asking

“From what I’ve seen, it isn’t so much the act of asking that paralyzes us–it’s what lies beneath: the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one.

It points, fundamentally, to our separation from one another.”
― Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

As you may know, in December 2015, I was diagnosed with Metastisized HER2+ Breast Cancer (met. to bones, particularly my spine, and brain). I went through four months of chemo, as well as a Gamma Knife treatment for the cancer that had metastasized to my cerebellum. Those treatments were successful in clearing the cancer at that time, but in October 2016, my MRI showed multiple lesions in my brain. In November, I underwent 3 weeks of low-dose whole-brain radiation. Since then, I’ve had a recurrence.

Because of the nature of HER2+ cancer, my treatment is ongoing. Currently, I’m taking Capecitabine and Tykerb in hopes that they will cross the blood/brain barrier. The expense for those is close to $10,000/month. Thankfully, it is mostly covered by insurance and we’ve been able to obtain financial assistance for the co-pay.

However, my husband’s work insurance has changed for 2018. There is a question whether or not my chemo meds will continue to be covered. And, the assistance for my monthly co-pay is on a first-come-first-served basis, so there is no guarantee as to how long it will continue.

My other regular expenses include monthly visits to my oncologist, MRI scans every 2 months, Echocardiograms about every 4-6 months.

In addition, since March 2017, I’ve been experiencing sciatica in my right leg. My oncologist gave me the go-ahead to see my chiropractor. In November, I had a spine x-ray which showed I have scoliosis. I’m now undergoing intensive chiropractic care which is only covered on a limited basis of 24 visits/year. As a result, much of my treatment costs will be out-of-pocket.

We’ve been having difficulty managing payments for my deductible, as well as covering the $2,000 of medical expenses (Gamma Knife doctor fees and renting an oxygen condenser for three months) we found out recently had NOT been covered during 2015. And now, with the $250/month payments for my chiropractic care, we’re struggling and getting behind.

So, I’ve created a gofundme campaign, asking for support. If you feel able to help, whatever the amount, I would appreciate it more than I can say.

(photo is of my radiotherapy mask)