Before my bone marrow transplant, I never thought I would be doing something like this but my situation is rapidly putting me in a dire situation financially. I'm afraid of losing my home and/or not being able to afford my medications. I worked for years while fighting cancer and the recovery of five back surgeries that followed. My social worker told me about this sight ans suggested that I try reaching out to the world community and I'd be pleasantly surprised at the response. I am so thankful to still be alive today, and I count that blessing first each day and I am thankful for all my friends and family that have rallied to my side to help me keep fighting. I do have to admit that the financial stress is keeping me awake nights and raising my stress levels to new highs. I have a mountain of medical bills that I go through weekly and pay what I can and try to work with the billing departments. Sometimes I look at it and wonder how I'll ever be able to dig out of the financial hole I'm in.
I have been fighting cancer since 2002 when a tumor was discovered in my spine. I had the tumor removed and a bone graft with rods screwed into my spine. Several surgeries, radiation and chemo followed. I developed an infection where the hardware was placed and spent the next few years fighting it until my doctor removed the hardware. I kept working for the next seven years for public television while fighting and recovering. I would be working while taking IV antibiotics through a PICC line. When I was diagnosed with another tumor in 2010, my daughter, only 12 at the time, accompanied me to every radiation treatment since it was in the summer. I thought that when it went into remission I'd be in the clear for a while. This time last year (8/2012) I found out that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in my abdomen. I had four months of intensive chemo and I went into remission in December. My doctor got me into the bone marrow transplant program and I had to spend the week before Christmas at MSKCC to collect the stem cells for my transplant. I had the bone marrow transplant in January of 2013 that kept me from my family for 6 weeks, and a month later I developed a 12cm abdominal hematoma that nearly killed me and put me back in the hospital for a week and I had to have irradiated blood transplants to bring my blood counts up to a safe level. I now have to take a daily chemo pill that has a huge co-pay. I need to take this for another 2 years.
Between my hospital, CAT scan, doctor visits, blood screen tests, medications and other non-medical bills that have not totally been covered by insurance and some financial aid, I am getting further and further in debt. My daughter has braces that I'm paying for and she is working on her 3rd degree black belt, so I have those monthly costs. I was lucky with Sandy, but some trees at the end of my driveway were damaged and have leaned over so that I can't get an oil delivery and I can't afford to pay to have them taken down. I drive a car that's 15 years old and take good care of it, but any repair bills would put me even further in debt. Please repost this or forward it to others. The further this story travels, the better chance I'll have to keep paying for the chemo that they want me to take for the next 2 years to make sure my transplant remains strong. Any amount you can spare will be greatly appreciated. Many small donations add up.
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