Cancer, Bankruptcy, Foreclosure...

I’ve held it together the best I can.  Now it’s breakdown or breakthrough time.    We have two weeks to find a new home and move, and we’ve been at the oncologist for these last three days for Robert’s newly discovered cancer.  And I need a job. I don’t find it easy to ask, but we need help for:

·         A place to live for Robert, me, and 17-year-old Ian

·         Help with moving by April 28th (Robert won’t be his usual strong self) 

·         Funds for Robert’s medical bills 

·         An income stream

We’re dealing with bankruptcy, foreclosure and now cancer, and my attempts to find or create income haven’t worked. If there wasn’t such urgency I would never make these requests

How could I have let us get into this position?  We’re not stupid.  I have an engineering degree and an MBA, plus an HVAC license.  We’re not lazy.  Our employees would often comment on how hard Robert worked. Even after a stroke.  I’ve tried to find a job and/or create an income.   I can absolutely guarantee that I’m willing to work hard and provide value wherever and however I can.   

When I left IBM 29 years I made this crazy agreement with God while staying all night on a hill in Hunt Texas.  “OK God, you tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”  I’ve followed that, often questioning whether I was getting the messages messed up.  Times like now.  Surely this can’t be right??!!??  I’m clear that through some unbelievable ups and downs, there has been a purpose.  I trust that’s still true now.  I’ve learned and I’ve recorded those learnings. 

It’s so easy to question “what am I doing to deserve this?” Prevailing thought is that we must be doing something wrong for us to be in this position. Maybe I’ve been too focused on using my expertise to make a difference for the environment.  But Robert’s cancer reinforces rather than diminishes my belief in the importance.  We’re so lucky that his cancer was caught early. We can act immediately, and change the course of his health.  Similarly, we know the planet isn’t healthy.  By immediate action, we can change the course of the planet’s health.   I’m sure people will judge where we’re at and the path I’ve taken, and for putting this out there.  But I’m trusting that this is what I’m supposed to do.

Roberts’ Health
Robert has esophageal cancer. His mother died from it, but she didn’t go to the doctor until it was at Stage 4.  Thankfully Robert caught it so early that it’s extremely small and has maybe affected only two lymph nodes.  He will have six weeks of radiation and chemo, then six weeks to get strong again, then surgery to remove the section of the esophagus and connect it up to the stomach again.  As always he is active and fit and likely to recover well. Even after his stroke he is still strong enough physically to ride 40-mile bike rides.

I understand we need to pay 20% of the costs.  It’s $10,000 for our 20% portion of the radiation, and then an additional 20% of the chemo, prescriptions and surgery, which includes seven days in the hospital. 

I was informed yesterday that we may still be able to get insurance to cover it.  We sat for two hours at the Social Security Office after yesterday’s doctor appointments but then had to leave to go to a college prep session at Ian’s school.  Yes, there’s that coming up too.  I’ve checked into Medicaid.  That takes 45 days to process, so maybe we’ll get it in time for the surgery, but not the chemo and radiation.  I need other paperwork to complete it. Trying to balance between finding a house, getting coverage in time, finding a job, packing…

Robert doesn’t want me to tell people where we’re at.  We’ve been through tough times before.  My mantra has always been “We’ll get through it; we always do.”  I can share what those experiences have been like and maybe it will provide value to others. But right now my partner in this journey is weakened, and I’m not strong enough to handle it. 

Our Timeline
4/14 to 4/17       Find a place to live over Easter

4/18 to 4/21       Pack

4/22 to 4/23       Move

4/24 to 4/28       Robert’s first week of chemo and radiation

Asap                      Get medical coverage, get a job, create an income stream

I’d appreciate any help you can give and I will do my best to pay it back to you and to the world in some way at some time.


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  • Rachek bejma 
    • $200 
    • 17 mos
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Susan Meredith 
Austin, TX
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