Saturday, December 3, 2016

Some Fun Stuff

So we have a few fun things, that are going on. We have 2 Craft Shows this weekend. Which seems like a lot. And well, it kind of is. But it should be fun! And it's probably one of the last events we have, to make money for our Scholarship Fund. We won't be doing much fundraising, until next Spring.

The first is today at the Albuquerque Talent Development Academy. At 1800 Atrisco NW. From 9AM-2PM.

Tomorrow we'll be at Holy Family Church. At 562 Atrisco  Dr. SW. From 8AM-3PM. If you need to do some Christmas shopping, you should try coming out to one of these events. There are always so many talented artists!

Next, I started a YouTube page. On December 1st. It took what seemed like forever, but our first video is now up. I'll probably be uploading a video, once a week. Maybe more. Depending on what's going on. It doesn't take long to record a video. But it takes FOREVER to upload them.

And lastly, I nominated my Mom, on Ellen's Show. Ellen has been a HUGE part of our life. For years, we've watched her. It was my Dad's favorite part of the day. To see Ellen dancing. And doing such good deeds for others. Making us laugh. We rarely missed a day. He ALWAYS wanted to meet her.

Now that my Mom is sick, we spend much of our time, watching the Ellen Show too. She is just so positive. I wanted to nominate my Mom, to maybe meet Ellen. Or win a present from the 12 Days of Giveaways. Something like that. Just to give her a little holiday cheer.

You know, we spend much of the day...worrying about things. Like bills, doctors' appointments, her cancer, treatments, things like that. I worry about a lot of things. Like paying the bills. Will my Mom ever find a doctor? Or get her insurance straight? Will our car, be reliable enough, for the ton of doctors' visits...that are in our future? Things like that.

So I hope, at the very least, that my Mom might get a little present. I often wonder, what our family will look like in a year. Will my Nanie still be here? My Mom? What will we be doing? So I think it would just be nice, for my Mom to have a little cheer. If you'd like to nominate her as well, you can go here. It's super fast. And easy!

And on another important is my parent's wedding anniversary. They would have been married 28 years. Today! That is pretty incredible. Happy Anniversary! 🐦

Friday, December 2, 2016

Win a Trip to Laughlin!

Have you ever thought about going to Laughlin? Maybe winning a trip? Well, we got a trip for 2, donated! My Mom and I feel so blessed. It started with my Aunt and Uncle. And once my Mom's bosses found out about her story, it was all set up!

We feel so blessed. Over the years, these people have become friends. In the industry that we're all from, it's a tight circle. Before you know it, co-workers become friends. Then family. And well, I'm speechless! At the kindness of this family.

Almost 2 years ago, they stepped up. And helped us in a good way. Amazing way! Along with another company. And then my Mom wanted to pay back the favor. She worked with them. And now, when we need them again...they are here for us. I just cannot say enough good things about the Herrera Family!

So we're holding a separate raffle. We printed tickets earlier this week. And are selling them for $5 each. Or $50, for a book of 12. Let me know, if you are interested. And we'll be drawing the winner, on New Year's Day! Wouldn't that be a fun way, to ring in 2017? I think so!

The winning prize includes the bus ride for 2. And hotel accommodations. Pretty good deal, for a $5 chance! Let me know, if you are interested in selling or buying tickets! And from the bottom of my heart, I can't Thank the Herrera Family enough! 🐦

Thursday, December 1, 2016

One Month

It's been a crazy month. So busy! So full of love, support, and prayers. I just can't believe it. This post, marks #21! I can't believe that! When I started this blog, I thought I'd post 2 or 3 posts week. Max. But then things moved. Quickly!

I'm sure things will slow down a bit, after our fundraisers end. But I do want to stay committed. And share as much of our story, as I possibly can. It's important. And almost therapeutic. Believe it or not. It just helps, to reach up and out.

I realized that we had a ton of support. And love. And people who wanted to do things for us. Which led, to a fundraiser. And lots of things, to go with it. It's pretty amazing, how these things work. How God blesses us, with so much. When we need it the absolute most!

