Who Can Think of Money at a Time Like This?

10 02 2011

Who can think of money at a time like this? Scarcely anyone. And therein lies the problem.

But truth be known, cancer takes a horrible toll on the person inflicted as well as the people around him or her. Physically, emotionally, financially.

I know this because I’ve been there, done that, heck, I’ve got the T-shirt.

We had barely dug ourselves out of the last financial hole that was the fallout of my 2006 Stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis when we were hit with my January 2011 Stage 4 diagnosis.

Yes, we have insurance. Yes, it’s what many people would consider “good health care coverage.”

Yet, in spite of that, the week before last, we rang up $2,000 in health care co-pays.

Think of that. Two thousand dollars — $1,000 a piece for two individual “outpatient surgeries” — my lung biopsy and the insertion of my chemo port.

Then, combine that with my immediate, decreased ability to work (I was at the hospital pretty much every day in January and barely got in a lick of work) and therefore generate income as part of our two-income household, and you can see how quickly a cancer patient and his or her family can sink into the red. And imagine how helpless that feels. How terrifying.

I’m one of the lucky ones. Yes, I said lucky.

I have the kind of occupation and work for the kind of big-hearted, compassionate people who can accommodate my setback and are willing to stand by me until I’m healthy again.

I’m a free-lance writer and editor and able to work from home. So, I can, have been, and will continue to do as much work as I’m able. But I know, of course, my health comes first and my main job is to Get Better.

To take some of the pressure off and help us stay afloat, my long-time, cherished friend Kristi Rugh Kahl (the Bean Counter of Team Amy!) has organized a Cosmic Bowling Night & Silent Auction Benefit in my honor on Friday night, March 18, 2011, at the SuperBowl in Canton, Michigan.

Save the date and join the fun (I’ll be there!) at the Super Bowl, 45100 Ford Rd, Canton, MI 48187. The cost is $20 per person, which includes two games of bowling, shoe rental, two slices of pizza and pop. During the festivities, be sure to take a peek and make a bid on items in the silent auction. Try your luck in the raffle, perhaps bring home a door prize.

Check-in time is 6:30 p.m. Bowl from 7 to 9 p.m. — glow bowling from 7 to 8 p.m. See some old friends and make some new ones.

For event and ticket information, e-mail Kristi at KristiKahl@comcast.net.

I’ll be blogging more about the financial side of cancer very soon. There’s too much to say to do it justice in a single blog post.

Right now, though, I’ve got to get back to Life, Unscripted. I’m on my way to my son’s Elementary School Round-up Night.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson

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14 responses

10 02 2011
Amy

Amy, is there anyway that those of us who aren’t close enough by you to attend the bowling night can help? Is there a bank where we can send donations?

Love you!

Amy

10 02 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

Amy,
That is very kind and generous of you. Kristi Rugh Kahl is handling all donation-matters, etc. Please contact her at KristiKahl@comcast.net.

Much love,
The Other Amy

10 02 2011
Celia

Have you considered monetizing your blog? Especially with the push to have so many subscribers, putting ads on it could help. I know when my Mom was ill we spent and spent and spent. Not the least on take out, because we were all too exhausted to cook.

10 02 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

We are indeed investigating the advertising end…

10 02 2011
Meau

Can I contribute something to the silent auction? What kind of stuff is she looking for?

10 02 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

Anything, really, Meau. Contact Kristi at: KristiKahl@comcast.net

10 02 2011
Kelly

Count me in!!

10 02 2011
Cathy Carey

Amy I just found your blog via another blog I read. I’m a survivor of triple negative breast cancer, the “lucky” can that virtually doesn’t come back after 5 years – 3 months left.

But your words put me right back in the place of doctor’s offices, port placement, chemo, the money, the money, the money.

Best of luck to you and I’ll be here cheering you on.

11 02 2011
Cheryl

Hi Amy,
I too, am one of the ‘lucky ones’. Just finished with all of the things we need to do after that first diagnosis (DCIS & a Stage 1, and BRCA 2 positive). Lucky, because it was caught early, have good insurance, a job where I was still paid while I was off (75%, but better than most people), wonderful friends, and a loving husband who takes great care of me. Even so, the emotional and financial toll is unbelievable. I have found your blog to be funny, uplifting, scary, and depressing, often all at the same time. (We even have the same oncologist.) Good to hear there are those who will be helping with fundraisers, and I’ve been sending out the link to your blog to as many as I can think of. What I want is that tee shirt! Where did you get it?
Wishing you all the best.
Cheryl

11 02 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

Cheryl,
Got it at Zazzle.com!
Amy

11 02 2011
Tracey

Amy,
Can’t Wait!! We will be there!!! I will make a flyer for that also and bring it to the Susan G Kolman Fundraiser this weekend.

11 02 2011
Kim

Hi, Amy:
I am a new subscriber, and also a survivor (1 yr in Dec). I know what you mean – finances are definitely scary – I was a professional working for a large bank and was laid off in the middle of chemo. Fortunately, I had savings and good insurance, but have now been out of work for more than a year. I feel good things coming, though!

I sit on the board of a local (Cleveland) non-profit whose mission is to raise money to fund cancer patients who need financial assistance while they are in treatment and unable to work or unable to work a full schedule. It’s called Journey of Hope, and we just marked ten years of fund-raising. The stories we hear thru the hospital social workers will break your heart, but we try to get people over the hump so they can avoid eviction, interruption of utility services, and other critical survival needs.

Check with your hospital’s social worker — they have access to a lot of resources, and Susan B. Komen also funds patients while in treatment.

Good luck and stay the course. You are in my prayers.
Kim

11 02 2011
Kristi Rugh Kahl

For those who can help, you can send a check payable to Amy Rauch Neilson Benefit, PO Box 90, Milford, MI 48381. Or if you have an item we can use for the silent auction, that would be great, too. If you need a street address to ship it to, just e-mail me. Thanks for all the support for Amy and her family!

kristikahl@comcast.net

11 02 2011
Amy

Thanks, Kristi! Amy

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