Hello, my friends, and hope all are doing well. I begin this by stating that I write this with great trepidation, fear, and worry. I have been quietly struggling with how I am going to figure out this current situation and am one who hates to burden others, but instead, prefers the comfort of helping those in need. I am embarrassed and humiliated to even create a fundraiser, but I do not have other options at this point. Living as a single person in this economy/recession has been very difficult, especially when unforeseen circumstances arise, and, though I have tried, I don't qualify for any government funding. Trust me, I have spent HOURS on the phone and keep getting shut down. I have tried to get food stamps, Medicaid and anything else, but keep getting turned down. Please don't inspire me to engage in a discussion regarding our government and politics! I am stressed enough! The Department of Labor has managed to erroneously mismanage my claims for seven weeks now, with no payments yet, in my account.
Unfortunately, and abruptly, I was laid off by my international start-up company after five months of hard work to help elevate their oncology clinical trials and push them forward. Working remotely with them, I was extremely excited about the prospects for the future of cancer regarding diagnostics, prognostics, and treatment valuation. The company utilized a liquid biopsy, as opposed to a tissue biopsy, to generate information regarding biomarkers and genomic mapping. The job seemed ideal and aligned with my personal and professional paradigm to make a meaningful impact in the oncology sector.
You all know that my personal history with cancer, as well as that of four other members of my family (who have not survived), has inspired me and continued to fuel my dedication and advocacy as an oncology nurse. I am now eight years into my ongoing breast cancer treatment and still on medication for another two years. Honestly, it has been brutal and challenging at times. I have had numerous severe side effects from the medicines including chronic and debilitating daily migraines due to hormonal blockage of the cancer drugs. I require a host of medications and procedures for prevention and rescue, all of which are expensive and not fully covered by health insurance. (Normally, I can afford it when I have health insurance.) I also had to have my breasts reconstructed a second time (due to complications) and had surgery on my wrist due to joint deterioration from these same meds. Cancer is not for sissies! Some days it feels defeating, but I have to stay the course and get scans to keep ahead of all. I am the only member of my family to have survived cancer thus far and not have metastatic tumors elsewhere. I am currently due for a PET scan and mammogram but cannot afford COBRA, so I had to cancel the appointment that I had scheduled six months ago. I can no longer afford my daily medications either.
The company I worked for made some changes regarding the future of our clinical trials, and I eagerly inquired if our jobs were in jeopardy and were repeatedly told "no!" Then, on June 15, out of the blue, I was laid off as their first hired clinical science liaison. A pathetic and very small severance was provided of one month's pay, but as my manager was well aware, I was in the process of moving into a new leased house. Due to this, I had utilized most of my savings for a down payment and moving expenses. While I understand the operations of running a business , I find the cruelty in how I was laid off and it is very infuriating, but we live in a very different world today, where compassion and ethics seem to have disappeared. (So, living by the mantra, "suck it up buttercup!") While I am an oncology nurse, I have transitioned into a role that is called a medical science liaison and seeking a new position with a bioscience, life science, or pharmaceutical company immediately. I have had several promising leads and tend to interview very well and typically get an offer or am one of the last of two candidates at least. However, the process takes two to three months, and now, I am stuck with a lack of a way to pay any living expenses and medical bills. As a licensed and registered nurse, I could take on other clinical roles, but I have also been diagnosed with Dupuytren's Contracture in both hands. If you are not familiar with this (John Elway has it and does a commercial for it), your hands will eventually contract inward, due to hard bands that form in your palms, making them fairly useless for many delicate dexterity tasks associated with nursing. Rarely enough, I have it in both hands, and it has progressed rapidly in the past year, causing pain and limitations. If this is not enough, I contracted the latest COVID variant and have long hauler's symptoms that have now persisted for over two months.
I am also a nationally certified paralegal, and have combined these two skill sets to work as a legal nurse consultant or health care consultant. Again, I am actively seeking all I can and have never had this many challenges in finding work. Perhaps, my age is catching up to me and the reason for not being hired. Still, the jobs I seek typically require the academic training and experience I have acquired over my tenure with health care facilities, pharma, law firms, and consulting agencies. Should any of you have referrals or references of within these sectors, please let me know. I have worked many hours in consulting and with several law firms and happy to send my Curriculum Vitae to anyone.
I know I will land on my feet, but it is taking a little more time than expected. The house I moved into, turned out to have numerous problems, that have now fallen into my realm of responsibilities for repair and upkeep. The landlord does not live in Georgia and essentially is a slumlord who failed to do his due diligence between tenants. Again, it is a ridiculous world we live in where, people can't just "do the right thing"or perhaps I live in a fantasy word where morality and ethics still matter. I am abundantly stressed and greatly concerned about how I can pay this month's rent and afford food and other household and medical expenses. I have applied for small amount of unemployment, but the state of Georgia has managed to screw this up and delay my payments for over six weeks now. My company car was supposed to come right before being laid off, creating another dilemma of not having transportation. I am trying to remain faithful, but as I have been told, "if it weren't for bad luck, you'd have none at all." My family has helped as much as possible, and it is exceptionally disheartening to be a burden to them or anyone else. I have led my life being kind to friends and strangers and always helping out when I am able, to those less fortunate. I hope that any of you reading this might find compassion in your heart and help me through this very difficult and depressing period of my life. I am trying to rely on my faith and hope for better days ahead, when I am the one helping others and not the other way around. Thank you for reading and any support, suggestions or prayers, you might provide.