The main reason for this blog, is to document my Mom's journey. To have a place, to look back on. And remember, all those memories we made. To keep in touch, with family and friends. And to connect with others. Walking a similar path.

For me, the last has almost as much meaning, as the first. Because we struggled so much, while we were on my Dad's journey. There are not a lot of people, who share this side of things. But we know, how important it is. To be a beacon of light, to people struggling. To know, you will make it. Not every cancer journey, is horrible. There are some light and fun days. There are people experiencing similar things. Life is not all bad.

I just filmed a video. For YouTube. You read that right! Years ago, I made tons of videos. To give reviews of beauty products, to talk crafts, and to vlog. But this, is much more meaningful. I want to start connecting, with other families like ours. People who are walking a similar path.

December 1, 2016 will mark our initial post. Let's see how long it takes the video to upload. That's always the fun part! But come check it out. I'll be posting weekly. I won't commit to more than that. Not right now. But I might add more videos. If we're doing other things. I hope everyone enjoys.

It's been incredible to share our journey. Thus far. To be able to talk to you, about things that go on, when battling cancer. For a patient. A loved one. And a caregiver. It really is a tough road. But I'm so happy to share it with you! 🐦

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cancer is Crazy Expensive!

When most people think of cancer, rarely do they think of the cost. Unless you've been there. Trust me! Years ago, when someone would say, they had cancer...or a family member did, I'd feel bad. Like why did it have to happen to them? I'd pray for them. To have strength, to help them through their treatments, and for their health. But I NEVER thought about the money side of it.

Until my Goddaughter was diagnosed. I know what it cost my friends. They picked up, and moved across the country. Initially, they rented a hotel by the week. When it got too expensive, my dear friends spent day and night in the hospital. When Mr. C would have to go work, he'd come home. For a few weeks. Mrs. C slept on a hospital chair.

And as friends, we tried to help. We played extra gigs. Had fundraisers. Sold items. Held raffles. Pitched in, our own money. We did everything we could, for almost 5 years. It was crazy, at times. We knew that my Little Cinderella's healthcare, was covered. For the most part. Because of a senior doctor I was working with. He made that possible. And when things wouldn't work out, he and his wife would take care of the bills.

But as far as our friends, it was tough. I think they spent nearly 2 in a hospital. Coming home, when all of us could send money. Getting hotel rooms, when there was some extra cash. Or we'd gift them a hotel room for a couple of weeks. But it was tough.

Not to forget, they really couldn't work. They had a small child, fighting for her life. She spent so much time, in the hospital! And they were so far away. As her health improved, and Mr. C could leave for work more often...they rented a small apartment. Down the road from the hospital. But it still made things tough. Money was so tight. And the only thing that was on their radar, was their sweet baby girl.

Like I said, we did everything to send extra money. I mean, they still had needs. Food, basic hygiene, basic needs. Yes there was the RMH from time to time. But when you are looking at the length of time they were, it starts to not be an option...

With my Dad, we were lucky. In some ways. He was older. We were able to get him better insurance. My Mom could work. I could care for him. At night, when she was home, I could work. Yes, there was good insurance. Yes, we lived 5 minutes from the hospital. Yes, we could work.

But it was still expensive. I was so glad, I was working. Insurance covered a HUGE portion, of the medical bills. But not everything. And being that he spent a third of a year, in the hospital...those bills rack up fast!

Looking back, even in a good week...when he was relatively healthy, it was expensive. We'd have 2-3 appointments a week. If it was a specialist, a treatment, or a surgeon...we paid between $35-100 an appointment. If it was a regular checkup with his primary doctor, it was $5. Just on doctors' visits, we could spend $200 a week! When you think about having to see the oncologist, going to radiation, having chemo, testing, and was tough.

I never let my parents know. I covered two thirds of the cost. And then there was the medication. I look back now, and it floors me! It shouldn't. Because I was at Walgreen's at least once a week. My Dad had other health issues, as well as the cancer. But it was between $1500-2000 a month...for medication and supplies. I know! My paychecks, never seemed like enough.

