Well… We are officially out of Poverty. (lol) We got our taxes done and we have jumped up to another tax bracket. Sort of a bitter sweet experience. I liked all the extra breaks, but at the same time I like knowing we are progressing forward. I was a bit disgruntled that we didn’t have enough medical expenses to claim. We were just short but a couple hundred dollars. After spending time organizing all that paperwork, adding up the mileage from here to Denver, and counting it up three times…the system said sorry. I have been upset until this morning. A thought crossed my mind…
Last year my medical bills totaled 598,000.00. A half a million dollars in medical bills. This is doctors, surgeries, chemo, prescriptions… I realized that I need to count my blessings and be more grateful towards my husband’s employer. I know I’m guilty of taking for granted the things I have. This is one of them. I mean without insurance, who can afford that? It’s no secret. For many years we stayed in the military for the comforts of basic necessities. No matter what pickle we found ourselves in, we always have had a roof over our heads, food on the table, and medical care. There are so many families out there who can’t afford those things. The Army has provided insurance, the house we live in (BAH), the pay check to buy food. If anything we are the dumb ones. If we had managed ourselves better from the start we’d be further ahead. Live and Learn.
Half of this year’s return is going to paying medical bills. I’m not on tricare prime. I’m on standard. When I took the assistant store manager job, I decided I had better change to standard in case something happen. Being in Wyoming, I was out of the network, unless I went to the local ER. With standard I have a 150 individual, 300 family, and 1000 cat cap. Basically, I have to pay out 1000 before Tricare pays 100%. The new fiscal year started in October. After one chemo treatment I met that cap. So I’ve been making payments towards that bill and we will pay it off. Just in time for the blazer to be paid off. We also took a personal loan over the summer to help cover the cost of gas. When it’s 174 miles round trip to Denver, three and four times a week, that adds up. That will be paid off in two months. Also, the washer will be paid for in a few months. Things are starting to finally get untangled. Enough that we are going to take the other half and buy some hockey tickets. The left overs….throw it in the pig for a rainy day.
It feels good to get a little more freedom. When I took my job, we were almost doubling our income. At the start, every other weekend we were traveling out of town to Amber’s hockey tournaments. Once the tournaments were over I was looking forward to making a plan to tackle some of this stuff and put money aside for a nice family vacation…a real vacation. Sigh. All I’ve thought about for 9 months is getting back to work. Getting through chemo treatments, grow a little hair and get back to work. Now, I’m not so sure it’s that easy. The end of each cycle is getting harder and harder. I figured at some point it wouldn’t be a walk in the park. I have two weeks of “rest” coming up and it takes almost the entire two weeks just to get back to ¼ of what I used to be. The injuries from falling on the stairs aren’t healing because of the chemo. Well my foot I’m sure is healed. I am no longer wearing the boot unless I’m out and about. But I can stand on it without it hurting. The self repair of the torn tendon in my knee… not so good. Everything had been ok until this last week.
I believe this is what Doc D was talking about. At one point it felt like someone drilled a hole in my knee cap and was pouring acid in there. It felt like I had re-torn it. I’m also concerned about further nerve damage. The last 24 hours have been hell. My feet and ankles have throbbed in pain. I’ve had a steady stream of electricity shooting in my leg… nerve pain. My feet have been numb off and on and my fingers are back to tingling. My hands are weak. Taxi and Gemzar cause nerve damage. Do I just push through these last two treatments? I don’t want to start something new. I just want to be done with this. Right now I’m holding my breath. Waiting to see if that awful back pain comes about.
I pray that today – no pain or at least tolerable pain. Today is an important day for Bear. Today she gets to play with the Philadelphia Philharmonic. I was laying in bed last night almost in tears. I wanted to crawl outside my body and kick my carcass off the bed so I could sleep. All I could think about was what if this doesn’t go away. What if I miss the concert? Bear is understanding and forgiving…but I’m not. I’m taking drugs to make sure I’m at least ahead if it, if the pain decides to show.
On a separate note, I’ll have a tripod to make a better recording of the concert than the last one. Today I plan to get some cleaning done and a little laundry. I think I might start making a plan for the garden. I’m not hopeful that we will get more moisture. I need to design a plan to be water efficient. I have tossed ideas around with my mom and dad. The ideal set up would be a root system, but that isn’t cheap.
Till that point we will keep marching on…