Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Okay, people. You want something to do? I'll give it to you.

A couple of months ago, just before Christmas, I asked the readers of HN if they'd mind if I gave their hard-earned, donated dollars to a cause that wasn't directly connected to oral cancer.

You guys gave me the go-ahead, so I sent a thousand bucks to my pal Tashi. She's a fellow Blogspot blogger; somebody I met through a mutual friend (Lara) and through Jezebel, where we both post.

Tashi has a husband, called Wash on her blog. Wash was diagnosed a few months after they married with glioblastoma multiforme, stage four. For those of you who are not in the neuro-know, glioblastoma multiforme at that stage carries a one-hundred-percent mortality rate. The primary population diagnosed with it is men in their fifties.

Wash was 24 or 25 (I can't remember which and can't be bothered to check) at diagnosis.

One in forty-three million people will be diagnosed with a glio at that age.

I thought *I* had it bad: one in five hundred thousand people will be diagnosed with my particular type of oral cancer this year. I have oodles of company when compared to Wash.

Wash has survived past expectations: he's lived fourteen months with either a tumor or the threat of the tumor coming back, which is *huge*. Unfortunately, that survival has come with costs: Both he and Tashi have had to drop out of school. Tashi had to quit her job once it became clear that Wash couldn't be left home alone due to loss of memory and inhibition.

They survive now on state aid, which, being as they live in Arizona, isn't much. Plus, Tashi has to reapply every so often to the various programs in order for them to keep covering rent.

You guys made it possible, with the money you donated, for them to cover rent for a month, and gas money, and a couple of prescriptions, and a warm hat for Wash to wear during the winter months. I am asking you to put yourself and your hard-earned cash out there again, because Tashi is asking for it.

Here's the deal: Wash has a limited amount of time left. Bluntly, he'll be lucky to see June. He knows this, and he's opted out of further treatment. More chemo and radiation would only make him miserable, and wouldn't extend his life appreciably. Tashi, tasked as she is with both taking care of Wash and making ends meet, is at the end of her rope.

She needs money. Plain and simple: she needs cash to buy drugs, or pay for gas, or pay the heating bill. She's asking people to adopt a bill for her here. Please help.

I ask this of you guys on her behalf not because I feel for her, though I do. I ask because she's a funny, smart, insightful person whom I've come to like very much over the last few months. I ask because when I got my diagnosis, the first person besides my sister to offer support was Tashi--even with all she had going on, she still sent me emails that helped buoy my spirits. I ask because she's snarky and intelligent and is living on the bare bones that any person could live on and still take good care of somebody that they love. She is giving Wash the best life possible, given the circumstances. She's doing something I don't think I could manage, even with an extra fifteen years and all this nursing experience.

Tashi's and Wash's story is here.

Be warned: even knowing what I know of her, and of Wash, I was still in tears by the middle of the second page.

Tashi is *so* gonna kick my ass when she sees this. Please, please make it worth my sore-assed while.

Thank you.


Erica said...

I'm a broke-ass nursing student, so I can't help financially. But I just tweeted a link to her blog, so I'm hoping that will do something. You're a good friend.

Judith said...

Oh my. I read that story. Oh my. Here in New Zealand our medical system isn't perfect but I sure am thankful for it, flaws and all. I have just been to Tashi's blog and donated. The NZ dollar isn't all that strong these days but every little helps.

Medical Mojave said...

We sent in a small donation.

Sorry it wasn't more.


Sassenach said...

I couldn't give much, but I hope that I gave enough to help get your arse kicked.

Celeste said...

I read every page and that was just completely heartbreaking, Jo. Cancer is cruel, and brain cancer is an absolute sadist.

I'm sorry that I can't help at this time; we are trying to figure out how to replace two failed appliances here, which apparently had a suicide pact.

It's awesome of you to look out for them, and I hope somebody else can pitch in.

Molly said...

I can't even BEGIN to imagine something like that.

I also never realized that banking sperm was so expensive. Which I know is a stupid thing to notice, but...fuck, I can't even get my head around the story.

He seems like such a funny guy. And she seems absolutely lovely. If there is a greater plan for all of this, after I die I swear I'm marching up to the Big Guy himself and demanding an explanation.

I'll be sending this link around to my friends and see if I can get any others involved. None of my friends are exactly rolling in it, but for a pair of Firefly fans in such tragic straits I imagine we'll be able to find something.

Anonymous said...

done. there's at least one footprint accounted for.:-\

Dr. Alice said...

Donation sent. I'm happy to help. Thanks for letting us know about Tashi.

TheSchaft said...

Done. Glad to be able to help.

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

Awful. I am so sorry.

I want to help. I found out yesterday someone hacked my PayPal account and it is taking 2-3 days to re-authenticate (long story) with my credit card, etc. I'm going to donate soon as PP is working again, Thanks for posting this.

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

Oh, hell. I'm not waiting. I emailed her for an address and will get a check from the bank to them, even though I'm traveling.

CQ said...

Better get yerself an ass-protecter, asap. Thanks for letting us know.

Anonymous said...

Cancer is such a cruel disease. I wish all the best for this young couple.
--Queen Anne's Lace

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this -- the sense of perspective I got, and renewed gratitude for my spiffy Canadian health care, was well worth a donation (after drying the tears).
As I've thought since I first started lurking on this blog, you are about 18 different kinds of awesome.

goonerrobot said...

Done. Absolutely heart-breaking story. It really, really shouldn't be like this, and it seems hard to believe that with so many brilliant people looking at these awful healthcare issues that it can't be figured out.

Anonymous said...

Found this entry via Twitter. I'm glad I clicked on the link. I'm keeping your friend, her husband and you in my thougths. And I sent a little something. Bonne chance.
- Miss Sunshine, from Qu├ębec.

FrankC said...

Not sure why Tashi should want to kick your donkey, but she's got a few more reasons now.