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In September 2015, our family was forever changed. Our toddler, Huxley, was diagnosed with a DIPG brain tumor – the same kind of brain cancer that Lauren Hill fought, that is 100% terminal. Because of the aggressive nature of DIPG, and where it resides deep in the brain stem, our son Huxley quickly deteriorated to the point where we were forced to put our jobs on hold, send our other two children to friends’ and family’s houses, and spend every waking moment in the ICU at Children’s Hospital with him. My husband’s employer was compassionate and worked with him during our son’s illness. I, however, lost my position as a Director of Marketing, which would have been a blow to our household during normal circumstances…and these were anything but normal circumstances.
My husband was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer in March 2016. Our world as we knew it will never be the same.
My husband was declared disabled immediately. He worked for a small, family owned business that had no benefits. We had no savings, 401K, etc as I had been laid off twice in 2 years. We were still recovering from that. My salary alone was not enough to pay our expenses. We never needed assistance before and were unsure how to go about asking for it.
The impact of cancer on the family are many and can be overwhelming especially if the cancer directly affects the bread winner or head of the household.
When I was diagnosed of colorectal cancer in July last year, my entire world crumbled – almost came to a standstill, like everything stopped moving. I was in shock, the level of depression deepened. I was just looking forward to celebrate my 43rd birthday last November and I wondered how on earth i could be diagnosed with cancer at this age. Why me? is just but one of the many questions that kept ringing in my head, sadly I could not find any suitable answers then and now.