Home » Cancer » Honesty-and the Side Effects of Being Honest.

Honesty-and the Side Effects of Being Honest.

Thank you.

You know who you are. You pulled me through (again) and I am grateful and trying to appear as if I am not completely insane or manic or as if I am a lunatic on the verge of nervous prostration.

Let me share, briefly, (oops, it’s long again but I just felt so GOOD talking about it) I swear, what brought on this feeling of despair and you can share how downhearted and depressed and nutty something like this is bound to make you…ready?

First of all, and most importantly, my other kitten died. Maru’s sister Shizuka. She had just turned 2 on May 5th. My sweet little girl. I nicknamed her Perfection, because she was perfect. Always had been. Easy to train, well behaved, pretty and sweet. Perfection.

she love's the camera...

she love’s the camera…

[caption id="attachment_4293" align="aligncenter" width="808"]Shizuka giving Mr Jones a bath. Shizuka giving Mr Jones a bath.

I can’t even think of it without crying yet so I am not going to look at the pictures and I am not going to comment on how I feel. I know you can imagine. I tried to keep her in and she was not used to being an indoor cat and she got out. I never saw her again. That was a couple of weeks ago and I have given up hope. Please do not encourage me to keep looking. I have checked every day. I can’t bear to think of losing another cat, never mind that she was Maru’s sister and that I loved them both and promised to take care of them. I totally failed. Enough said.

The other thing is that I have been snowed under by bills. It’s not something I am used to and, frankly, it’s humiliating. I’ve always taken a large part of my self image from my ability to face Life (read: pay my way) No hiding, no wishful thinking. Well, that’s over too. I wish I could hide. (That’s a bad joke…) Still, that’s another thing that I felt I couldn’t write about.

I was worried that if my Mom knew I was worried she would worry…so I tried to hide my worry so she wouldn’t worry.(another bad, yet rather funny, joke.)

I was short on the rent. Humiliation factor is pretty high there. I had to borrow money from someone I hardly know except in a social sense. I couldn’t think of a single person who had $75. Not anyone who I wanted to let know that I was so broke I needed to borrow money. Are you following me? I tried to hide it from my Mom and my sisters and friends. I sat up at night thinking ‘What am I going to DO?!’

This person gave me a personal check and I think they felt sorry for me and THAT just about killed me. I HATE to ask for money and here I am asking a virtual stranger for money, or my rent cheque is going to bounce. It was really nice of that person and I wish they hadn’t told me not to pay them back. SHIT!!! You BET I am going to pay that back. Fuck that. So mad. I paid everything so carefully. I had it all figured out and I forgot about the car insurance and it came out automatically and BOOM I was going to bounce the rent check. Which I had already split into two payments without even asking the landlord if it was alright. I just sent him two post dated cheques.


It feels good. Honesty? You want to know? This is my life.

I’m totally broke. I have huge issues with side effects right now, I am only 1/2 way through and I can’t work. Simply getting up is exhausting. My bills are overdue and Puget Sound Energy doesn’t give a rat’s ass if I have cancer. They want $374 RIGHT NOW! When the phone rings, it’s a bill collector. So I don’t answer the phone. I creep over and look at it, waiting for the answer machine to pick up. I can’t make any more promises about paying bills right now. Sometimes it’s not a bill collector. Usually it is.

I am not getting visits anymore from co-workers or even the couple of people who were friends. No one comes over any more. Not to see the bloated bald monster. It was okay when I looked better. They could take pictures and post them somewhere and say they cared. Now? The bill collectors call, mostly from Harrison Medical Center where they took me when this nightmare started. They want $1800 that insurance doesn’t cover. I can’t cover it either. They leave nasty messages. I delete them because there is nothing else I can do. Honestly.

Feeling good people! Not joking here. I can deal with this. Death of a pet, empty fridge, bills over due, rent late, getting threatened with no electricity, stage 4 ovarian cancer, chemotherapy, side effects. Dealing with it. Just like before I got sick. Except it would never have reached this crescendo of shittiness if I were well. Period. I would have been ON TOP OF THIS SHIT and dealing with it. Because that’s what you do, right? You don’t hide, you don’t cry, you don’t pretend…you DEAL WITH IT. I hit bottom asking for the $75. It was the moment I dreaded most. I can’t pay my way.


