December 11th, 2013
The night before last, we were sitting and watching a comedy special on TV and out of the blue, I started crying. I tried not to cry, but I couldn’t help myself. I think that all the stress we’re under, stress day after day, just got to me. Spider put his arm around me and said “Don’t worry so much, Baby. It’s all gonna be all okay. They are gonna fix me up as good as new and everything will be okay.”
I can see Spider slowly recovering from the chemo. He still sleeps a lot, but there are times when he is energized (like the old Spider) and his appetite is getting better although he still picks at his food from time to time. As far as his attitude, he remains positive and focused on getting a transplant. I know that he must be stressed out inside, but he doesn’t show it on the outside. As for myself, I’m emotionally all over the place. Most of the time, I feel worried in the back of my mind. Sometimes I feel listless like I don’t have the energy to accomplish anything. Sometimes I feel angry and pissed off at the world that this is happening to Spider. Sometimes I feel like a little boy who misses his mommy. Sometimes I wish my mother lived here in Tucson and she could come over and hold my hand and tell me that everything is going to be alright.
The reality of our financial situation has hit home. We received Spider’s first disability check and it was $500. Admittedly it was on the short side, but it freaked me out. After all, our mortgage payment is $600 a month, and our car payment is $237 a month, and our electric bill is $175 a month, and that still leaves the gas bill, our phone bills, the cost of food and fuel, etc. etc. How in God’s name our we going to pull this off? We’re already going into bank overdraft. Plus we’re due to pay $140 for our yearly termite warranty and we’re both overdue to have our teeth cleaned (and I don’t have dental insurance like Spider does). The night before our potluck, we went to the store and bought some canned beans and veggie dogs and a few other staples (coffee, creamer, honey, etc.) and our bill came to $62. I felt sick in my stomach. For the first time since the days we were struggling musicians many, many years ago, I found myself worried about a grocery bill. How are we going to buy food and pay all of our bills on $500? As it is, we’re putting the cost of all of Spider’s doctor appointments and lab work and procedures (not to mention the hospital bill) on our credit card, but right now I’m worried about how we’re going to eat.
If things weren’t bad enough, we’re having trouble with our computer. It’s nearly nine years old and moving slower and slower. Often links and pages won’t even load up and every now and then, the motor makes a loud noise. We’ve looked at cheap replacement computers, but the cheapest is around $500. What do we do if our computer dies on us? Please dear computer god, keep it running!
Even though everyone keeps telling us not to go into Spider’s 401k, it appears to be our only answer. We’re trying to decide whether Spider should take money out and pay a 38% tax on it or if Spider should borrow from himself. The only problem with borrowing is that Spider plans to retire from work after his six months of disability and the loan would be due in full upon retirement. Thus, Spider is leaning towards the idea of taking money out and gritting his teeth and paying the tax. However, Spider says we can’t take any money out until next month because it will put him in a much higher income bracket for this year. In the meantime we are in financial hell. It’s so screwed that at a time when we’re worried about saving Spider’s life, at the same time we have to be worried about money. It’s overwhelming.
Cheri Z. asked us why Dr. Habib is ordering an MRI and an endoscopy, and a possible colonoscopy instead of a full body PET scan. That’s a good question. Wouldn’t a PET scan cover all the bases and be less invasive? If the idea is to check to see if the cancer has spread, it seems like a PET scan would be the way to go. Spider went online to Dr. Habib’s website and there was a place to ask questions and he asked this question. Hopefully we’ll get an answer from him. Spider took Dr. Habib’s advice and let his other doctors go so that Dr. Habib could build his own team around Spider all at UniversityMedicalCenter, but we’ve heard nothing from Dr. Habib about Spider getting his second chemo treatment. We see Dr. Habib on the 24th of this month, but Spider is due for his next treatment at the first of the year and we are anxious to proceed. The last thing we want is for Spider to slip between the cracks.
It’s Christmas time, usually my favorite time of year, but with everything that is going on, it’s hard to be in a festive mood. I keep trying, but I just can’t quite feel the spirit.