Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Phone Call From Your Knees...

Life is an adventure and usually that's the way I like it. But sometimes things are going well and then, out of nowhere, you live through a moment or receive a phone call that pulls you to your knees. We all have examples of this. I'm sure you are thinking of one now, nodding your head and saying, "yup Shamae is right!" It's a moment that lives with you forever because in that moment, when you hear those words, you know your life will never be the same.

This past week our family experienced another one of those moments--one of those phone calls that brings you to your knees. There is a song by Mat Kearny called "Closer to Love." Here are some of the lyrics and the video...

"She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away.

She said she didn't believe
It could happen to me.
I guess we're all one phone call
From our knees.
We're gonna get there soon.

If every building falls
And all the stars fade
We'll still be singing this song
The one they can't take away

I'm gonna get there soon
She's gonna be there too
Crying in her room
Praying, Lord, come through
We're gonna get there soon..."

My wonderful step dad has been sick since July. He has had test after test after test ran. He has had a PICC line in his arm for DAILY IV treatments for the past 2 months to fight a staph infection. But they still couldn't figure out what else was going on with him. Last week, after a spinal biopsy, we got the news.

Cancer. Multiple Myeloma.

Its a type of cancer that affects your plasma cells which is a type of white blood cell in your bone marrow. The role of plasma cells is to make antibodies to help your body fight infection.

We have yet to know his treatment plan. We just know this is a devastating diagnosis for our family and for one heck of a great guy (and golfer.) He is a wonderful father, step-father, husband, friend and grandpa.

To make matters more complicated, Marc is an attorney. He was working as in-house legal counsel for a company. Due to situations out of his control, the company had to lay him off earlier this year--thus ending his health insurance. Do you know how many doctors will treat a cancer patient who doesn't have insurance? We haven't found one yet. To them Marc is a number not a person. It's a sad day in America when things like this happen. And, being the "little man," there isn't anything we can do about it. We have to sit around and let the "big, important people" play God with people's lives.

We don't know what the future holds for Marc and the rest of our family but we will continue to pray. We hope we find more information on treatments for people without insurance. We hope. We pray. What else can we do? So, if you are the praying kind, send some our way. I really appreciate it.

~This is Marc and my mom with Sydney and Morgan with the Easter dresses they bought the girls this year. ~My mom and Marc.

P.S. This morning my mom and Marc learned of a woman who has cancer and has insurance. However, she hit her lifetime maximum and now has to stop her treatments in the middle of everything because she can no longer afford to be treated. I don't know the answers to America's health care crisis but I do know we can't continue like this. I know it can be easy to blow these things off as "it won't happen to us" until, one day, it happens to someone you love. Then you will have a moment that pulls you to your knees and will change your life as well.


Cindy said...

Oh, Shamae! I'm so sorry your family is having to deal with this. Medical insurance really isn't a good thing when you don't have any. I'll keep your stepdad and family in my prayers and hope that a doctor or insurance company will see the light and treat him soon!

Misty said...

Shamae, I'm so sorry to hear this. I will keep your family, especially your stepdad, in my prayers.

Dawn said...

That is awful! I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Reyna said...

Thinking of you and your family Shamae. So sorry to hear this.

carrie said...

Shamae, I'm so sorry! Loves to your mom, to you and your family. Gosh, this makes me so mad. The people who are the sickest and need it most can't get it because the insurance companies know they'll have to pay. GRRRR..... But enough of the negative. Loves, and I'll be praying for you guys!

Jenni said...

Oh Shamae! This breaks my heart. While I don't know Marc at all.... I do know his amazing wife and beautiful daughters and son....and it is just heartbreaking to even think of this happening to someone I have heard so much about & is such a wonderful man. My heart goes out to all of you! My prayers are with you, and I pray he will find a doctor soon. I am so fed up with insurance right now myself. And then the way we are treated in this country witout it....I don't understand! Hugs to you and your entire family!!!!

Anonymous said...

As usual, you have made your point very well with your unique writing style!
You are right, Marc is NOT a number, he is a husband, a dad, a grandpa (who pulls quartrs out of his grandkids ears), he's a wonderful friend and golfer, he's a news junkie and wonderful cook! He hates eggs but loves to read! He would give you the shirt off his back!
He doesn't deserve this, not after working for 40 years!!!
It feels like they called me and said; 'we MAY have to remove your heart, and you will have to figure out how to live without it!'

