Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Jar

So, as you may know, this week was not exactly my favorite week of all time. Now, I will admit I have had worse. But not much!

Many tears were shed. Many adult words were said. Many hugs were received. But, just like I always do, I put on my big girl panties and decided to get over it. Such is life, right? Oddly enough, I dont control the world (even if I think I should....) and I certainly dont control the Ethanol world!

So, the hubs and I started brainstorming.

What Christmas presents should we take back? I do tend to go overboard on presents. Its just how I roll. Typically the hubs and I dont get presents for each other, but I am suprising him this year. And its an expensive big present. Something that we "needed" but in reality could probably live without if we had to. The kiddos each got their one big thing then a few little things, some clothes, and some pjs.

What "extras" can we cut out? (FYI- we dont have many extras-I have my DVR and the hubs got to keep his gym membership. We each got to chose one "extra" two years ago.)

What can I do to help our family? Should I go back to teaching? Subbing? Daycare? etc.

Should the hubs look into out of state jobs? If he gets a job out of state then what?

And in the midst of our questions, I sent the hubs out to get the mail. It seems nobody gets the mail when mama is gone!

I started going through the mail and noticed a package. I had ordered a few random things here and there for Christmas and figured it was one of those.

I noticed there was no return address on the package. Hmmmm. Interesting.

So I opened the package. Inside the package was a card. I opened the card.

Inside the card was a lovely note saying how they hoped the contents of their "Christmas Jar" would help me and my family this holiday season. On the other side of the card was over $300 in cash.

My hands started shaking.

Tears started streaming down my face.

I screamed for my husband to come here. I then remembered that there was also a wrapped package inside that envelope.

I opened the package and inside was a book, titled "Christmas Jar" . I had never heard of this wonderful little tradition before, but the more I researched the more I realized that this is something we should do. This is something that everyone that is able to do, should do!

At the end of each day you put all your loose change in to a jar. At this time of year, you choose a family that could really use some extra help this time of year (due to some sort of hardship, ie cancer, losing a job, fire, divorce, etc) and you donate that money to them. Anonymously. What a completely wonderful, thoughtful gift!



I'm not gonna lie. My faith was a little wobbly this week. (not that I ever doubted that God was there with me, I was just maybe a little annoyed with him!) And just like that. In a matter of a few seconds, my faith was restored. My heart was full. And suddenly I knew that everything was going to be ok. I knew that we could do this.

Now, I am going to challenge each of you to start a Christmas Jar. We all know someone, whether it is someone close to us or not, that is going thru a difficult time. Think about how amazing it would be to be able to secretly help someone out next year.

That my friends is truly what Christmas is all about. So, to my secret Angel out there, I thank you. I thank you for our special Christmas Jar gift. You will never know how much it helped or how much we appreciate you. We never, ever would of dreamed of something like that happening to us. You have honestly changed our lives. Not necessarily through money, but through our outlook on life. Someday, we plan to pay it forward.

Much Love-Heather and Family

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Change of Plans

Well, we had a slight change of plans. I went to my Dr appt this morning and everything looks great. I opted out of my trial. Set up my Dr appts for March and headed back to my hotel to take a nap before my CT scan (I had 3 hours in between!). During my little nap my lovely husband kept calling me. He never does that! Finally after the third time I grumpily answer the phone. Thats when he dropped a huge bomb on me...

The Ethanol plant that he works at is shutting down. In like two weeks. WHHHAAAATTTT??

Seriously? WTH! Minor MAJOR panic!!

First and foremost...Insurance. I MUST have insurance!!

Secondly...Income. I MUST have income.

So, many naughty words came out of my mouth, quickly and rapidly!

I called my nurse to ask her if I could be in the trial. She told me that in the discussions on Monday they had planned on closing the trial. But, she made some phone calls and turns out they will in fact keep the trial open for me for now. Whew. Minor crisis averted there. However, that does mean I MAY have to return to Nashville next month.

Here is the way this trial works...it has cycles...on the odd cycles they do the PK draws. Right now I am coming to Nashville on the even cycles. So, they want to switch that. So, I may need to return next month just to get back on even cycles. I currently have appts set up in March to return which would actually b on the odd cycle, but that may be to long in between appts. I'm waiting on the final word for that.

Right now my whole world feels a little up in the air. My stomach is in knots and I am a little stressed. I understand that it is all in God's hands, however, I have some issues giving up control. If u know me, then that is not a huge shocker! But, not knowing where your next paycheck is going to come from is a bit of a freak out! My husband is very well known out there in the Ethanol industry and has a lot of connections, so pray right now that it will all work out like it should.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Drug Update

Its been awhile since I've updated! Sorry! I am doing great. We found out that that I will be able to get my chemo drugs mailed to me thru my Insurances speciality pharmacy. Since the drug I am on was FDA approved in August, I am actually able to transfer my care back to KS if I want to. I chose not to do that. I would rather keep my care at Vanderbilt for now. I really like my Dr and I feel like if the cancer decides to return, I will definitely be able to receive better care at Vanderbilt then I will be able to loccally. There are just more options available at Vanderbilt.

So, this week I am returning to Vanderbilt. I will opt out of my trial and set up a new travel schedule with my Dr. I know that he will be ok with me returning every 3 months. So for now, that is what I am shooting for. He would actually probably be ok with me coming back every 4 months, but thats a little nerve wracking for me.

Sometimes I truly cant believe how long I have been on this drug. With ZERO reoccurance! It is absolutely amazing! December 20th will be 20 MONTHS!! 20 months I have been on this amazing, life changing drug! The average is SIX months! I am truly in awe!

As we discovered this drug is NOT cheap! A three month supply, without insurance would of cost me $24,000!! Holy smokes! Luckily, we are blessed and have great insurance so I only pay a very small portion of that. I could of stayed in the trial and continued to receive my drugs for free, but since I will get to space out my trips a little more, this will actually end up saving us more money. And I am all for saving money! It will also allow me to spend more time with my beautiful family. And I am also all for that:)

Thank you all for your prayeres. My life is good. I am blessed.