This is probably the most awkward post I'll write on this blog.
And maybe awkward is the wrong word. Uncomfortable is better.
This is probably the most uncomfortable post I'll write. So uncomfortable that I've been trying to write this since my first week here. That's three weeks of staring at a blank page.
Three weeks …. just trying to find the words.
How does someone who isn't good at asking for help, ask for help?
How does someone who isn't good at asking for help, ask for money?
When I chose to come to An Oasis of Healing for my treatment, I chose an "unconventional" path. I chose a path that was specific to my body and my lifestyle. I chose a path that doesn't just rid my body of disease, but teaches me how to prevent it from coming back. I chose a path where questions are encouraged. I chose an integrative, holistic path. I chose a path that allows me to be accountable for my treatment and my success. I chose a path that thrives on educating myself.
Like I said, I chose the unconventional path.
And because of that decision, my decision, THE DECISION, my insurance refuses to pay for my treatment.
It doesn't matter that it would cost them less money in both the short and long term. It doesn't matter that the exact same chemo drugs are used. It doesn't even matter that it's the right thing to do.
And because of that, I have been cast aside and am financially on my own.
So here I am, asking for help.
But I'm lucky because I don't have to ask alone. I have the most amazing Mother-in-Law who has offered to start a fundraiser on my behalf. It is because of her generosity that I finally got the courage to write this post. She has been a constant source of support, not just for me, but for The Hubby and Momma Bear as well. She is a truly admirable woman and when I'm having a bad day, she has the unique gift of being the greatest hugger on the planet (it's true -- anyone who knows her can attest to this). And unlike other people's in-laws, and all the negative stereotypes that come with that title, I am honored and lucky to call her family.
I also have Momma Bear, who has cashed out her retirement savings so that we can do what we undoubtedly believe to be the right thing. It is because of her knowledge and research and time that I was able to feel empowered to make the best decision for me, my body, and my life. When everyone else called me crazy for even thinking about going against convention, she was a rock of support. It’s because of her we are able to cover a lot of the costs now, but they keep rising, and I can’t on my good conscience let her blow away her retirement funds just for my treatments.
And of course, I have The Hubby, who is working 4 or 5 jobs at last count (granted, 3 unpaid ones – always trying to save the world!) and, a la Tim Gunn, has insisted that we’ll "make it work." Make it work means stretching bills, bartering services for care of The Puppy, hustling for small consulting projects and calling in help and forbearance from the student loan folks at the US Government. Make it work means tightening our belts and asking family for help when we need to as well. Sometimes it's hard to Make it Work.
Perhaps all of this is a natural response to the love our family shares, but all of it is really unconventional too.
So, as hard as it is for me, I have to swallow the discomfort and ask for your help.
It can be small. It can be big. It can be for treatments or to offset that I had to leave my job temporarily. It could be to stick it to the man at the insurance company or to stay connected to some of the most important (albeit controversial) cancer therapies in the world. Therapies that could save my life and someone you know.
But, as hard as it is for me, I have to ask again: are you able to help?
If you can, I have no way to repay your generosity besides to say, I am eternally grateful. I will also continue to share my story, good and bad, in hopes that one day my experience helps someone else to make their own decision. And, just so you know, anything I raise in excess of my treatment costs, I promise to not spend on shoes, but instead donate it to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
If you are unable to support monetarily, please feel free to simply spread the word. Or feel free to just send your love my way. Love and positive vibes are helpful too.
But, if you can do more, if you can help me, please use the Paypal button on the right side of the blog (it's safe!) or send donations to:
Dana Frost (aka the Thunder Stealer)
200 River Place Drive, Apt. 47
Detroit, MI 48207
And for helping me heal and tackle my cancer in an unconventional way, allow me to say this:
UPDATE: Apparently Google Checkout has a maximum contribution of $50. I have added a new Paypal donation option for all you big spenders out there.