a PET scan. I didn't have the $500 they asked for. So I said no scan. My oncologist thought it was very important due to what had been seen on my CT (before dx, on my liver), as it could change our plan of attack for chemo, and I might possibly need more surgery. A good friend of mine for many years said she wanted to come visit me one afternoon. She told me how much she wanted to help me, but felt so helpless because she didn't know what she could do. She gave me a check for $500 and said that is one thing she could do. She had the money and wanted to give it to me. I couldn't refuse. I cried and accepted it. Very hard for me to do. You'd have to know more of the entire story of my life, and I won't go into that - but trust me - this was totally out of character for me to accept it.

    Since then my family (parents and siblings) took a family vote without me at holiday time. They put all the $$ usually spent for adult gifts into one gift - cash for us to use for whatever we wanted. I used it to get gifts for my children, and then to pay bills. Later my parents gave me $1000 when I didn't have the $250 to pay for my son to play highschool basketball (he LIVES to play BB). They told me it doesn't have to be paid back, but I told them we can compromise. A loan with no interest or payment deadline, but one I intend to pay back.

    More recently I applied for a grant with the Angel Foundation. I got one. You can choose to have them pay your mortgage or utility bills, or get grocery gift cards, or gas gift cards. It has been a huge help right now to know we can get gas and groceries by just using the cards - when we have no $$ left for that because my income has dropped so much, and our medical bills have risen so far.

    I finally decided that for my hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours through the years at church, with Le Leche League, the PTO, in classrooms, fundraisers for the American Lung Association, and donating to food shelves, sponsoring students for high school and English classes in Mexico, and other causes, why should I feel bad about asking for help when I need it? Isn't this the whole point of it all? Working together. Helping each other when we can? I help when I can, and now I'm one that needs help. It is humbling. Life lessons to be learned.

    Pay it forward. Do for others when you can. And graciously accept the help when it is your turn. If you can't donate $$, but you can dontate time or a skill, that is what we can do. Everyone working together.

    I'm so glad you have this one huge piece of stress lifted from your life. Thank you to Craig's Angel.
  • GOOFYLADIE
    GOOFYLADIE Member Posts: 232
    Craig
    I am so happy you are getting what you need, I am in awe of your angel looking out for you. What an extraordinary thing to do for someone!! Yes that's why the earth rocks and the heaven and earth shakes on the semicolon board! The Passion for empathy and correct care is eminent!!
    Love to you both!
    Goofyladie (Cass)
  • geotina
    geotina Member Posts: 2,111
    Craig
    How wonderful for you, I am so happy. Truthfully, I was quite distressed that one of our own could not continue medical care due to finances. This just should not happen in the USA. I read on the internet today about the $1.5 billion for Haiti. Much money has already been raised. Now, I know they need help, I am not heartless, but, I can't help but wonder what that money could do for people in this country in your situation, a situation that all of us may be in in the future, a situation that many, many cancer patients face. There is little to no help unless you are destitute and that is just plain not right. I read of Kimby losing everything, and now her home, all because of medical bills, that is just not right.

    To those of you feeling badly about a fundraiser for you, don't, just don't go there. Last summer we had a fundraiser (mega garage sale) for the family of one of the young women at the beauty shop. Now I know, you are rolling your eyes, but nothing like a few women getting their hair cut saying I wish we could help the family, they were tapped out caring for their daughter (25, Stage IV, stomach cancer)and there was still the mortgage, electric bill, etc. Mom and Dad had not worked for 6 months due to daughter's illness and one surgery turning into 7. Well, fundraising we did, nothing like women passing the word to clean out the house/garage, collecting and collecting and getting organized. A little more than $9,000.00 was given to the family. Not bad, lots of work, but they were well beyond words.

    Now take care and take the generosity of someone who cares very much for you. In the future, if you can help someone out, then I know you will.

    Hugs Tina
  • Fight for my love
    Fight for my love Member Posts: 1,522
    Hi Craig,you know what?I
    Hi Craig,you know what?I have been praying that you will solve your financial problem soon.OMG,now a very very generous and kind lady is helping you out.I am so happy this could happen.The lady is really an angel like what you said.Ok,my brother,you are good to go ahead to get over this bump on the road.Good luck with the scan.I hope everything is fine.Take care.
  • abmb
    abmb Member Posts: 311
    good to hear
    Craig, I am very happy to hear that you are going to have the Ct done. Glad to hear someone is able to help lower your monthly payments. A Blessing to know that you have a great friend to help you in your time of need. God Bless and keep posting. Margaret
  • HollyID
    HollyID Member Posts: 946
    Craig....
    I can so relate to Donna's post. I wish I could win the lottery and help everyone here. I really do. It makes a person feel good and it really would hurt a persons feelings if it were turned down.