I am living on $98 in food stamps and the local food bank. The stores aren’t giving up any compostable veggies so my juicing days are over until the garden gets going. I have no gas to go to the food bank. My credit card is maxed out. The dogs have less than 1/2 a bag of food. The chickens, less. The two remaining cats I have are down to crumbs and one can of Friskies.

That doesn’t feel so good, but I can deal with it. I have almost $30 in the bank. That’s a bag of dog food and a bag of cat food. Maybe not the good stuff, but hey…

I CAN DEAL WITH THIS…I made payment arrangements with Puget Sound Energy…(gimme a rimshot on the drums…thank you)

I will have to say good bye to the computer. But all that means is that I write in draft and post all at once on Friday when I go to chemotherapy. And thank you notdownandout, it was a great and timely idea!. TA DAH…(another rimshot, please. Thank you)

And the TV. That’ll have to go. Still, I can go to Mom’s house to watch TV. TA DAH…(rimshot, please. Problem solved)

I feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk (best movie EVER)

‘…And thats ALL I need…this ashtray and this tennis ball and that’s ALL I need…and this statue. This ashtray and this tennis ball and this statue and that’s ALL I need…and this chair…the ashtray, the tennis ball, the statue and the…’ and so on..

I’m going to get through this, pay my bills down and try and keep Mr Jones and Ryka and Haida alive. Just for today. Please let me keep the pets I have left. Tomorrow will come. I’ll deal with the next crisis and keep my pets alive…just for today. Please.

Oh…and some gas. That would be awesome.

OH…ummm…listen. I hate to ask but what about a couple of tickets to the Star Trek ‘Into Darkness’ movie that came out today? I’ve been REALLY looking forward to it and I saved that money so I could go…no?

Okay…I’m going to sulk in my room.


20 thoughts on “Honesty-and the Side Effects of Being Honest.

    • There is help. I am going to find it and I am going to ask for it and I am going to get better. This is the USA and no one who needs help here is left with their hand out. I honestly believe that.
      I was relying on people who I thought were focused on my care and wellness. I believe they meant it. I believed at the time they did, anyway. Not everyone is a fantastic organizer and not every organization is…well, organized. Ha.. Actually, the other group gave me ferry passes last month so that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about. That’s a big thing, so thanks to them.


    • Hey Andra, Remember that song by Merle Haggard? Fighting Side of Me?

      I hear people talkin’ bad,
      About the way we have to live here in this country,
      Harpin’ on the wars we fight,
      An’ gripin’ ’bout the way things oughta be.
      An’ I don’t mind ’em switchin’ sides,
      An’ standin’ up for things they believe in.
      When they’re runnin’ down my country, man,
      They’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.
      Yeah, walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.

      This issue with medical coverage, adequate food, support for the ill-no matter what it is they have…all of it is so incredibly complex and underfunded, I don’t want to, I can’t blame America. This is a global issue and as far as I can tell YOU are one of the good guys. You and the Rotary Club. I know the work ya’ll do. You are heroes in my book. Where do you keep your capes?
      My problem is that when you get sick it’s really hard to focus on anything. It’s hard to FIND the resources you need just when you need them most. I feel sorry for those people who deal with the mentally ill. THAT is the hard battle. They have the hard row to hoe here in the States. Oh hell, anywhere. Mine is pretty cut and dried compared to the men and women who have to find resources for something as unpretty as bi polar, schizophrenia etc…those illnesses can be neverending and very hard on the families. Me? I’m just girding my loins again. The Paper Chase is on again. I’m ready for it. Sigh… paperwork, I thought, was over. My earlier posts dealt with some of the funny things I had thrown my way. And I dipped and dodged and doggedly hung on until I got everything lined up. At least I thought I had. No problems, right? I can deal with this. I just came unstuck for a couple of weeks and this blog is my way of being honest, not just with myself, with everyone. I had another reader, she comments here but I don’t know if she wants her name mentioned, she sent me a list of places to go to ask for help and that alone helps me immensely. Peace of mind is priceless. And I think, regardless of how I feel physically, it will do me good to get out there and start swinging again. It’s revitalizing. ahhhh yes…the fighting side of me. My new theme song. Actually, I believe part of that song annoys me, the part about not letting pacifists express their beliefs…but still, REALLY a catchy tune. Love Merle. So I’m off to chemo. Yay, it’s Friday! and while there I am loading up for bear. That’s right. I’ma gonna get me some…wait. What’s that got to do with bears? Nothing? Dang…gotta work on my metaphors. Similes?