Did we have good insurance? Heck yeah! I think about it now, and I know we would have never made it, without insurance. I think in total, my Dad paid $200 a month. Plus whatever Medicare charges. But it covered a lot. I knew the Ambulance cost. I knew co-pays. We had free OT, PT, and Home Healthcare. Which included visits from the nurse 3-4 times a week. A doctor, whenever we needed it. Social workers, nurse coordinators, etc.

But now that I look back, I can see how people choose to not have treatments. It's not always that a person doesn't want the treatments. You just can't afford them. Especially if you have a ton of doctors, medication, do multiple treatments a week.

When I knew  my Mom was sick, I panicked. For a ton of reasons. Financially, I was not sure we could do it. Like I said before, she's not eligible for that same insurance, until early next year. When you think about going to an's easily $200 out of pocket. To start with. Each time!

Forget about trying to get a doctor, when you are uninsured. Or trying to have testing done. Thousands of dollars! Tons of headaches. Countless phone calls! I can't even begin to think, what treatments would be like. It's crazy! I think about the pain meds, chemo meds, anti-nausea meds...I get nauseous!

Then I think about the basic stuff. Like I can't work. I have to take care of her. She can't work. There is no one else, to lean on. Or so it feels. Because you still have utility bills, to pay for food, and gas. Do you know, that 98% of our appointments with my Dad, where across town. You need to have a good working vehicle.

Oh, and that food thing. Most things don't taste right. And if I think about all the supplements my Dad scares me. Ensure is expensive. Insurance doesn't cover it. He used brown rice protein a lot. That stuff is expensive. Regular food doesn't taste right. Things just aren't right. With my Dad, there was a lot of McDonald's. It's what tasted right...for him. With my Mom, it's hit and miss. Whatever she asks for, I try and get it.

Then there are things like equipment. We gave some away, after my Dad's passing. We lent some out...and now it's missing. So I have to run around, looking for those things, my Mom is needing. Or will soon need. And there are clothes. My Dad had clothes, ranging in size from small to extra large. When they lose weight, you have to buy more. Clothes are not cheap. My Dad's weight could fluctuate 20 pounds in just a few weeks. With my Mom, she's dropped quite a few sizes. Quickly. And she hasn't yet started treatment.

When you think about all those things, it's overwhelming. It's the stuff I don't talk to people about. Like when I take her to the ER, and while she's having a test...they're asking for a payment. Or when the bills start coming in. I just grin and bare it. I don't want her to worry about those things. She needs to worry about fighting cancer.

It was tough, the last go around. With my Dad. I'm pulling up my boot straps already. I know it's going to be tough. I know we have a long road ahead of us. I'm thankful for our family and friends. Who are rallying behind us. But I know, they can't pay our bills, fill our fridge, or take care of the medical costs.

So I have faith, that we'll make it. I'll continue to sell on Etsy. And hopefully, at Craft Fairs. I pray, that some insurance miracle happens. And well, I hope that she's not as sick, as I think she is. It's a long road. Sometimes scary. Other times, familiar. Mostly, unknown. 🐦

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Few Links For You

Quite a few people, are looking to donate some money to my Momma. So I setup a few ways, to make that possible. Of course, you are welcome to send her money. Friends and family, let me know if you need her address. If you are looking for something online, I set up a Go Fund Me page. And you can also send her money through PayPal.

Also, I'll have my Square available. Anytime I see you in person. You can make a donation using your credit card or debit card. I'll also have this available, at the dinner. If you want to buy tickets, crafts, baked goods, etc. 🐦

Monday, November 28, 2016


My Mom and I feel so blessed. The last few days, have been full. Of lots of love. Family time. And a little holiday cheer. It's also been a long while, since we last made it to church. But on Thanksgiving morning, we made it. And it felt so good!


