The following are bits and pieces of emails we’ve received over the years. Some are thoughts about our site, others are personal experiences or struggles.
Totally agree with the description you gave that we are chipped and broken by the disease and try to come out of it whole – but there are scars – mental and physical. Thanks for all you do to further the cause of awareness. – Maggie
I like the words you used to describe the Ribbon Mosaic . – Sara
I haven’t reached a full year on my cancer survival. I am both appalled and astonished at what I read about what the government is NOT doing for cancer or “sick” people. Thank God, honestly, thank God, we had good insurance and a GREAT oncologist who just wanted to heal me. Great to know there are people like you who care and understand there are so many scars to this, that financial scars should be the LEAST of our concerns. – Lisa
Beautiful name…The Ribbon Mosaic. The meaning of that is absolutely perfect. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for this important work. You’ve taken the lead in helping others cope with the problems that may also become their burden after diagnosis. – Fergie
Glad you represent everyone. My best friend’s mom has breast cancer, and my mom has lung cancer. – Dana
We have insurance, but even with insurance the bills are mounting! We will be selling our home soon trying to get the situation under control. But it is tiring taking from Paul to pay Peter and worrying about your credit and whether you will be able to buy another home. I Cannot imagine what others do especially without insurance or adults who are the breadwinners of the home and have to go through chemo/radiation. Something needs to change for everyone. Good luck! – Cheryl
I think what you are trying to get started is amazing. It’s incredible. You’re right, nobody should be fighting for their lives but also worrying about losing their home or car..etc. I’m only 16, so I have yet to pay my own bills. But from the stress of things my mom has been behind on her bills many times. We’ve had to worry about getting our electricity shut off because she couldn’t pay the bill on time – no name.
My mother was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago. Lymphoma. She was unable to work due to treatments…and bills started getting behind. My dad works two jobs…they were forced to go bankrupt. There needs to be more help out there for cancer patients. It’s bad enough dealing with it physically and emotionally…but to lose everything because of it…at the end to have your life but little else…is insane! – H
I am a two-time colon cancer survivor, but what hurt the most was I lost my brother to pancreatic cancer. – WOJ
It’s all about helping others. – Anne
I’ve always wished there were programs out there to assist people through tough times. I recently went through cancer, though not as extreme as most. I did it with medical insurance and have paid out a lot of money that I don’t have. The least that could be done is some time off from their bills while they recover. – Shannon
Millions of dollars are spent on research and almost nothing on support. – N.
I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I’m in the middle of “neoadjuvant” chemo right now. Fortunately, I was hooked up with a program that covers my treatment – for NOW – however, they’ve already told me they won’t be able to cover certain things in the future. Also I’m fortunate enough to still be able to make it to work, but sometimes I have to force myself to go there…and I don’t exactly get paid an arm and a leg (more like barely above minimum wage!). I’m worried about what will happen if I DO have to take time off – for my upcoming surgery, or for radiation if I’m not able to work that out with my job schedule. – Tamara
I have been fighting breast cancer and uterine for 7 years, mestastic cancer for 5 now and still fighting. I has spread to my bones and is now in my liver. I don’t have any money. I am so far in debt my kids will never get out, and I know I am not alone. – Carolyn
I was diagnosed with stage 3-c very aggressive cancer and only given 3 to 5 years to survive. While off work, my employer removed my job insurance, and had to pay my own Cobra. I refinanced my house to catch up, but I continue to be behind and may lose my house if I can’t keep it up. I am so stressed. – MZ
As a 7-year survivor of thyroid cancer, I’d like to see those in need helped in any way possible. I lost pretty much everything and live with my parents now. – Majik
I have Lupus. I can no longer work. My three children and I had to move in with my parents. Four years ago I applied for SSI, I was denied, and denied again. It’s still in appeals at the moment. Where it has been now for a year and a half. I have lost everything. I have my life and my children and family. You never really realized what it until it happens to you. Candy
I survived cancer and chemotherapy, but due to my fight I lost everything…business, husband, home. I believe there should be some form of help to take the stress and strain away from the every day burdens to make things a little easier for a person to have the will to fight a disease.
I am an ovarian cancer survivor, but my husband and I almost lost our home. We were in foreclosure twice and was able to save us. SSI was only provided for me for one year, and I was forced to go back to work before regaining all my strength. I am sorry for those that are not doing as well as I am and have to return to work before they are really able. – Aiil
I am so scared to get checked for cancer as I do not have adequate healthcare for myself or any insurance to cover the costs. – Maryanne
I am over 70K in debt due to my cancer fight. –Miranda
In our battle we lost everything. We had to file bankruptcy after my wife’s battle with cervical cancer. We are slowly recovering from it all, but will never fully recover financially. – D
They say that after you beat cancer, it marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. All of the programs for cancer deal with surviving during that first lifetime, not the 2nd. No one is there to help with the cleanup after the tornado of cancer has hit – to help with the survival of your 2nd life. –David
I am presently fighting breast cancer. As a single woman and small business owner I know all too well how difficult it is to continue supporting myself through this battle. The constant worry of how I will manage to be able to pay my bills. God forbid I should not be able to make my insurance premium payment. Even on my worst days I drag myself out of bed and into my office in order to continue on. – M.
Not only did I have bladder cancer, but I had ulcerative colitis. I has cost me my future. I had to withdraw from college…I owe the school money…I had other financial aid out that had to be repaid I get a very small amount of SSI to support me and my daughter.
I am a survivor of vaginal and bone cancer. Nothing is fair about any disease considering that not only do you have to worry about losing yourself or your loved one, you also have to worry about losing your house, your car, your job. It strips you of everything. – Sandy
You are so correct when fighting for our lives we shouldn’t have to deal with bank’s that are unsympathetic to our crisis. I was simply asking for an extension on my car loan and I had a bank employee almost screaming at me. I was going through a bone marrow transplant at the time. – Amy
My mom was LUCKY that she had kidney failure with her cancer. Can you imagine someone say that? But the kidney failure made her eligible for Medicare and Social Security disability right away, though it took six months to kick in. She was also lucky that I had student loans for us to live on until she got those benefits, and that I lived with her and took care of her for free. She was unable to return to work. – Kelly
My husband is going through treatments again, and we have lost almost everything materially. –T
My ex-husband is dying from stage 4 lung cancer. He has yet to be approved for SSI. He’ll be gone long before he even gets money from them. –Elizabeth
I am currently battling adrenal cancer and am only 25 yo. I have had to quit my job and totally rely on my parents financially. I am having to juggle student loans, car loan, health insurance, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t qualify for a lot of the financial assistance out there due to the rarity of my situation and my age. –Chesney
My wife and I also lost everything! Our home, our kids were split up for a while, but at least my wife survived. We are now starting to get back on track. I took her 2 ½ years to get SSI. – David
My mom died of pancreatic cancer, and I was glad to find that you had a pancreatic cancer page. I remember the mortgage company nearly putting my sick mother out on the street. She died before they could do it. – Jen
I was denied SSI and my bills are so outrageous I can’t even think of paying them off in my lifetime. – Shay
As a primary caregiver, sometimes I don’t think I’m doing a good job even through I am told that I do great. –Chuck
I hope you include chronic illnesses such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, etc., as well. Our treatments are pretty bad at times also.
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