Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blood Cancer and the Affordable Care Act

Having cancer and having no insurance starts to get costly quickly. And by quickly I mean immediately. When Derek was first clued in that something was wrong medically, he had no insurance and we had to pay for a doctor's visit and a CT scan out of pocket. It wiped out all our savings and all the money we had saved for our honeymoon that was to happen two weeks later. He was diagnosed a few weeks later and in the pursuit of insurance, he was denied coverage because of his pre-existing condition. The new Affordable Care Act make it possible for people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance. To see how this effects those with blood cancers, check out this resource built by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

This blog post isn't meant to spark any controversy about the new act but provide a resource to someone who is wondering how this effects them and their cancer.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This Guy

For a hairy man, I don't think Derek got enough credit for the bald look he pulled off. Miss his bald head.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Anniversary To Us

"You're awake" she said, "Drink this, you will need all the energy you can get today".

I thanked her and sipped my orange juice. She looked at me intensely and then crouched next to the uncomfortable chair I had just slept in and said:

"I see people come and go from this ICU a lot. I've watched you two. You are the reason people get married, in the hopes that someone will love them no matter what. It is obvious you love each other a lot. You are lucky to have that, you are lucky to have each other".

I don't claim that Derek and I had/have a perfect marriage. What I do claim is that love was always in abundance. Through awful bad news, financial troubles, infertility, depression, and cancer, we could always turn to one another for support, friendship, and love.

Unable to speak, Derek wrote me this note.
I think of this day five years ago as we promised to be together forever. Even though we didn’t know it was cancer, we knew something was wrong and time was of the essence. So instead of crying tears of joy on our wedding day, I felt relief that I had made him mine forever. 

When he came home with hospice that day, I pulled our couch next to his bed and we held hands all night. It seemed an appropriate and necessary gesture that would have to hold us over until we could be together again. It is comforting to know that the love he gave me in 5 years is enough to last me a lifetime. 

I miss my partner in all things, the father of my child, and my best friend in the world. So on this day, the day we planned to be walking the beaches of Maui celebrating him being cancer free and our anniversary, I will honor our love in the best way I know how: by hugging our child extra tight and being grateful that our family is forever.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Helping Another

I happened upon a story about a young man unable to receive treatments in his homeland of Russia after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. It made me realize what excellent care Derek was able to receive here in the United States and helped prolong his life and be able to form an unbreakable relationship with his son. This story resonated with me and with our anniversary coming up in a couple days, I donated to this young man's attempt at raising money for a bone marrow transplant that he will receive here in the United States. Please consider donating. This disease already has too many widows. You can read his story here.