Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. One part of human nature is that we always want what we don’t have. Why is that?? Can’t we just be happy with what we have and live in the moment?! I remember when I was working as a business owner anywhere from 50-70 hours a week and the feeling of being overwhelmed was the norm. I remember “Past Michele” wishing she had more free time. Well…here it is. I just didn’t know it would come along with Leukemia. Moral of the story, be careful what you wish for!! Also…be happy with what you’ve got.
Now my main focus and goal is to stay positive, get healthy, fight this cancer devil that is in my body and not allow stress into my life. Everything else is secondary. (If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.) So along with my new “job”, I’ve had plenty of downtime. Plenty of free time that I had once hoped for. Unfortunately, I do not make an hourly wage with my ‘getting healthy job’. Wish I did. I also wish money really did grow on trees, but it doesn’t.
|Me working in the hospital while undergoing chemotherapy.|
Mo Cancer, Mo Problems
Good news? My company, M3 Makeup, is still up and running and in good hands. Bad news, I’m not presently there which means we have had a substantial loss of income due to me not being able to work or go on jobs. There’s such a misconception that business ownership means that the owners make so much money while paying their people small wages. Sure, I bet there are businesses out there like this but when you’re a small business, most of the money goes back into the company to ensure its success and longevity. Some people get this. Others never will. The reality is that when a husband and wife work full time to bring in the income necessary for their monthly bills, if one goes out of work, it puts a huge hurting on the family.
Not just financially but emotionally as well.
|Scott on double shifts and sleeping in the hospital|
So here we are up to date with everything. I’ve been out of work since mid January. Leukemia isn’t officially going away anytime soon. We have to find a donor for the bone marrow transplant I have to have in order to survive. My husband is working doubles, overtime, and on the weekends so that we can make ends meet. (On a side note, this worries me greatly. I’m pretty sure I’m seeing new gray hairs on him every day along with the new dark bags underneath his eyes.)
Getting Kicked When You’re Down
If all that isn’t enough…our mailbox is now graced with enough medical bills to give the mail person back trouble. Come on!!! Are you serious?! Is having an illness and all of the other problems that come along with it not enough?! Not that I’m not grateful for the caregivers that are saving my life, but I swear…our story is starting to sound like a sad Country song right now. At least our cat is healthy. In all seriousness, we’re hoping that by sharing our experience, it will open your eyes to make sure that you are properly prepared for anything. God forbid.
Young and healthy? Get good insurance anyway. Still using “You Only Live Once” (or YOLO as the kids are calling it these days) as an excuse to spend money you don’t have? Put money in your emergency fund first. We started doing those things a few years ago and it has made all the difference in the world…if only we had started sooner.
We were somewhat prepared after going through the program with Dave Ramsey. We had health insurance (not very good since I have always been as healthy as a horse), a health savings account, and an emergency fund. We did, however, have to change health insurance just a few weeks into it when we realized the deductible was too high and didn’t cover everything we needed. Here are just some of the things that are on our never ending list of what we owe for: 7 weeks of hospital stays, weekly doctor visits, CAT scans, xrays, sonograms, biopsies, spinal taps (and there were so many), an ambulance ride which was fun and bumpy, chemo, medicine and pills, Dr. visits, and do I really need to go on? Actually, yes I do. I got a good one for you. I’m currently on this super cancer chemo pill right now which is keeping me out of the hospital. Get ready for this…it is $10,000 a month. What?! That breaks down to $333 a day for one pill every 24 hours.
Cancer comes with a lot of baggage. And if you read the previous blog, it was a little beacon of hope for our future. But what I didn’t go into was the fact that everything with the fertility process was out of pocket. Insurance did not cover one bit. While we’ve had a lot of help along the way, we’re still getting hit left and right. My health savings and our emergency fund were depleted almost immediately and we’ve found ourselves starting over again.
|This was taken right after my head was shaved. It was a very sad and emotional evening. I’ve never felt more vulnerable and fragile than this very moment.|
Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.
I’m spending a lot of my free time being thankful for everything I have, some days that’s really hard, but it’s a job that fills my heart with love. All I can say is thank you, thank you all so much for everything. Every prayer, every thought, every hug, every little bit helps in the biggest fight of my life.