Our marriage vows on August 24, 2002, were commitments to one another in all the circumstances that might come our way. Both before and after the wedding we agreed that when difficulties arose that we would try to turn to God and to one another. And by the grace of God we've done a fairly good job of doing that, and are doing that now as we deal my having been diagnosed with colon cancer.
When we married Deb and I were both receiving Social Security disability benefits based on our deceased dad's incomes. I also had a modest income from catalog sales of AVON products. Because we became legally married with a marriage license and an official wedding, Debbielynne could not become qualified for Medicaid (Mass. Health) benefits to pay for personal care attendants until after we had spend several thousand dollars in medically needed expenses.
DebbieLynne is quadriplegic so she needs help for almost everything. I have enough use of my hands and arms so I can help her with some things like feeding her when we're out on a date. But I am physically unable to do transfers, dressing, showering, and such for her. So we needed to pay for medically necessary things so that she would be qualified to have personal care attendants paid for.
Since we didn't have that kind of money we had to use credit cards and get receipts to show what we'd spent. It took quite a while but eventually DebbieLynne was approved for Mass. Health and attendant care coverage.
By then we had about $7,000 in credit card debt. I thought for sure that I'd be able to pay that off within a few years. After all, we had Social Security income and I had the income from my AVON catalog selling.
But things don't always go as planned. AVON sales gradually dropped off until I had to decide to give up selling it even before I learned this week that I had colon cancer. (A new Avon rep's name and phone number were on the final catalogs I arranged to have given out to my customers this week.)
Over the years, other expenses cropped up from time to time like some dental and equipment costs that were not covered by Medicare or Mass. Health. And then there was the repair and replacement of broken computers. Computers have enabled me to earn a little money and do a little
blogging even during the hours I have to lie down to give my back a rest
and use my ventilator. Computers have also made it possible for DebbieLynne to keep in touch with people, be creative with artwork, and do her wonderful blogs.
So although we've made a dent in our debt, there is still a sizable amount to be paid off. My ability to pay off that debt by my own efforts seems to be coming to an end. Even if things go well there will likely be surgery, and follow-up treatment of chemotherapy and/or radiation.
I don't know whether God will allow me live on for more wonderful years with DebbieLynne or whether it will be much less than that.
To say that I don't want to leave DebbieLynne would be by far the biggest understatement I'd ever made in my life.
But whenever I go to be with the Lord in heaven I do not want to leave DebbieLynne saddled with debt in addition to her being without the one who sought to show his love to her as best he could.
If there is anyone who would like to help eliminate our debt, but you want to be sure that what I am sharing in this blog is real, I urge you to contact either of our pastors at Brookville Baptist Church in Holbrook, Massachusetts. Both Pastor Dennis Bauder and Pastor Larry Smith know us well. You can do a search online to get contact information for the church and our pastors.
If you choose to give a gift to help us eliminate the debt, please know that we are not a charitable organization so it would not be a tax deductible donation, but simply a gift to help somebody in need.
You could give a gift via Paypal by designating that you want to give a gift to the member of Paypal whose email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any sized gift would be greatly appreciated. And once the debt is gone I will post the news on this blog if I'm not in the hospital, and DebbieLynne will post the news on her "The Things That Come Out of My Head" blog at: http://debsheadstick.blogspot.com/
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It wasn't easy to write it. Please keep us in your prayers.