Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Am Very Lucky

Jen & our cousin Chrissie have a gang of friends. They have been tight since grade school. They still get together every six weeks or so for dinner or a movie, etc. I have attended several of these gatherings. I have honorary status because when they were in their mid teens and I was newly married they would spend weekends at my house. I hosted many sleepovers and these girls have long memories.

I hadn't realized how long.

Some of you know because you have been reading along that I am facing some medical issues. One side effect of that is some financial discomfort. I have never been the ant, I have always been the grasshopper. I am not whining, it's just a fact. I've had a good time. If I had a few extra bucks, I would attend a lecture, buy a book, go out to dinner rather than put it in a savings account. I've always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl. Long range plans were never my strong suit. As a consequence, I have no savings, a mortgage that I barely make, no short term disability insurance. So here I am facing a ton of time out of work, copays for visits and medications, etc. On the other hand I have good health insurance, a great boss and a supportive family.

When the prospect of a bone marrow transplant was first brought up, I dismissed it out of hand. My cousin Chrissie rightly deduced I was dismissing it soley due to financial considerations. She was right. I am not afraid of the cancer, far from it. I am not afraid of the bone marrow transplant. But I am afraid of three months out of work. I am afraid of losing my house.

Chrissie went to three of the others and told them this.

Last night we met to go to see the new DiNiro/Pacino movie. Afterwards we stood in the lobby talking about the movie and kids and life. You know the drill. Finally it was time to say goodnight. Chrissie handed me a card and told me to "Read it later." I laughed and asked if it was a "Happy Cancer card". Yeah, I'm pretty fresh. She waved me off. Jen and I drove home.

I waited until I got to my own driveway to open the card. You know, just in case Chrissie happened to write anything that might penetrate my teeny-tiny black heart.

Well, it wasn't too mushy. It had the USS Constitution on the front and a few heartfelt lines about keeping me in their thoughts and prayers written inside. There was something else. I thought it was a prayer card. But it was not.

It was a check for a considerable sum of money. I was astonished.

I haven't talked about it too much, but the trip to Vegas has been making me feel so guilty. I had arranged and paid for it before I got my diagnosis. Of course it was all non-refundable. So I felt bad about having spent money that would be better spent on copays and covering time out of work. I hadn't realized how tense I was about it until I saw that check and physically felt the tension drain out of me.

Chrissie, Stephanie, Amy and Christine - I always had/have a good time with you. But today more than ever I am glad I made all those batches of cookies and bowls of popcorn, lol. Thank you. I appreciate you all more than I can ever say.

I am very lucky.


FbL said...

Oh, Maggie... I am so happy for you! I suspected as much too, when we talked about the transplant. I'm so glad to know that this has eased your mind and that you will be able to focus on doing whatever you need to do to beat this.

*happy hugs* (soon to be REAL hugs!)

Pia said...

I hate to admit but in many cases, my friends have been there for me more than blood. Thank God for them as I'm sure you do!

Stella said...

Experiences like traveling boost your health. Forget the guilt. The trip to Vegas was medicine for your healing every bit as much as co-pays. I hope you had a great time.

I took a short vacation before I got diagnosed and, despite the financial burdens my husband and I endured later, I never regretted that trip and still remember it as a peaceful respite before the storm.

Few issues bother me like a hard-working person who gets ill and must worry about daily finances while they are trying to heal. Even hard-working grasshoppers like us deserve better.

Be well, Maggie. Chrissie is wonderful to help you. You are so worth helping. I will be praying for your healing.

Anonymous said...

Maggie, I'm alot like you living by the seat of my pants, loving the Navy my Dad so proudly servred in for 20 years. Enjoying my family and friends. I have always spent my money on friends,myself or family. Someone might need something small a cold drink,toys for my thier kids. I have paid for dinners when money was little tight for others, I've made small loans never been repaid never ask to be. I am not rich just a fire firefighter. But I have always said every good deed will be repaid, the gift you recieved is proof of that. all the times you had the girls over welcomed them into your home and the other 1000's of times of good deeds you have done will be repaid , Maggie "Damn the torpedo's full speed ahead " Spanky

Barb said...

Awesome! The seeds you sowed came back in full bloom :-)