Saturday, April 7, 2012

I am the clay...

"I am the Potter; you are My clay... on some days your will and Mine flow smoothly together.  You tend to feel in control when our wills are in harmony.  On other days you feel as if you are swimming upstream, against the current of My purposes... Stop and seek My Face. "  Sarah Young

Over the course of the last two weeks, Rick and I have been swimming upstream.  It turns out radiation oncology has been the least of our concerns.  Cancer takes a back seat to... life.

I've never been one to "hear" God talking to me.  No whispers, no verbal messages, no two way talks.  But I believe I see his answers all around me.  I believe in the "harmony" that happens when my will is in accordance to his will for my life.

I'm about to get brutally honest.  This isn't a plea for help.  This isn't a plea for anything.  We are fine right now. Its simply a snapshot of the reality we face, and the answers we seek.  I hope if you stick with this till the end, you feel our hope.  But we walked a dark path, before we felt that ray of light...

Having completed a full year of treatment (!) we now have a grasp financially of what it will cost for our next year.  The gaps in my insurance are gaping.  Since Rick is self-employed, our insurance has no pool it goes into.  We have no prescription coverage, no mental health benefits, a 3,000 dollar cap on scans and a large deductible.  And those scans?  They tell us where the cancer is cropping up, and they happen every 9 weeks.  I can't tell Dr. Panwalkar not to do scans, or I am tying his hands in fighting against cancer. But at 3,000 to 5,0000 dollars per scan, you can see where the costs add up.

Still, I'm grateful to even have coverage at all.  We've also been blessed with generous outpourings of financial benefits to us that have kept us able to survive.  We have been buoyed and kept adrift last year, cocooned in the safety of enough to see us through. Grateful only scratches the surface of how we feel about the wealth and abundance that has flowed our way.

But now we look ahead.  After all, isn't that what we are fighting so hard to achieve?  To beat back the cancer and live as far into the future as possible?  But at what cost?

We needed to start searching out the answers.  We are fine right now!  But we have to have a plan for the rest of this year!

Tuesday after radiation, we met with a bankruptcy lawyer.  Oh how we don't want to walk that road.  And what we were really searching out, is how do we keep ourselves OUT of bankruptcy?  How do we stay OUT of collections?  We are a viable family and Superman owns a viable business.

The attorney was helpful in giving us some ideas of other avenues to pursue.  He also felt bankruptcy is NOT a solution for us now.

So the next Tuesday we met with a Social Security Disability Attorney.  But, I've been at home too long with the boys.  And I don't regret a single day I've had with them.  So while medically I automatically qualify for disability, I don't meet the requirements for having paid in enough.  And, my husband makes just enough money for us not to qualify for any services.  No Medicare, no Medicaid, no disability... until or unless we are bankrupt.  Or...

The last option we have faced.  The one that renders me depleted.  Empty.  Hurt.  The one I can barely say... divorce.  End our marriage, so that I can stand on my own.  Not a single aspect of this sits well with me, until I look at our kids.  It will preserve their future.  It will keep them going.  It will provide for them.  And I know I can't rule it out completely.  (I'm condensing here, this process took me nearly a week of tears and prayers to concede it was even an option...)

This was the lowest I have probably felt since last year at this time on this cancer journey.

Dear God, just let us get this one right!  I pour my hurting heart out to Him, knowing, he knows! 

Every time I think I've surrendered, I find new ways to deepen my surrender.

All of these closed doors and we just keep praying for that window to open.

And then a sentence gets uttered.  By the secretary who has popped her head into the disability attorney's doorway.  "Have you tried the girls next door?  The insurance gals?  They've worked miracles before, maybe they can help you."

Insurance?  We assumed that door had been closed.

We immediately go the Medica office next door.  The agent has time to meet with us right away.  She listens as we lay out the pieces of the puzzle we have become.

She doesn't promise anything, but asks for time to do some research.  I feel a glimmer of hope.

