January 27, 2016 Re-Connecting

Go Fund Me reckons time in months, so by their reckoning, my Campaign is now 18 months old. Until a few days ago, I was seriously considering shutting it down for lack of response. It was embarrassing to be posting updates that were producing not merely scant, but no donations at all. Perhaps I was being presumptuous in asking for help when there were so many others in greater need. I began to summarize my data for a Final Update, and the summary showed me what I’d been missing as I was dealing with the day-to-day crises of the past six months: $2475 had been donated by 13 people, six of whom had given more than once. But there had not been a single new donor since March of 2015! Where were my Updates going? I had lost my connection to all my Facebook friends and didn't even realize it.  What was consuming so much of my attention to allow such an egregious oversight?

Actually, that answer is easy.  In mid-August of 2015 there were what at first seemed to be some relatively insignificant incidents, which turned out to have major impacts on my life.  First, my 5-year-old MacBook Pro started having serious technical problems, and was going to need attention at the local Genius Bar.  Then, as I was trying to deal with that, I was being plagued by what seemed to be typical mid-summer breathing problems, and was going to need some medical attention. The Genius Bar said my Mac was terminal. The hard drive was OK, but other components were no longer manufactured by Apple. Ergo, I was without a computer. Worse yet, following weeks of attention, testing, and imaging at Albany Med, a very kind, matter-of-fact oncologist informed me that I have Stage IV ovarian cancer, and that I am not a good candidate for aggressive chemo, so I should plan to enjoy what time I have left. Statistics predict anywhere from 3 months to a year. (I’m already well past the 3 months!) And Hospice is helping me stay comfortable.  So - pardon my gallows humor, please - like my Mac laptop, I, too, am terminal.

It is one thing to say I do not fear death. It is quite another to live with the day-to-day ramifications of a terminal disease. I am no longer striving to return to Independent Living; I’m just striving to last maybe another Spring or Summer. Albany Med’s discharge policy requires acceptance of the first nursing home bed available, so Sept. 2 found me in a Ballston Spa nursing home navigating the realities of my new life as a Medicaid-eligible Nursing Home Resident, far from family and most friends. The kindest thing I can say is that I was a poor fit for their typical population. I was far too independent, did not require the level of attention they were prepared to offer, and when I recognized a real crisis and the house MD was away, I had to enlist my daughter’s help to get to an ER. from whence I was discharged to Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Delmar, much closer to family and friends.  I all honesty, I think I can cut myself a bit of a break if I wasn't completely on top of things throughout the turmoil and confusion of Residence -> AMCH -> Nursing Home #1 -> Saratoga Hospital  -> Nursing Home #2, all the while,  getting treatment for my breathing problems and trying to navigate becoming both Medicare and Medicaid covered.  Aaargh!

Getting back to my Campaign, I have re-algned my Goal to my current reality and reduced the Dollar Amount to just what I believe will be necessary to meet my most pressing obligations. When I posted the need to pay for the repairs to my motorized wheelchair and the attendant expenses, I received a single check that more than covered the needed amount. Knowing that the funding source was committed to re-cycling the "donated" money if at all possible, I pledged that I would make every effort to repay that generosity  - - not realizing that my energies would be diminishing, and would be directed elsewhere in the near future. You can imagine my dismay a couple months ago when I received a request for repayment, asking me to sign a note that will be binding on my Estate if it remains unpaid after my death. While I recognize a moral obligation to repay this debt, I will not obligate anyone else after I am gone.

I have learned how the original link between my Go Fund Me Campaign and Facebook was lost, so I will now repair it, and hope that your caring and contributions will enable me to reach my Goal, and with much gratitude, look forward to Spring, to the Old Songs Festival, and maybe, even, to a 76th Birthday!  Peace!

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Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 53 mos
  • Veronica Cunningham 
    • $200 
    • 53 mos
  • Bradley Russell 
    • $200 
    • 53 mos
  • Patricia Oliver 
    • $20 
    • 53 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 64 mos
See all

Organizer

Mary Bryan 
Organizer
Delmar, NY
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