Cancer has not taken my joie de vivre, my sense of humor (underdeveloped as it may be), my appetite for all things baked, my appreciation of hand-made decorative pieces, and the confidence I have in the love of my family and friends. It has taken my breast though, and made some headway into my savings account, so I thought I'd reach out for your support.
When my doctor frowned and said "it's breast cancer", my priorities, concerns, plans, and promises were all unceremoniously altered on the spot. Since then, a tiny tumor that had lodged itself in my right breast has taught me a lot about absence and presence, what goes and what remains, and saying “farewell” – and faring well myself.
The breast is gone, but I have my body. My hair is gone, but I discovered my shapely cranium underneath. My eggs are (mostly) gone, but I have safely stored some of them on ice. That healthy glow is gone, but I have become a whiz with makeup. My energy is gone, but my joy is intact.
I see, but why the campaign?
And so it happened that my savings, too, are disappearing: health insurance monthly payments, co-payments, surgery fees, fertility treatments, invasive procedures, drugs, transportation to appointments... and, let’s be honest, fake eyebrows. It adds up!
Since my diagnosis in February, treatment and related procedures have cost us approximately U$ 8,000. Here is the breakdown:
Fertility preservation: U$5,100
Health Insurance (monthly and co-payments): U$1,700
I have been unemployed for 2 years now, but prior to that, Jorge and I managed to save between U$4,000 to U$5,000 each year. So this has been a set back of 2 years on top of 2 years of unemployment at a time we had dreamed of making a downpayment in a house and start adding rambunctious children to our family. I am glad this challenge has not threatened our living situation, as Jorge's wages cover that, but as I look into 2019 - 3 more surgeries, followed by hormone therapy - it takes an effort to keep holding on to the dream.
When sharing my concerns with friends, I was encouraged to create a campaign so that they could help me keep my finances from going "bye bye" like my boob.
So here it is! You can call it “Save Deb’s Savings”, “Help Deb Cover Medical Expenses (and make cancer look good with cool scarves)”, “Make a Baldy Happy”, or whatever brightens up your day. Cancer has taken some important things from me, but NOT my sense of humor, so please take this opportunity to laugh with me.
Mmmm... So what exactly do you plan to do with these donations?
Each gift will be received with gratitude and used to cover expenses related to my treatment. If you feel you need more details about this in order to make up your mind about contributing or not, just reach out and we can talk about it.
Should generosity outstrip my needs, I will donate the remaining funds to a local charity offering support to low-income cancer patients. Thank you!
Let's bring some art into this?
As a way to process the changes in body, soul and mind that I am living, I am working on a series of 3 embroidery designs. If I reach 1/3 of my goal, I'll embroider one of them and mail it to a lucky donor. If I reach 2/3, there will be 2 lucky winners, and if I reach my goal, 3 of you will be contemplated with a hand-made embroidery mounted on a hoop. Everyone else gets a pdf pattern, regardless of how much you have contributed, and can reach out for tips on how to make it into an art piece.
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