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January 20, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,
Many of you have encouraged me to reconsider my reluctance to accept financial help. Your kind offers of financial support humble me. I thank my brother Rick, cousin Jim, cousin BJ, cousin Fred, cousin Kim, niece Belinda, nephew James, dear friend Jackie, and Momma Jones for your encouragement.
The Cancer-Free Life Tree at the top of this page is a “button” which brings up a Secure Transaction Page linked to PayPal. This link allows you to use your credit card directly (without setting up a PayPal Account). It also provides native PayPal users standard access to the donation feature as well. Pay-pal does charge a 2.9% transaction fee, but then we have heard standard banks have charges even higher than this. A family member did some self-initiated research and recommended we use PayPal as a secure banking solution for receiving financial help from them. They asked that we make this option available for other supporters in our family.
It wasn’t long ago I spoke here about staring, night-after-night, at the ceiling wondering about my treatments and how William and I would pay for our every three-week trips from Northern California to Southern California. In that conversation I mentioned that our financial needs were far more involved than I had ever imagined, having spent several weeks worrying about my medical provider withholding the most important anti-Her2 drug, Perjeta, because they expected us to self-insure a drug costing $60,00 to $72,000. I had concluded thereafter that the “national nightmare” we so often hear about, as pertains to catastrophic illnesses, had become my “personal nightmare.” Oh, if only I really had understood even then, just how complicated things were going to get.
This week, January 13th through January 17th, brought more bad financial news.

  1. I’m being required to reapply for my job while out on disability. Somewhat uniquely, I am required to re-apply with the understanding that I must compete for continued employment. Should I fail to be re-selected or choose not to re-apply I am laid off. This requirement is not unique to me. My entire work group is being transferred back under a previous manager. What is unique about this unexpected change is the re-selection process. We have been transferred, realigned, reorganized numerous times over the last 13 years and each time we went with our positions.

  3. Against this backdrop, our company’s adaption of the Intermittent Family Medical Leave Program (a Federal and State legislated program) isn’t going to work for me. This is due largely because my mind and body are not strong enough to overcome the cumulative affects of chemotherapy, and down the road, surgery and post-operative treatments. I will be applying to extend short-term disability through the end of the year and hoping that surgery and post-operative treatments might give me an early out. For now, we plan for the end of the year.

Oh my! This is not the prescribed peace and tranquility my doctor addressed.
As most of you know, we continue to travel Southern California for treatments and then back to Northern California for rehab and recovery. Why Northern California? It is where I feel the most comfortable.  It is where I will heal best. Traveling to Northern California is a special thing we committed to in July 2013 to help Mom, she turns 90 this year, and to finish preparing Dad Lee’s home for sale. I wish to continue doing these important things in spite of my cancer, so non-budgeted gasoline purchases and regular maintenance on our car is a a new year-long reality.
I graciously thank each and every one of you have offered support.
With much appreciation,