    Craig, I'm so glad that you accepted the offer. I want to see you well. Heck, I want to see us all well! It's really interesting that after all, we're all a bunch of pixels on a screen. However, I feel close to all of you. Craig, you've really soothed a bunch of us when we first come in here scared and not really knowing the next step we should take and then really trusting advice. You, Craig, were one of the first ones to respond to my first post and allay my fears. There were many others, as well, but your advice has always been first rate and spot on. For that, I wish I had the $$$ to send you. You have not a clue how much you mean to us. We all definitely love you and wish you the best and want to see you well.
  • JDuke
    JDuke Member Posts: 438

    Hi Craig,you know what?I
    Hi Craig,you know what?I have been praying that you will solve your financial problem soon.OMG,now a very very generous and kind lady is helping you out.I am so happy this could happen.The lady is really an angel like what you said.Ok,my brother,you are good to go ahead to get over this bump on the road.Good luck with the scan.I hope everything is fine.Take care.

    Such exciting news.
    How beautiful for both you and your angel. We all want to do what we can to help people we care for and it is such a blessing that she was in a position to be able to help you financially. There was a monetary amount on the scans, test, etc. But how to you put a price on the reduction of worry and stress? I am so happy for you. And thank you to your angel for having the tenancity to wear you down and get you to put your pride aside and accept her assistance.
    Continued blessings,
    Joanne
  • dianetavegia
    dianetavegia Member Posts: 1,942
    Craig
    I'm sure your angel will be greatly blessed and her spirits lifted by her gift of 'life' to you. I'm quite sure I know who she is but will respect her wishes and not guess or call names. Thanks to you, Craig's Angel!!

    Diane
  • snommintj
    snommintj Member Posts: 601
    geotina said:

    Craig
    How wonderful for you, I am so happy. Truthfully, I was quite distressed that one of our own could not continue medical care due to finances. This just should not happen in the USA. I read on the internet today about the $1.5 billion for Haiti. Much money has already been raised. Now, I know they need help, I am not heartless, but, I can't help but wonder what that money could do for people in this country in your situation, a situation that all of us may be in in the future, a situation that many, many cancer patients face. There is little to no help unless you are destitute and that is just plain not right. I read of Kimby losing everything, and now her home, all because of medical bills, that is just not right.

    To those of you feeling badly about a fundraiser for you, don't, just don't go there. Last summer we had a fundraiser (mega garage sale) for the family of one of the young women at the beauty shop. Now I know, you are rolling your eyes, but nothing like a few women getting their hair cut saying I wish we could help the family, they were tapped out caring for their daughter (25, Stage IV, stomach cancer)and there was still the mortgage, electric bill, etc. Mom and Dad had not worked for 6 months due to daughter's illness and one surgery turning into 7. Well, fundraising we did, nothing like women passing the word to clean out the house/garage, collecting and collecting and getting organized. A little more than $9,000.00 was given to the family. Not bad, lots of work, but they were well beyond words.

    Now take care and take the generosity of someone who cares very much for you. In the future, if you can help someone out, then I know you will.

    Hugs Tina

    Charity
    Cancer has truly opened my eyes to the true meaning of charity. I've always contributed and been active in charities. I've spent weeks working with Habitat for Humanity, donated loads of money to various causes including the ACS. I went back to the first community I helped build in Richmond, Va. It's a gang controlled drug community now. I've tried to get help from the ACS, I'll just say they are far more efficient at raising money than distributing it. I had pretty much given up on charity. I never really understood the human element. I was just charitable because I thought that's what a single healthy guy should do, help out. But then my mom arranged a fundraiser for me. She did it in a town I haven't lived in 20 years. They raised a bunch of money for me in a time when I truly needed it. But that wasn't what opened my eyes. It was the 125 volunteers, who took days off of work, cut class, missed vacation, to help me out that recharged my sense of charity. I hadn't seen some of these folks since high school, there they were pitching in and helping out. The money they raised has since been spent, mostly on chemotherapy and scans, but I have been doing all I can to help others. I truly doubt I'll ever contribute to another national charity. But I have recommitted my life to helping my friends and local community.
    As far as accepting charity, I now know that I don't control the universe, sometimes I'm gonna need help. Some folks are in the position to help, some aren't, some need help themselves. Accept it when you need it and give it when you got it.