Medical Expenses for Denise

$75,321 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 140 people in 21 months
Hello all!  This is Charles Dickey, Denise's youngest brother.  My sister has found herself in a surprisingly unbelievable predicament with her health insurance.  She is now at MD Anderson for Head and Neck Cancer, stage 4.   Hands down, they offer the most comprehensive and the most curative treatment protocol for this type of cancer.  After many appeals, her New Mexico health insurance, NMHC, continues to deny coverage for MD Anderson.  'Self-pay' patients have to pay before treatment begins---this will cost over $200,000---OMG!  She's a native Texan, ya'll...let's help her out!  I can't thank you enough for all your support!






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Denise has a CaringBridge.org site where she writes updates, and you can leave comments.


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Below is my sister's story in her own words, when she first heard the diagnosis.  She is in private practice as a trauma therapist in New Mexico, and this was her letter to her clients:
  
hello all. 
I hope this finds you well, amidst the winds.
I care so deeply for each and every one of you. My heart is open with gratitude for all you bring into my life.
I have been in a whirlwind of paperwork, appointments, and testings this past month.

For about a year I have known I would be going through yet another 'shamanic initiation'...a rebirth of sorts. I did not know how it would manifest, or when...I just felt it coming.
Finally, it has arrived.
And it arrived this week in the form of Head and Neck Cancer, Stage 4. I received the diagnosis on Feb 20th.

As you all know, I come from sturdy Texas stock...I'm tenacious and persistent.


I know this is shocking news, and I apologize.
I think part of what perplexed the docs for the past months, was my lack of symptoms and level of energy...though I continued to ask for testing, as I knew something was amiss.
I've had great times with the ENT through this all. He's been a gem.

After much deliberation, and strong, humorous omens, I will be doing this healing journey at MDAnderson, in Houston. It is world reknown for this type of cancer. Time is of the essence, so things are happening quickly.
The treatment will be aggressive and about 8 weeks long. I have an amazing 'love crew' that has already kicked in and done beautiful things for me.
I will have people tag-teaming down to Houston to be with me during treatment.

Not exactly the sort of getaway I envisioned, but it will certainly give me some time for my writing and art!

I've got this!

Please do not worry.

Step into the night sky and speak to me through the stars...I will receive your love and prayers. And know that I will be sending them to you all as well.

I will begin my journey at MD Anderson on Mon. March 13.

This said,
I am taking a leave of absence from my practice for a few months, starting ....now.
yikes!

I will miss you all, my sweet tribe.

I feel solid in how I'm approaching this...continuing my daily herbs, practices, etc to support the allopathic treatments.

I'll be in touch. I'll let you know when I arrive back in town, and when I open my practice again.
in the meantime, I will prob.add things to my blog on this site.

So. Onward!!

