Eric Jose's Kick-Cancer Fund
Eric is going to win the battle, we're confident. As humbling, overwhelming, and surreal as it is to need help with the bills, we're grateful to the very depths of our hearts for the support and generosity we've received this far.
Thank you you thank you thank you.
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My mama started the outreach this way:
What's a mother to do? My daughter, Melissa, and her husband, Eric, live in New York City with their daughters, Emma, 9, and Eliza, 4. As a midwesterner, I've never understood how they make it there, but they work hard and live close to the bone. In March, Eric was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare children's cancer that is even more rare in adults. What a great relief that they are in NYC, so he can be treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, one of the best cancer-treatment centers in the world. He started his first cycle of chemo-therapy on April 1 and treatments are expected to last a year. His work provides good insurance, but we know the bills will begin to roll in soon. In addition, his disability provides only a portion of his usual pay. It's my intention, through this fund, that my grand-daughters' lives remain as normal as possible. I know they have many friends who feel, like I do, that they want to help. Eric is a champ and I know he'll beat this cancer, but worry about his girls only depletes the energy he needs to fight. Please help them provide some sort of normalcy for these kids.
My daughter blogs updates on his condition at
https://thisisnotaeulogy.wordpress.com/ . I hope you'll follow along with us on this journey.
Today is, apparently, #WorldCancerDay, where we are meant to raise cancer awareness. I wonder, is there ever a day that any of us actually *forget* about cancer? Is there ever a day that we aren't all touched by it in some way? (I guess that's the point, huh? Sigh.)
We are celebrating World Cancer Day by slogging through another day with cancer. This has, and continues to be, the most challenging thing we've ever endured. And yet, we endure. Bear endures. And many days are good. Not necessarily "normal", but definitely happy.
When he returned to chemo after the surgery break, it all started to be more difficult. The nausea and pain and occasionally excruciating side-effects that he thought he could avoid had caught up to him. Days and weeks were hard, and he was exhausted. The typical stuff you hear about during the cancer journey...we didn't escape it after all. Add this with the stubborn healing delay in the foot/amputation, and you get a really challenging time.
This journey is overwhelming and isolating. People that we expected emotional help from have dropped out of our lives almost entirely, while some other amazing guardian angels have stepped up and stepped in, overwhelming us with their love. We see a balance, even with a heavy heart. Most importantly, the girls are taken care of, and we are so grateful.
Some days the financial strain feels insurmountable. Short term disability, already less than half of our typical take-home pay, ended in January. Faced with the proposition of long-term disability and paying out-of-pocket for insurance, we realized that our income wouldn't even cover rent, much less expenses, medications, etc. Eric has worked out a situation with his employer where he returned to work and will use vacation time for chemo. Enduring those side-effects from his desk will be a challenge, but this is where we are. We're giving it a shot. In effect, the finances are scarier than the treatment or the prognosis.
It's humbling, and it's daunting, and we can hardly wait to be back on our feet (see that "foot" joke/reference there?!), but it's where we are. For the first time in our lives, the pieces of the puzzle don't fit together. We're determined to make it through, and we're getting closer. We still need help - emotionally, fiscally, physically - and we have learned how to accept it. It's not easy, but on this World Cancer Day, and throughout our Jose Cancer Year, we are learning and healing and growing every day.
Thank you friends. From the bottom of our hearts and to the very reaches of the universe, we thank you for being in this journey with us. Your thoughts, prayers, and generosity have helped carry us through, and we are grateful. And Hopeful.
In the midst of the unexpected storm that is our year, we are humbled, honored, and truly truly grateful for you. The support, prayers, cards, food, texts, cheerleading, and so much more you've shared have been a literal lifeline for us, and although words could never adequately express how much we appreciate it, please know that you're in our hearts forever.
We wish you a Thanksgiving weekend filled with good times, belly laughs, and enough wine to turn any bits of melancholy into joy.
We love you so very very much, and give thanks for all of you.
Eric, Melissa, Emma Magnolia & Eliza Belle
Eric is still in the hospital; bacterial infection of the soft tissue in the foot. MRI imminent, which may give more answers, the IV antibiotics are working their magic, and he's seen "20 doctors" today.
A volunteer came by the room to ask if he'd like a visit from a puppy. Puppy therapy!
Things are looking up.
Eric is in the hospital. Overnight so far, maybe a day or two more, until the fever comes down and all the levels are where they're supposed to be. They're not able to name the culprit yet, but bacterial infection from the open wound is the likely source.
He's been coughing, his eyes are huge and his cheeks are sunken, his color is off, he's got a fever, his blood pressure is lower than usual, his voice is scratchy, and he's having trippy dreams... Going in for a tune-up (and hopefully some really good rest) sounds right on target.
We remind ourselves: this is just the middle, the rumble. We're scrappy and determined (and empowered to change the world and the outcome, after listening to the "Hamilton" cast recording for weeks on a loop); a few days of rest and hydration are going to be valuable.
Keep the warm thoughts and generous prayers coming, friends. We appreciate it more than words can say. xo