Our dearest Cathy Miller, mother of Alli Miller, wife of Fred Miller- has been battling stage four lung cancer, caught very late since May 2017.
She hasn’t smoked since she was 30 and the woman eats a salad every day. Life hasn’t been the sunniest for her with a plethora of health issues. But as anyone can tell you, spending five minutes with Cathy will brighten your day. Unfortunately no one saw the storm ahead.
“The treatment is worse than the disease..”
After 6 months of chemo, the side effects began to hit Cathy really hard. She barely got through the holidays, coming downstairs only for the actual Christmas Day itself, but she was still in good spirits. February 6th was her last chemotherapy treatment and, by the end of that month, she was no longer able to even walk to the bathroom in her own room.
“More strange hardships...”
What followed has been a seemingly endless series of physical hardships for Cathy: on March 12th, her blood levels had crashed (Hemoglobin at a 3! Fatal is 5 or under....whaaat??) she was in the hospital for a month, then rehab for two weeks, learning to walk to the bathroom again, but she did it!
While in the hospital Cathy complained of a severe pain her arm but these were basically ignored by her doctors. She came home mid-late April, only to be discovered face down in the bathroom; she’d passed out. She was admitted yet again and aside from severe gastrointestinal issues, it was determined her arm was “riddled with cancer”. The other doctors had missed it all those times before.
“Cathy Strikes Back”
In the midst of this storm of bad news, the clouds parted for a single day, and Cathy was able to give cancer a proper right hook to the jaw. She was released from the hospital in order to see her only daughter get married to the love of her life, Michael Shaw Fisher. It was a gorgeous day and she walked proudly (with minor assistance) down the aisle and even participated in the ceremony!
“Hard times resume”
Two weeks later before a scheduled invasive surgery to remove the huge tumor from her arm, she rolled over in bed and broke that same arm. She had surgery on the broken arm, recovered, and then broke it AGAIN. She then broke it A THIRD TIME on July 4th and when another surgery was scheduled as the doctor apologized... “I screwed up. I should’ve done the other surgery to begin with, I’m so sorry.”
What?? Seriously, Doc?? The apology was nice and all but it didn’t begin to address how much these mistakes cost Cathy’s recovery. Each of these three breaks have traumatized Cathy, on top of everything else she has been going through,(chemotherapy, etc) the arm debacle culminated in a NINE hour surgery on July 17th, where they replaced her upper arm, her elbow and her lower arm with titanium.
“Insurance companies suck...”
Cathy required 6-8 weeks of rehab post surgery, but insurance only approved 14 days. To give Cathy the care she needs to recover from the hell she's been through, it would cost her family $1,000 a day.
She needs to take medication every four hours, barely has the energy or desire to eat, she can't use her legs or arms without constant help, she is unable to use the bathroom or bathe herself. She literally can't do anything on her own, all of which contributes to her never-ending depression and anxiety.
Cathy has home health services, but it's limited to what she requires for her medical needs; a nurse comes once a week and she can't even get a bath aid to assist. Fred, her husband, has used all of his FMLA this year, and he’s a 72 year old man that can’t really physically help much. Alli, her daughter, is on LOA from her job, but some days can't help either because she is not a trained professional.
Insurance will do nothing.
“What they need...”
$180 a day
$100 a week
Bed about $3000-$5000
Chair lift $3000 or ramp $1200
How does one get $2260 a week just to help Cathy go to the bathroom, take her pills, battle depression and anxiety, all to help their ray of sunshine just stay alive?
Let's help them weather this storm.
Please donate anything you can to help Cathy have a comfortable recovery and sunnier days ahead. The Miller family has touched peoples lives, from Indiana to the west coast. This is our chance to give back some of the joy they have brought to us. Let's make it rain $$$ :)