      • I started to ask you where you were in Seattle, because I started doing some research on where you might go for help. Then I thought that was presumptuous. And solving. Through Rotary, I know several organizations here that would help bridge the gap, and Seattle is much, much bigger than Charleston. I am glad a reader took that initiative. Here’s to being through with chemo. xo


      • Presumptuous?! Solving?! Never in a million years. Besides, I have to thank you for that word. Presumptuous. So incredibly epic, as my 8 yr old nephew would say. Maybe. It could be out of date by now. I’m going to hit him with that one though. He’ll love it. When I called him ‘an impertinent snip’ he went and immediately used it on his 12 yr old brother. HAH! The day is looking up. A glass of wine and a coookie and my sister made my favorite lunch. Don’t laugh. Whole wheat crust pizza, tuna melts and salad. And wine… oh dear. The whole bottle is gone.


      • Well, I am glad to hear from you at the end of a hard day. I admire you. Not that THAT means jack. I don’t know what I can do for you from across a continent, but I can certainly try to help you connect some dots out your way if you need it. xo


  1. Laura, I don’t know where you are in the U.S., but I have ideas for you.
    1. American Cancer Society will arrange transport to treatments. That helps with the “no gas and have to go to chemo” problem. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/index. When I was undergoing treatment lots of people needed this help.
    2. The same site has resources for putting you in touch with someone who can help you find other sources of support. In my state there are specific programs for people with ovarian cancer to cover expenses. They have things like gas cards and cards for food. I copied the link as I’m guessing you’ll see this tomorrow (Friday). Call them (I copied the link): “PATIENT NAVIGATOR PROGRAM (PERSONAL CANCER GUIDE)
    The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program connects you with a patient navigator at a cancer treatment center. You can talk one-on-one with a patient navigator about your situation. This person will listen in your time of need. Call us at 1-800-227-2345, and we can tell you more about this program.”
    3. The same website has pdfs you can download on handling the financial aspects of dealing with cancer. Here’s that link: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/findingandpayingfortreatment/understandingfinancialandlegalmatters/takingchargeofmoneymatters/index.
    4. Under the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act, you can ask creditors to correspond with you in writing. This stops many calls. It does not stop mail, but you might be able to contact a local charity that would provide you with pro bono representation. If you did this, then your creditors could be told to correspond with the attorney. Here’s a website with some helpful information, including about medical debt: https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs27-debtcoll.htm.
    5. There are other sites with links for financial assistance that are listed below and can be found at the link at the bottom of the list:
    National Cancer Institute
    The Patient Advocate Foundation
    The Patient’s Bill of Rights
    Taking Charge of Money Matters Course (ACS)
    If you email me your general location (I don’t want to pry so a state or city would be enough)–cheryl@notdownorout.com, I will get more information and do some research for you. Please don’t feel bad about needing help. Laura, no one should be without help at a time like this. I am very resourceful and willing to do what I can. Believe me, I have been there. No insurance. Thousands of dollars in medical care. Terminated for having cancer. People helped me. It would be a way of paying it forward if I could help in some way.


  2. Ever think about sticking a Paypal button somewhere on the site to take donations for your writing? I’ve seen plenty of writers on wordpress whose work I enjoy far less than yours sticking their hands out for their overblown dribble and propensity to spam the ‘like’ button on other peoples’ blogs (often without actually reading the posts I might add). I think you deserve the public’s money more than them. If it helps buy a little food and keep you at the keyboard, all the better.


