I'm a Stage IV metastatic prostate cancer 'survivor.' The reason 'survivor' is quoted? My disease is serious enough (on the Gleason scale, a 9/10) that I'll never be considered cured.
I'm striving to return to some resemblance of a normal life, which has been derailed since January 2016. Prior to this, I was a self-sufficient person, working a typical wage job and meeting my regular obligations. In July 2015, I was diagnosed with cancer, and had surgery to remove it in January of the following year. Afterword, I was disabled for over three months, from side effects of the surgery and the medications I was prescribed, which the VA doctors at the time were unable to diagnose. After the crippling effects subsided, I was subsequently hospitalized in July of that year with a MRSA infection, which lasted approximately three months, then suffered an auto accident the following October, which fractured my foot and impeded my ability to ambulate. My recovery has taken a long road.
Because of my illnesses and multiple subsequent surgeries, I was unable to work for more than six months each in 2016 and 2017. My then-employer refused to return me to full-time work after July 2016, which made it untenable to meet obligations other than immediate living needs. In July 2017, I was forced to leave my place of employment due to three months of intensive radiation therapy. Still, I managed to survive upon the proceeds of my previous employment through the following August with the help of a roommate. Unfortunately, my roommate suffered a stroke that September and was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer shortly thereafter. After his hospitalizations, it was determined he could not return home. Since he was retired, collecting Social Security, and had exhausted his insurance proceeds, his income was subsumed by his caregivers. Without a job, and without his contribution to the mutual living expenses where we cohabitated, I subsequently became homeless, for several months, at the conclusion of 2017.
Thanks to friends, I was able to obtain shelter in a spare trailer in January 2018, with the proviso I pay the lot fees and utilities, which I was able to do by selling my automobile in February of this year. Starting in the same month, I was incapacitated by foot surgery, the recovery from which required six months, three months longer than the surgeon estimated. Through August of this year, I was able to satisfy my basic obligations, until I ran out of funds. I'm trying diligently to avoid a return to being homeless, and am working with the VA, plus the state and county governments to secure gainful employment commensurate with my skills and experience.
Unfortunately, I have not yet found employment. Because of this, I am unable to afford to pay my bills presently. I have borrowed as much money as I could from friends and family, and exhausted these avenues of assistance. I'm unable to borrow from financial institutions, due to damaged credit as a consequence of employment interruptions. Seeking assistance from a myriad of social service agencies has been fruitless: they are not in the business of preventing homelessness, they are only willing to help after their clients have destroyed their lives and lost everything, the very thing I'm trying to prevent. I wish to once again become a productive and meet my obligations. I very much need your help, and I'm appealing for whatever funds you may be able to provide. My goal is to prevent becoming homeless, pay my bills and immediate living expenses, obtain gainful employment, and return to self-sufficiency.
I'm aware there are many people in positions worse than mine. It is not my desire to prey upon anyone's good intentions. But there is better than a 90% chance my prostate cancer will return sometime within the next ten years. For now, though, my laboratory results are good, and my physical condition is acceptable, so my ability to earn a living shouldn't be significantly impeded. However, studies can't predict how long I'll remain in good health. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration does not presently consider my condition worthy of SSDI or SSI. I have no desire to take advantage of anyone: I simply need a hand up, rather than throw-away handouts, to get back on my feet. If you agree to assist me, your generosity will not be wasted, and it will go far toward salvaging my life. Would you help me please? I'd be most grateful and in your debt. Thank you.
P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
- Barbara Plume
- John Hodel
- Sharon Barrett
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