much love to each and every one of you,
Denise
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Hello again y'all, it's little bro Charles logging in again for a weekly update:) Pushing through this third week of treatment has been a little more difficult for Denise. Brother Jeff is coming in from Iowa for a couple of weeks. yay! Mostly, her beautiful sense of humor keeps her afloat above constant nausea, drying salivary glands and other symptoms from the treatment. The original medication for the nausea didn't work for her, so now we're trying another that will hopefully be more effective. Symptoms from the chemo and radiation persist, and the overall effect is a bit more pronounced. This accumulation of chemo and radiation in her body is hard on her system. She's accepting of these changes and strong willed, so nevertheless she's persistent. She is such a brave, loving, and tough woman and her empowerment of self shows through this new struggle-those Texan roots showing through again! Please keep you hearts full for her and send your big love, as now is when things get more challenging. Her soul is strong and an endless force flows through her battling this cancer-she stays focused on the job at hand. We also recognize and appreciate the help from all of you too- the ones who've taken time to listen, travelled afar to visit, share, give, and love. Your support is so special and endearing to us-it just wouldn't be possible without everyone's help. Thank you! Although we've not met our fundraising goal, MD Anderson has been very understanding and worked with us getting her into their care and treatment. Give thanks to all of these incredibly talented and caring team of doctors and supporting staff- such an amazing place! As she gets further into treatment, extra expenses seem to arise because of additional tests and additional medications, etc. If you've given, please know we appreciate it so much, and ask if you could please share her story with others in your circle of friends and family-every little bit helps as we enter into the middle of her treatment. I told her that her family is vast! It's anyone that's ever been facing a wall so big to climb that you just couldn't do it alone. Humanity is our family. Although our fight with cancer is big enough, our fight for healthcare coverage seems to be just as big. It's annoying and frustrating to think we have to consider this battle every day while she's getting treatments-"should we do this test or consult because it costs this much?" It's unjust when the healthcare provider could easily say, "of course we'll cover your treatment, since you pay us $600 every month for the past 30 years and it's the right thing to do". It's hard to believe that she pays them a premium every month with no benefit from it-it's criminal. Please help us fight and win both battles. Thank you all for having her back-she will persevere and overcome!
round 3 chemo
art by Jove, age 16, MD Anderson
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Good morning my friends! Charles here again with a little update of things. This time finds us around the end of Denise's second week and beginning the third of treatment. Her amazing force of positive energy is a perfect example to everyone around her that treatment, although difficult and foreign, is just a part of her learning, growth and expansion of a new life. This new life embraces all of her old, full of great and supportive friends and family, but adding a whole new group of amazing people in Houston and MD Anderson-incredibly giving and nurturing souls standing beside during this new journey to healing. Her spirits remain high and bolstered by such wonderful friends coming to visit from Santa Fe-an example of what great friends do during a trying time. Having such wonderful souls visit, creates a positive distraction, sweet support and nurturing padding against a hard and intense reality of daily treatments-she so loves the ones offering their time and care during this time. Watching this happens makes me realize how deep our relationships can be and what makes life worth living-others. We are so very thankful for all of these beautiful souls hugging, embracing and giving their undying love and support to her-so selfless and endlessly giving- the highest degree of unconditional love. Thank you everyone for being there in all ways. We love you!
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Good morning everyone! it's Charles again-sorry for the slow updates on things recently. We've been very busy trying to iron out financials etc. so that Denise can get going with treatment and are very happy to announce that Denise officially started her treatment yesterday-finally! Thanks to you all! Through our beautiful and generous family and friends, this was made possible. We literally could not have made this happen without YOU! This is one of those giant steps forward and although there are many more ahead, we are so incredibly thankful for being able to start the treatment that Denise has been waiting so patiently for-- along with the unnecessary anxiety and confusion of health insurance coverage or lack thereof...we are still battling them! As this seems so ridiculous and negative during such a trying time in her life, we are still given so many bright signs of humanity. Yesterday as I waited during her first radiation treatment, there was a very kind couple waiting for treatment, and we began talking. They were from a small town near Tyler
and came here for the same reason-it's the best head and neck center in the world. They had been self- employed most of their life too and had just recently gotten onto Medicaid because of their age. The wife was the one being treated and just related to Denise's story and insisted that we let them help. I couldn't help but start to tear up by how people are so kind and loving. Complete strangers...everyday people like you and me. We're all the same boat of humanity-maybe some boats are old and starting to leak and others are in better shape, but we're all floating around this big ocean, floating and enjoying this incredible world of places, things, and people. Going through this, you realize it's about helping each other and connecting and sharing and living together. Thank you everyone for everything you've done! We ask everyone to keep Denise in their hearts and wish her the best as we push through this challenging treatment. We love you all!
beams of nature...
first radiation beam...
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Hello! Charles here again. I want to thank ya'll so much for your kindness and generosity in my sister's cancer journey. She now has a start date for her Radiation/Chemotherapy treatments...April 10th. She will do daily treatments until the end of May. She's healthy and motivated, so all the help she receives furthers her commitment to beat this! MD Anderson is doing their best to get insurance coverage for her, along with our efforts. Again, thank you all for your inspiration, love, and support!
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Read a Previous Update
A CaringBridge campaign
Stephen Gilbert
21 months ago

I experienced similar troubles with MD Anderson and was more successful pursuing Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I have been cancer free for more than four years now. You cannot afford to wait! Your life depends on It.

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$75,321 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 140 people in 21 months
Created March 9, 2017
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JL
$50
Jo Ann Lucero
11 months ago
1
1

Sending you healing thoughts of love and comfort.

$11
Anonymous
17 months ago
1
1
MT
$100
Marie Tallant
18 months ago
2
2

Missing our Thursdays at 1230. Sending you love and good thoughts for your healing. Thought of you while reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar to Lilith .....and she went into her coocoon and after 2 days turned into a beautiful butterfly. Come back to us butterfly. xoxo

$2,000
Anonymous
18 months ago
1
1
Stephen Gilbert
21 months ago

I experienced similar troubles with MD Anderson and was more successful pursuing Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I have been cancer free for more than four years now. You cannot afford to wait! Your life depends on It.

+ Read More
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