  3. You mentioned Puget Sound utility bills. Are you near Seattle? Here is a link to a site with a list of charities that will help people with cancer. There is no reason to go without help.
    Financial Assistance Resources
    SCCA Family Assistance Fund
    The SCCA Family Assistance Fund was established and is maintained through generous, ongoing donations from individuals and community groups desiring to help families during their cancer treatment in Seattle. Assistance is granted to those patients and families with critical financial needs brought about by their treatment. You may submit your application in advance of your arrival in order to be pre-qualified for financial assistance. If eligible, we can provide an estimate of the amount and type of assistance you may qualify for. The exact amount you will be awarded will be determined once your treatment begins at the SCCA. Please see eligibility requirements on the application (aplicación en español).
    National Organizations
    Help with Expenses Related to Treatment
    Here are some organizations whose services may be helpful for those who need assistance with expenses relating to their cancer treatment.
    CancerCare is a national nonprofit agency that offers free support, information, financial assistance and practical help to people with cancer and their loved ones. Financial assistance is given in the form of limited grants for certain treatment expenses.
    • Breast cancer: CancerCare has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to create the Linking A.R.M.S. program, which provides limited financial assistance for hormonal and oral chemotherapy, pain and antinausea medication, lymphedema supplies and durable medical equipment for women with breast cancer.
    • Cervical or breast cancer: CancerCare also operates the AVONCares Program for Medically Underserved Women, in partnership with the Avon Foundation. This program provides financial assistance to low-income, underinsured or uninsured, underserved women throughout the country who need supportive services (such as transportation, childcare and home care) related to the treatment of breast and cervical cancers. For information, call (800) 813-HOPE (4673).
    The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers information and financial aid to patients in significant financial need who have leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma or multiple myeloma. The LLS Patient Financial Aid web page provides more information about the types of service available, application forms and eligibility requirements. For information, call (800) 955-4572.
    NeedyMeds is a nonprofit organization with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or healthcare costs. The information at NeedyMeds can be obtained anonymously and is free. NeedyMeds is an information source similar to the Yellow Pages; it does not supply medications or financial assistance but helps people find assistance programs and other available resources.
    The Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief Program provides limited payment assistance for medicine to insured patients who financially and medically qualify. Get more information about the program online, or call (866) 512-3861.
    Help with Medication Expenses
    Patient-assistance programs are offered by some pharmaceutical manufacturers to help pay for medications. To learn whether a specific drug might be available at reduced cost through such a program, talk with a physician or a medical social worker or visit the drug manufacturer’s Web site. Most pharmaceutical companies have a section titled “patient-assistance programs” on their Web site.
    Medically Indigent Drug Assistance Information Booklet, from the American Cancer Society, lists companies that provide assistance and the drugs available as well as their procedures for providing the drugs. Booklet available free to healthcare providers. Call the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 (227-2345).
    Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association Directory provides financial assistance for medicines. Call (800) PMA-INFO (762-4636).
    The Partnership for Prescription Assistance has information about more than 475 public and private patient-assistance programs. Call (888) 4PPA-NOW (477-2669).
    Other Resources That May Help Financially
    The American Cancer Society provides free wigs, head coverings, financial referrals and resources to patients in need. Call (800) ACS-2345 (227-2345) or your local chapter.
    The Patient Advocate Foundation provides education, legal counseling and referrals for cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination and debt-crisis matters. Call (800) 532-5274.
    Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF) is a nonprofit organization that provides information, peer support and advocacy through publications, an information clearinghouse and a network of local support groups. CCCF maintains a list of organizations to which eligible families can apply for financial assistance. Call (800) 366-CCCF (2223).
    Ronald McDonald House, supported by Ronald McDonald House Charities, provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Ronald McDonald Houses are temporary residences near the medical facility, where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations. In return, families are asked to make a donation ranging on average from $5 to $20 per day, but if that isn’t possible, their stay is free. Call (630) 623-7048.
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can provide information about tax deductions for medical costs that are not covered by insurance policies. For example, tax-deductible expenses might include mileage for trips to and from medical appointments, out-of-pocket costs for treatment, prescription drugs or equipment, and the cost of meals during lengthy medical visits. The local IRS office, tax consultants, or certified public accountants can determine whether medical costs are tax deductible. Call (800) 829-1040.
    Community voluntary agencies and service organizations, such as United Way of America, Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, Jewish Social Services, and Catholic Charities, may offer help. These organizations are listed in your local telephone directory. Some churches and synagogues may provide financial help or services to their members.
    State and local social-services agencies can provide help with food, housing, prescription drugs, transportation and other medical expenses for those who are not eligible for other programs. Information can be obtained by contacting your state or local agency, listed in your local telephone directory.
    International Resources
    The National Cancer Institute is the principal cancer research organization in the United States and has limited information about financial resources for people living outside this country. Call (800) 4-CANCER (422-6237).
    The International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG) is an independent international organization composed of cancer information services. Its mission is to provide high-quality cancer information services and resources to those concerned about, or affected by, cancer throughout the world. Cancer-information services are available in many countries to provide information and answer questions about cancer. They may also be able to help locate financial assistance close to where you live. A list of these cancer information services is available on the ICISG Web site or may be requested by writing to the Nation Cancer Institute Public Inquiries Office, Cancer Information Service, Room 3036A, 6116 Executive Boulevard, MSC 8322, Bethesda, MD 20892-8322, USA.
    The International Union Against Cancer (UICC) is another resource for people living outside the United States. The UICC consists of international cancer-related organizations devoted to the worldwide fight against cancer. UICC membership includes research facilities and treatment centers and, in some countries, ministries of health. Other members include volunteer cancer leagues, associations and societies. These organizations serve as resources for the public and may have helpful information about a variety of topics, including financial assistance.
    To find a resource in or near your country, you can search the UICC’s membership directory, call + 41 22 809 18 11, or contact the UICC at:
    International Union Against Cancer (UICC)
    62 Route de Frontenex
    1207 Geneva

