Recently, James' voice became increasingly hoarse resulting in surgery to remove lesions and perform a biopsy. Unfortunately, tests have shown that he is suffering from cancer. It is, thankfully, in its early stages and the doctors plan to pursue a very aggressive course of treatment for him.
James is a very talkative person by nature and the limitations on his voice right now are terribly frustrating for him. Just as frustrating is the fact that he will be unable to work for a yet-to-be-determined period of time during treatment and recovery. Most, but not all of the treatment will be covered by his insurance, but just barely and there will be a lot of unforeseen day-to-day expenses as I will have to put much on hold to look after him during this time.
Unfortunately, going on disability isn't even much of an option at this point without putting a lien bond on our home. Being a homeowner, with all the expenses and responsibilities that go with it, puts one at a disadvantage when one needs temporary disability assistance.
Both of us are freelancers and situations like this are hard to prepare for, especially when his ability to talk is his most valuable tool.
James is a native of Brooklyn, but for the last ten years, has called Albany home. Don't let his occasional complaints fool you. He loves it here and loves our old house. We've been best friends and partners for over eight years now.
We have a start date - November 29 - for his treatment - but we don't yet know what will follow. The first phase will be very aggressive radiation and I'd be lying if I said I'm not very nervous. There will be side effects and, no matter how well things go, this will be a long and difficult winter for him
At the moment, I can't offer any "rewards" except sincere gratitude (unless you like photos of historic markers, old cemeteries and such) and I will try to send out personal thank you notes as time allows.