I whisper to God,"Is this what we've been searching for?"

The answer comes quickly in a phone call from the agent later that same day.  Can we meet tomorrow?

We arrive shortly after my radiation treatment the next day.  My voice now raspy, my throat raw.

She has found something.  Its an insurance group for people exactly like me- with no other place to go. I have the highest rating, and the highest category of risk to insure.  But if you pool all of us together?  Its brilliant beyond belief.

 Its beyond what we had hoped for.  The premiums of the plan are comparable to what we pay.  BUT, the deductible is lower.  AND, they cover EVERYTHING.  From mental health, to scans and even prescriptions!  There is no distinction between infused drugs versus oral chemos.  Its all covered at 80 percent until we meet our deductible, then its covered at 100 percent!

The agent literally spent hours on the internet and phone searching for something.  She really went above and beyond to help us out.  I told her she felt like an "Angel" to us.

But... will I qualify?  On paper it sure looks like I could.  But we have to wait a month for our paper work to be processed and then we will know.

Still, its the "window" we've been looking for.  It would greatly reduce out expenses.  We'd still be tight, but I just know we could figure it out.

We're hopeful.

Remember our State Bank Pay it Forward contest?  Last week before we were announced as a finalist, Sanford asked for another payment of 5,000 dollars.  We had no earthly clue how we would do another 5,000 right now.

What is the likelihood of finding out you are a finalist for a grand prize of 5,000 dollars, just days later? I don't think its any coincidence.

We may not win, but the hope I feel every time someone shows up on fb and has voted for us, leads me to believe, we'll find a way.  Each vote connects to the next one and builds a bridge of hope I'm trusting in.  I don't know where it will lead, but I am saying yes to "My Potter, letting the circumstances mold me into the one He desires me to be. "  All shall be well.

Easter Blessings to each and every one of you! 


  1. I just voted, Vicky.

    Enjoy Easter with your family!

  2. I keep voting and I know that it is not a coincidence, Vicky. The pain and the joy all mixed up in a tight braid in your words are lifting me up. You are so brave, so courageous and still finding the courage to go through it all.

    Easter Blessings to you to Vicky and all your loved ones Hugs xo

  3. So glad for hope and for possibilities. What an enormously hard week to face all you did on top of the moment-to-moment walk you face each day. It still boggles my mind that anyone would have to make these decisions and look at these financial mountains while in the midst of such a crisis. I'm so sorry, Vicky.

    I'll be praying your insurance comes through. I'm sure you helped lots of other people through this post today because I know I'll be talking about it and lots of others will, too. Love to you, dear Vicky, and here's to Easter and resurrection. Hope is alive!

  4. Oh sweetheart,

    what a hard way you have to go???

    All of my thoughts are with you. I have tears in my eyes I read this posting and now I think this one word "HOPE" is the word of the year for the next weeks!

    Take care.


  5. Oh, sweet girl, all shall be well. I'm echoing it in a never ending stream over here...

    My heart breaks for you. In pieces.
    But my trust in the One that provides is stronger than the dark.

    How I love you and your beautiful family.

  6. I once did a cross stitch that said when God closes a door he opens a window. Let's hang onto that window and have HOPE! We love you!

  7. Thank you for the courage you demonstrate by sharing your family's harrowing reality.

    If there are other life forms in the universe, I can only imagine their horror in looking down on another life form that has means, tools, ways to help a person but withholds them because of a required exchange of paper money.

    And so to continue the required treatments people have to consider ripping their family unit apart to qualify for help!!!?#/!?^!

    What a statement about how primitive, exclusive and insular we still are! Although it must be said that the USA is one of the few, if not the only, Western country that does not have government sponsored, single-payer health care!!!!

    I'm so sorry this outrage is added to the challenge you and Rick are already bearing.

    It's truly encouraging to hear there are some sane and sensitive folks out there who are creatively looking for ways around this easily avoidable financial trauma. I so hope you qualify for this help.

