One thing that should come as a surprise to no one is cancer is expensive. I haven’t looked at things in as much detail as Tiah, but she tells me each chemo treatment is thousands of dollars. Thank goodness for insurance! Nevertheless, even with insurance picking up most of the expenses, there will still be thousands of dollars for us to pay before this is all over with. Along with that comes shifts in priorities and timelines with our finances.
We are so fortunate to have the apartment we do. It’s in a location that’s quick to get all over town, and while lacking a few amenities we’d like, is very affordable. This is great for our current finances. It is also a factor in our dreams of having our own place someday. We have to plan responsibly for our future, and there’s a lot to take into account, The difference between the full cost of a mortgage, insurance, utilities, and general upkeep of our own property, as opposed to our current costs, will be significant. There is a lot of space to set money aside for a down payment before it becomes a financially responsible decision to take our next step.
Most of you know by now the van is gone. Last fall the opportunity presented itself to purchase a pickup, and while stretching a little further than we planned, it was a good move. The van was in a place where it needed new tires, an oil change, general maintenance was an increasing concern, and we really wanted to have something with four wheel drive. We had hoped to be fairly aggressive with payments to wipe that out, but we’re slowing that down for the time being until we get through this hurdle. Fortunately, Tiah’s car is fully paid for and our insurance is reasonable.
Day To Day
The month of May has basically found me not working. We’ve been treading carefully, monitoring how I respond to things, how my appetite and health hold up, how much extra sleep I need, and along with that, tapping out my PTO and vacation days at work. For this month, that means revenue from me is a little short. Thankfully, my vitals are looking good right now, and if that remains so, I may begin working half days when I don’t have to come in for treatments. That will help a little with incoming funds, and will keep me somewhat in the loop with helping my customers too. One of the hardest things for me is making sure my customers are being taken care of, and trusting that those in the office are on top of it.
That leaves us with our dreams. One of the things we like to do is travel, but what we are able to do this next year will likely be scaled back. I am very much hoping for a trip to Las Vegas when this is all over though. That is mostly out of a desire to be able to get out of town with my wife for a quick getaway, away from Bismarck, and flights are relatively reasonable for Las Vegas. I would also really like to see the Blue Man Group again, they put on an excellent show, and as a drummer I have an extra appreciation for them. To close this chapter of life out, a Las Vegas trip sounds nice, just for a few days, in a nice room, in a new town, with a large buffet, and my beautiful wife.
I’m also an entrepreneurial guy, and there are several things I would like to get off the ground someday. One thing we can take action on today, is a t-shirt shop! Tiah and I have talked about this for a long time but never taken the step forward in a significant way. With all that’s going on, we’ve been inspired to put some designs together, and as of today, we have some cancer shirts available! There will be more shirts to come, not just cancer themed, but are very excited to make these available right away. Someday we hope these will be a regular focus of our selection, and be something we donate all of the proceeds to worthy organizations, and perhaps friends or family who might have this battle themselves. Right now, they will help us to pay for our medical expenses.
There are three really great things you can do to help us out with the shirts. First, you can buy some! Tiah has put out a selection of styles and colors, hopefully there is one that you like. Second, you can share them! We want these to get out far beyond our immediate circles of friends and family. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, text messages, word of mouth, whatever you want to use, we encourage you to help spread the word! If this can take off into something big, our dreams of everything above could get back on track even sooner than we hope and plan. Finally, if you have an idea for a cool t-shirt, let us know! Great inspiration can come from everywhere, and we’d love to make your great idea happen.
Somehow, over the course of a week of treatments, my white cell count has rebounded. The nurse keeps saying, “that young bone marrow is working well!” We also got started just a touch earlier today, apparently showing up with a box of donuts for the nurses and pharmacists gets you VIP treatment. We’re also very appreciative of the valet service offered by Sanford, and made sure to get them a box as well. While all indicators look good, I still feel tired, and while the appetite remains strong, it tends to be much stronger certain times of day, so it’s important not to wait when hunger arrives. On a highlight for the week, we wound up ordering Papa Johns last night, and it was the freshest, hottest pizza I have had in quite some time. It was delicious and really hit the spot.