It's been that one piece, that has been missing for a while. My Mom happened to be feeling better. So we decided to make the trip. And even though, she was in a bit of physical pain. I could see how beneficial it was to her. We also made it today. Lord knows, he has blessed us so much!

We also found out today, that there are other people in our community, needing prayers. And love. And support. A friend of ours, has breast cancer. She had surgery recently. And will soon, start her treatments. One of the Fathers at our church, also has cancer. And they had a fundraiser for him, at church today. We went. Enjoyed a nice breakfast. That was HUGE! And it felt good, to lend a "Hand Up."

But when I say that we are blessed, I mean it. We have family that is rallying behind us. Friends who are lifting us up. And faith, that is helping us, to carry our troubles. When I think about the last few days, all of these things, were in action.

On Wednesday, a friend who is more like family, came to visit us. It had been a LONG while, since we last saw her. And it was so nice to catch up. To see pictures of her family. To hear that things are going relatively well for her. Honestly, just to talk to Rose, felt good!

My Mom and I, spent Thanksgiving with a small group of our family. But it was nice to see my cousins, my aunt, and uncle. We were so blessed, to spend the day, with my Nanie. Who isn't doing well. And for me, that was the biggest blessing. Making memories, with my Nanie.

When I think about loved ones, that have passed on...holidays ALWAYS come to mind! I think about those people, who spent the day with us. I'm not sure what the next year will bring. Or how many of our loved ones, will join the Lord. But I am thankful, to have spent the day, with our family.

It just got me thinking. Will my Nanie be here next year? My Mom? Who will the Lord call home? What will our family look like? Will I be working next year? That's quite possible. Will there be more people in the family? Will I begin a family? Maybe add a fur baby...

Lots of unknowns. We also spent Friday evening with my aunt, uncle, and a bunch of my cousins. Mostly from out of town. And that is ALWAYS a blessing. Just seeing family, that you don't see often. Having time to laugh and smile. To forget about your problems. To share good food. And make a ton, of new memories. The pizza was so good, I didn't even get a picture!

Today, we finished our weekend...with a visit with our good friends. Who we were supposed to join them for Thanksgiving. But they understood, our need to be with my Nanie. Such amazing people! I know the Lord blessed us, when he sent them to us. Leonor and Albert, have been that constant, that we've needed.

They are much more than friends. Family really. For a long time, Mrs. H wanted me to be part of the family. And I joked, if they had had one more son, I'd have been all in! I mean, all their sons are married. What's a gal to do? I still dream about marriage, and lots of babies!

No lie, Leonor and Albert are our family. And it's just nice, to get to reconnect with them. Sometimes, we let lots of time pass. Without seeing or talking to each other. But whenever we do see each other, it feels like no time has passed. And we pick up, right where we left off.

Are we going through a difficult chapter? YES! Are we blessed? Most certainly! With so much love, support, and prayers. Funny how on Thanksgiving weekend, so many more blessings happen. Many more, than you'd think. And all I can say is, Thank You Lord! For all that you've blessed us with. You are my strength. 🐦


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Update on Tickets

Wow! I never realized, how many tickets we'd go through. It's a good thing. A very good thing! Even if, I spend an entire night...making books. Cut, count, number, staple, count again...

We haven't been selling tickets, for a long time. But I'm shocked at how quickly everything is moving. I didn't anticipate this. And when I put in the initial order, I didn't order nearly enough. So some of you, have been waiting for your tickets. Wednesday I picked up a second order. And spent a couple days, putting books together. And handing out tickets.

Right now, we have 500 raffle tickets...out. Almost 200 adult dinner tickets. And 50 children tickets. I'm still in SHOCK! Pick me up, off the floor. If you need tickets, let me know. And I'll get them to you. Ticket prices are $2 for raffle tickets. Or $20 for a book of 12. $10 for adults. And $5 for kids.

We also have a HUGE announcement, later this week. It has to do with, some BIG ticket items. And another raffle. These tickets will cost more. But will definitely be well worth it! So come back. You don't want to miss our announcement. 🐦