Thursday, July 10, 2008
It’s been a bad month. I haven’t posted to the blog and some of you have gotten in touch with me when you noticed. It’s just been a bad month.
It took a couple of weeks to shake the virus, fever, and fatigue from the beginning of June, but it’s gone and physically I’m okay.
My new treatment comes with rash and itch, particularly on my arms, but sometimes also on my neck, thighs, shins, and feet as well. The rash looks a bit like the goose bumps you get when you’re cold, not red until I scratch myself raw. The itch appears to be independent and comes and goes from somewhere underneath my skin. I try to keep my hands away, but once I start scratching, it feels like I’ll have to rip my skin off to get at it. Sometimes I wake at night and find myself scratching; it’s a bit easier to control when I’m awake since I always have lotions, gels, powders, and creams nearby. The topical stuff works for awhile.
But that’s just the physical. I have much bigger, more humiliating problems that make me want to hide and stay away from everyone. Cancer and the economy have taken their toll on me. I’m facing a devastating financial meltdown that has me terrified, extremely stressed, and yes, depressed.
I spoke with a financial counselor yesterday. He pointed out the obvious, what I’ve been avoiding for months. My income simply doesn’t cover my expenses, let alone pay back the greater and greater debt I’ve incurred attempting to keep afloat. He advised me to contact a bankruptcy lawyer familiar with the regulations in my state in order to explore my options. I will do that. However, in my readings about bankruptcy and discussion with the counselor, I’m concerned that following that route will introduce as many or more problems as it promises to solve. Without going into long, drawn-out detail, my income, though insufficient to cover my basic expenses, may be more than the law allows for me to qualify for bankruptcy relief.
I feel terrible. I feel like a failure. Feeling like a failure is counter-productive, at best.
This is a very difficult post for me to write and make public. People I’ve confided my situation to keep reminding me I’m a survivor; they say I’ll get through this. That may be, but for now I feel like I’m being flushed down a drain. I have more energy than I’ve had for most of the past year, but now I need to use that energy to figure out whether and where and how to move before I lose my house outright. It’s particularly difficult to go through this crisis without a partner.