'America, land of the free, home of the brave' long as you have a never-ending bank account???
And where is this national healthcare program??? Oh...I'll bet you didn't know, but it's still in the hands of the private insurance companies.
In order to be accepted, you have to have a letter of denial from a private insurance company...we haven't found one that would do that. Instead, they issue you a letter of acceptance...BUT with a 1 year waiting period for pre-existing AND a premium amount that most American's cannot afford!
Is THIS what we are leaving to our kids and grandkids?
I don't know the answer, but I do know that for my family, we now have a limited amount of time, to find one!

I love you!

Tara said...

Our prayers are with you and your family Shamae. I hate hearing news like this!! Hang in there!! Something will work out :) Keep your faith!! Your amazing :)

Love ya!
Tara Simpson

Heidi / D-Tales said...

Oh, Shamae, I'm so, so sorry. It's bad enough to get a diagnosis like that, but to face a health insurance crisis at the same time, ugh, that's just not right. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Rosa said...

Shamae-- This is so heartbreaking. You and your family, your mom and step dad our in our prayers.

Shannon said...

I am so sorry you have to endure this! It is heartbreaking and just devastaing. I am praying for you and your family. I am at a loss of what else to say.

Shannon said...

I am praying for your family and for you. I am so sorry you have to endure this. Please know we are here on the other end of the computer sending postive thoughts and hugs.

irbuanosraL said...

I'm really sorry Shamae. That is so heartbreaking. I will be keeping him in my prayers. There is a woman in my ward who didn't have insurance while diagnosed with cancer. She ended up getting a grant through an organization to cover it. She found out at the hospital there are all sorts of organizations out there who donate money to cancer patient's treatments. As for us, we have to pay tons this year for the surgery and treatments. We do have insurance, but we have a huge deductible.
Hugs to you and your sweet family.
“And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”

- Doctrine and Covenants 84:88

LeAnn said...

I'm so sad to hear that! It has to be so frustrating, heartbreaking, and just plain stressful.

Look into Cancer Treatment Centers of America. My father in law had cancer and went there...he said it was a great place and they worked with him when he didn't know if his insurance would cover it.

Something will work out! Trust the Lord.

Heather said...

I'm so sorry to hear that! It's heartbreaking to get news like that. I hate the way our insurance system works too. Something needs to be fixed and nobody seems to have any good solutions. I will be praying for you and your family.

phonelady said...

Oh shamae Im so sorry yes that would definately bring you to your knees . I will pray that God watches over you and yours . Take care dear .

The Lane Family said...

Shamae I am so, so sorry and I see what you mean about bringing you to your knees.

I would look into Cancer Treatment Centers of American I know that they will work with people with or without insurance. It will be a distance from where they are at but I hear they are amazing.

We will continue to pray for him and for all of your family. I agree that the health care system in the U.S. is a mess but there is no easy answer for this issue.

sarefamily said...

A little hope for a crappy situation...... my VERY good friend Rose was diagnosed with this EXACT cancer in December of last year. We really thought we had less than a year with her. She has been doing Chemo for 9 months... both IV and pill form. She is doing SOOOOO well. Her cancer numbers seriously just shot down. It has been a rough road, but we expect her to recover to her old self soon. She also had some stem cells taken out and will be getting a bone marrow transplant using those cells. This should keep her from having to do any type of chemo for 3-5 years, if at all. The insurance sucks, no doubt about it. What a slap in the face. But, there is hope to fight this particular cancer, i've seen it. Rose in in her 60's and is fighting it like a pro. Good luck to mark, and you guys keep on a happy face for him. I will be thinking of you. PS... Rose is seeing a WONDERFUL specialist in ORegon right now, let me know if you ever need info, Rose knows it all :)

Wendy said...

I heard that song this morning....and then sent you a text cuz it made me think of you.

Then I come to catch up on some blog reading, and what do you know.

Great minds and all...

I'm praying, Sham. I'll call on prayer from every angle. I'll help you write letters. I'll do whatever I can.

May God bless this journey.

Lora said...

Oh my Shamae, I can't imagine what your family is going through right now. Just remember to take care of yourself through all this.

Lots of prayers and hugs headed your way.

Lora said...

Oh my Shamae, I can't imagine what your family is going through right now. Just remember to take care of yourself through all this.

Lots of prayers and hugs headed your way.

periwinkle4 said...

wow, how terrible! HUGS and PRAYERS! I hope a solution is found soon!

Jen B said...

Saying sorry just doesn't seem like enough!