Ah, the “C” word. (Not that C word, although that’s a great expletive for the one I’m thinking of.)
CANCER. Throat cancer. Receiving that diagnosis is hard to swallow (no pun intended). It’s not I who received this diagnosis; I had my date with cervical cancer in 2014. This time, it’s the love-of-my-life, my better half. Jason—my awesome, affectionate, handsome, doting punk-rocker-Navy-SEAL-badass-father-partner-in-crime---has the Big C.
It all started a couple of months ago when Jason noticed a lump in the side of his neck. I immediately suggested he schedule a doctor’s appointment, but it wasn’t until 3 weeks ago that he picked up the phone to make the call. He was seen the next day, and scheduled an appointment for a biopsy, chest X-ray, and PET, which all occurred within a week of that initial appointment. When he went in the following week for the results (the biopsy of the lump was inconclusive, the chest X-ray was clear, and the PET revealed a few other questionable spots around the lump, but nothing else anywhere in his body), they scheduled an operation to remove the lump that same week. Three days later, the lump was removed along with several lymph nodes, which, when biopsied, had carcinoma. Then, his tonsils were removed and biopsies from the base of his tongue were taken to test for the source of the cancer. The good news would have been that the cancer was in his tonsils, thus he was now cancer free because of the tonsillectomy, but we weren’t so lucky.
We thought we had already been dealt a healthy serving of misfortune from life from which we are still trying to recover, between cancer affecting me & his mom, his constant search for employment, my grief over my relationship with my brother, the loss of our home/forced downsizing to a tiny, over-priced box, which, consequently, pulled what Aiden considered home right out from under his feet, the bills...If it weren't for our incredible bond and desire to persevere, we would be an absolute wreck.
Given Jason’s newly diagnosed cancer and upcoming treatment, the already-existing struggle to keep a roof over our heads and all bills paid is about to get even more real. After months of searching for employment, Jason started a new job less than 2 weeks ago, but was only able to work 2 shifts before getting hit with the operation that led to this cancer diagnosis. (Jason’s new employer can’t---and won’t--- continue to employ him if he’s unable to work the hours for which he was hired to fulfill.) How's that for timing?
So, how do we make ends meet, living in this outrageously-expensive area on only one income, and monthly bills totaling $4,770 (not including food/groceries, household necessities, gasoline, or laundry costs)? Unfortunately, my efforts to make some extra cash off of occasional sales of a bunch of antique and vintage family heirlooms and my original art just isn't consistent.
So...we get by with a little help from our friends. At least, that’s what we are hopeful for during this shit-storm of misfortune. It’s hard to smell the roses when we can barely breathe as it is, so some wind in our sails that will help Jason and I battle his cancer is all we can hope for.
In an effort to bring in additional income, I have created a "Fuck cancer" series of original mini-canvas magnets, which I am selling for $10, so please comment or email me at [email redacted] if you'd like one.
Your love, generosity, & support (in any capacity) is beyond appreciated.