    Here’s a website that discusses how nonprofit hospitals in your state may have an obligation to help you with your medical bills if you cannot afford to pay them. These are the type of charities that helped me: http://mylocalhealthguide.com/2010/05/05/consumer-groups-criticize-hospitals-on-publicizing-charity-care/

    Here’s a list of Washington and surrounding area charities and their purposes. Some help people with ovarian cancer: http://www.cfcgive.org/Tools/2012CFCcharitylisting.pdf

    SCCA Charity Program
    It is the policy of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) to grant charity care to eligible persons for medical necessary services, in accordance with SCCA’s Charity Care Policy. Eligible persons are defined as residents of Washington State as described in WAC 388-468-005, who are at or near the federal poverty level.
    Please contact our Customer Service Department at (206)288-6226 or toll free at (800)304-1763, Monday through Friday, 7:30am – 4:00pm (Pacific Time) for additional information or to request an application.
    American Cancer Society

    Google+ page

    2120 1st Ave N
    (206) 283-1152
    (206) 674-4145

    American Cancer Society

    Google+ page

    4535 California Ave SW
    (206) 937-7169

    North Helpline Food Bank
    Write a review
    Address: 12736 33rd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
    Phone:(206) 367-3477

    Friday hours 9:00 am–4:00 pm – See all

    Find Services
    Northwest Harvest owns operates the Cherry Street Food Bank in downtown Seattle. The rest of our hunger relief network is comprised of more than 325 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools serving individual communities. We believe in serving clients with dignity and respect, turning no one away.

    To find food services near you, see our complete list of partner food programs. Search by county, city, zip code, program name or type. Program hours and areas of service vary; please contact programs individually for information. For help finding a location, contact Northwest Harvest at 206.625.0755, 800.722.6924 or info@northwestharvest.org.
    National nonprofit agency offering support services to people affected by cancer.
    Phone (toll-free): 1-800-813-HOPE (1-800-813-4673)
    Cancer Hope Network
    Support for cancer patients and their families.
    Phone (toll-free): 1-800-552-4366
    Cancer Support Community
    Support community for people living with cancer.
    Phone: 202-659-9709
    Support, public education and advocacy for cancer survivors.
    Cancer Wellness Center
    Resources on coping, wellness practices, and nutrition.
    National Cancer Institute
    Information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
    Phone (toll-free): 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
    National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS)
    Survivor-led advocacy organization.
    Phone: 301-650-9127 or toll-free 1-888-650-9127
    National Comprehensive Cancer Network®
    Cancer treatment guidelines for patients.
    Phone: 215-690-0300
    National Patient Advocate Foundation
    Promotes regulatory and legislative reform impacting access to, and reimbursement for, healthcare.
    Phone: 202-347-8009

