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.
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!