    Sending you all the light and love I can muster.

    Tell Rick I think he is amazing! :)

  8. Bonnie left a brilliant comment... Ditto!

    It's a sad sad day when you have to consider breaking your family apart in order to get health care you desperately need. Unreal.

  9. Here's praying the insurance comes through for you. Just voted and shared, instructing all my friends to do the same. Have the best Easter you can.

  10. I had a group read your post out loud with my parents listening. We are all praying for you Vicky.Just remember, God is listening to your prayers and thoughts. Blessings to you and your family.

  11. I am thinking of you Vicky, and am keeping you in my prayers.

  12. Vicky--I am praying and posting a request on my blog and my FB page. I will be honest, it angers me that you would even have to be concerned about the financial aspects of treatment! How frustrating!! I am sure it was hard to be so authentic--thank you!! You, my dear, are an inspiration!

  13. Oh sweetheart you write so incredibly and I feel your pain and applaud your strong faith in God. He will look after you and your family he will. Look for the light in the darkness. I am praying that those insurance girls can do something. Its the last thing you should have to worry about. But please continue to tell us how it is and we can spread the word. Please even consider putting one of those donation gadgets on your site. It can all help and that way people from far away like me can all do their bit to help. It's important to say out loud what it is you need and get those worries out. You and your family are worth it. you will so get through this rocky journey I just know. Xxx

  14. Vicky, one of the negatives of my blogging break is that I was more disconnected. I've just added my vote and will continue to do so as often as I can. I have felt at similar places, scraping the bottom, looking for light and hope. And you are doing it. Despite darkness, there you are. I am thinking so much about you. Sending hugs and gratitude for your friendship. And by the way, Bridget's story was one of the top visits of that day. :)

  15. Thank you for reminding me of the message of the "Potter's Hand". The musical piece of the same name is one of my all-time favorites to perform with my daughters..."Mold me, shape me, use me...". You are shaping the lives of many, Vicky, with your witness in word and example! I just voted and will continue to vote until April 19th!

    Rebecca Lindell

  16. Hi Vicky! Oh, I love that quote at the beginning - its from Jesus Calling! I got that book because of you! You mentioned it in February and I quickly went to Amazon and got it for my Kindle - its what has gotten me through many days the last month and half!

    Vicky I will be praying for the PERFECT answer for you and the insurance stuff. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be concerned with financial issues during this time! I am again so inpired by your hope! Thank you for helping me see another way of having hope!

    Big Hug to you!

  17. Vicky, I was here yesterday, and I was so moved by all you said that I just couldn't even think of a comment that was appropriate. I felt anger, questions of why, hatred for this stinkin' cancer thing, even guilt because I'm celebrating my 3 year anniversary since going through all those treatments. I went to bed last night with you in my prayers and reflections of my own worrisome journey. For seven long years I thought I was forgotten and doomed to just die from this thing. I didn't have a penny to my name, nor an inkling of an idea of how to get one. I can only tell you, He knows. He knew long before you did that all of this was going to happen. And even now, He is working on your plan to carry it out in His own creative way. Hope and trust, to walk forward in in the dark, clinging to what we learned in the light -- it's what we do, those of us who are children of the King. And all your sisters out here are walking with you, girl! And believe it or not, each of us is clay, too, being molded and changed by all you go through. I know I've been changed, Vicky. You have made me stronger, more willing to fight if I have to do it again. Thank you for that! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  18. Praying that this insurance accepts you, Vicky. What an incredibly hard week for you to bear. But so glad to hear that there is HOPE for a much better solution than those mention beforehand.

    "In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me." Psalm 120:1

    Hugs and thoughts my friend, Eileen

  19. H.O.P.E. does not disappoint us. Believing that the hope you have been given will become reality.

  20. praying and voting.

  21. Thanks for the reminder I should be super grateful for our insurance!

    And I keep voting - somehow missed earlier that I could vote everyday. Trying to make up for it now!


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