    6522 Fremont Ave N
    (206) 832-1273

    Roberta Rohr, MSW,Executive Director

    Financial Resources
    This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 3/2012
    • Español
    The cost of medical treatment is among the many concerns you may have if you, a friend, or family member is diagnosed with cancer. Because bills and debt can add up quickly, people may want to seek financial help soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Some of the people who can help or provide referrals to services that can help include oncology social workers, case managers, and your doctor or oncology nurse. Although coping with daily financial responsibilities can sometimes seem overwhelming, it is important not to let bills pile up and go unpaid. Learn more aboutmanaging the cost of cancer care.
    Finding financial support resources
    In addition to information from the social workers and other health care providers, here is a list of resources to begin finding financial support.
    National service organizations
    The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC) is a group of national organizations that provide financial help to patients. CFAC educates patients and providers about existing resources through a searchable database of financial resources.
    CancerCare’s financial assistance programs (800-813-4673) provide limited grants for people with certain types of cancer.
    The HealthWell Foundation® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2003 that is committed to addressing the needs of individuals with insurance who cannot afford their copayments, coinsurance, and premiums for important medical treatments.
    The National Foundation for Transplants (800-489-3863) provides fundraising assistance for patients needing transplants, including bone marrow and stem cell transplants.
    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s patient financial aid program (800-955-4572) provides limited financial assistance to patients with significant need to help defray treatment-related expenses.
    Local service organizations
    Local service or voluntary organizations such as Catholic Charities, Jewish Social Services, the Lions Club, Lutheran Social Services, the Salvation Army, and others may offer financial assistance. Some of these organizations offer grants to help cover the cost of treatment and other expenses, while others provide assistance with specific services or products, such as travel or medications. A social worker or the local telephone directory should have a list of organizations. Many hospitals and clinics also maintain a list of service organizations in the community.
    The American Cancer Society (800-227-2345) and the local United Way office can also direct people to services in their community.
    General assistance programs providing food, housing, and other services may also be available from the county or city Department of Social Services (check the local telephone directory for contact information).
    For direct financial assistance, people can contact their city’s Department of Social Services.
    Community-based groups, such as local churches, synagogues, mosques, and lodges may also provide assistance for people with cancer, sometimes even if the person is not a member of that particular organization or religion. Some hospitals also have private funds available for patients in need.
    Often, cancer advocacy and patient information groups have resources for patients. Get a list of patient information resources to connect to cancer organizations nationwide.
    Travel and housing assistance
    Air Care Alliance (888-260-9707) offers a central listing of free transportation services provided by volunteer pilots and charitable aviation groups.
    Air Charity Network (877-621-7177) coordinates free air transportation for people in need.
    Angel Flight Samaritans (800-296-1217) provides long-distance travel for people with cancer and their families in need of travel.
    The Corporate Angel Network (866-328-1313) arranges free air transportation for people with cancer traveling to treatment using empty seats on corporate jets.
    Joe’s House (877-563-7468) is a nonprofit organization providing a nation-wide online service that helps cancer patients and their families find lodging near treatment centers.
    The National Patient Travel Helpline (800-296-1217) provides information about charitable, long-distance medical air transportation and provides referrals to appropriate sources.
    The National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses (800-542-9730) is an association of more than 150 nonprofit organizations that provide lodging and support services to families and their loved ones who are receiving medical treatment away from home.
    PALS (Patient AirLift Services) (888-818-1231) has a network of volunteer pilots who provides people with chronic illnesses airtransport services at no cost.
    Ronald McDonald House Charities (630-623-7048) offer free or reduced-cost lodging for families of seriously ill children who are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.
    Medication and treatment cost assistance
    Medication assistance programs grid for patients (PDF), which is compiled, updated, and generously provided by Wendalyn Andrews, Practice Manager, Division of Hematology/Oncology, The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, Arizona. (Last updated: April 2013)
    Chronic Disease Fund (877-968-7233) helps underinsured patients with a chronic disease obtain medication.
    NeedyMeds.com is an information source on companies that offer patient assistance programs. These programs help those who cannot afford medications to obtain them at no or low cost through the manufacturer.
    Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888-477-2669) helps qualifying patients who lack prescription drug coverage obtain the medications they need.
    The Patient Access Network Foundation (866-316-7263) assists patients with out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment.
    Patient Services, Inc. (800-366-7741) provides assistance with insurance premiums and co-payments for people with chronic diseases.
    RxHope.com (732-507-7400) helps patients obtain free or low-cost prescription medications.
    General financial information
    The Assist Fund (855-845-3663) provides financial support to chronically ill patients with high-cost medications.
    The Patient Advocate Foundation (800-532-5274) provides education, legal counseling, and referrals for people with cancer who need assistance managing insurance, financial, debt crisis, and job discrimination issues.
    CancerCare’s Tips for Finding Financial Assistance section and Financial Help for People with Cancer fact sheet provide information on financial resources.
    Cancer Family Relief Fund is a charitable organization that encourages and facilitates grants to children whose parent or guardian is struggling with a diagnosis of cancer. These grants support the children’s extracurricular activities so that they may feel some sense of normalcy as their parent focuses on treatment and recovery.
    Financial Health Matters, a booklet available from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, offers information and tips on money management, health insurance, and financial resources.
    The LIVESTRONG Foundation offers a section for survivors on planning your financial future.
    The National Cancer Institute offers links to support and resources, including information about cancer support organizations, finances, insurance, and hospice and home care.
    The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship has an online guide on financial issues for people with cancer.
    The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation maintains a list of additional organizations offeringassistance for treatment-related travel.
    More Information


  4. Laura, all you have to do is not approve my comments to keep them private “awaiting moderation.” I just wanted to make sure you had an idea of what might be available in your area in case you only get Internet access tomorrow at your chemo treatment. I’m happy to do more research for you. It’s important to me that you know that you matter to lots of people. Cheryl


  5. Indeed, being through with chemotherapy will be amazing! I thought I was going to have to go twice a week (my mistake) and ever since I got the news I didn’t, it’s been easier. There are people who come here for 12 hour sessions. I’m lucky, really. I think of it as ‘Friday. This is the day I get to KICK some butt.’ (only I think of it in much much less ladylike terms) I don’t hate it here. They are too good to me, too kind, too funny and the food is great.


  6. Bugger me luv, that’s a shovel full, hot and steaming. Am sending love, thoughts…and relief you’re back. Good luck with the chemo..and one day at a time..am thinking of you xxxxxxxx


    • Tell me about it. But you know what? I needed this as a kick in the ass. Since when do I get to sit around and do nothing? Since when is that alright? I think, and I know this is a cliche, I think everything happens for a reason.

      If I hadn’t left my sweet little town in the Rockies I would have made this contract with Satan in a town of 900 people 800 miles from UW Medical Centre. Oh shiver me timbers. It would have been January 78 kilometers from a hospital that is about the size of the place I’m living. In a blizzard snowstorm probably. I lived alone with NO dog to tell me sister ‘HEY YOU!!! Timmy’s in the well!’ (It came out as bark bark ruff ruff HOWLLLL’) I would have bled to death. I couldn’t stand up to call for help. Now THAT is scary. I would be driving approx 350 miles to a cancer treatment centre had I survived somehow and staying in govt housing while getting chemotherapy, for which I would no doubt be put on a waiting list. So, steaming pile? hmmmm…it could be exponentially worse. I am close to Mom, Liza, I have a dog now. I never thought I would love a dog like this. Why didn’t someone inform me how lovable dogs are? And that they can save you. It’s not just TV. He really did it. WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED!!!


    • It will. They are very kind people. Truly. They’ve already done so much for me I can’t tell you. And thank you for the donation. It is so like you, Karen. Thank you for the meditation cd’s. I’m sleeping like a baby now and they work A LOT better than Merle and Johnny. Actually judging by how Madeleine slept when she was a baby, I’m sleeping better than a baby. The lorazapam is really working to relax me and I only get 10 minute lectures now from the nurses. My cousins in Canada donated too so it isn’t a total fail on my part. I raised some money for them and I can only be grateful I am not going to the fundraiser looking like an ‘also ran’. OH PRIDE FALSE PRIDE how you runneth over me and throweth me under the buseth. But I did dodge all the wheels and I am merely dusty and breathing exhaust fumes. Nyah Nyah Nyah….(and then I run away…)


    • I understand Laura. I am a proud person too. But there are times and a fine line between pride and obstinacy. Give it a good thought. There is always joy in giving and more in receiving I assure you. I recently mention in my sunshine award that I am more receptive to receiving as i grow up (refusing to say grow old), lol… Stay insanely safe you hear? Hugs… Lots of hugs!


There is no sin except stupidity.

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