During this time the stress in our family was beyond description. Some people have suggested to me that I need to write about the experience and how my views of God were changed during this time, but to be honest the pain of the experience is just still to real, and I do not know that I could find the words. Our family fell apart in the course of our son's illness. My entire life became about taking care of him and trying to stay strong for him. I had no time for anything or anyone else. I had to drive him to Albuquerque ever three weeks for eight to nine day hospital stays for his chemotherapy. Then when we came home he was so sick from the poisons they were pumping into his body that I had no time to do anything but try to take care of him.
My poor wife had to stay in town and work. She had to hold our household together financially and with the day to day stuff. Our relationship became non-existent and my wife fell apart under the strain. She had already had such a horribly hard childhood (She has PTSD from repeated sexual abuse in childhood) that when this pain came up it took her to a very dark place. She was in constant pain and blamed me (she had nobody else to blame). We almost divorced. She became angry, belligerent, and suicidal. Our other two children did not fair well either. They basically lost their parents and had to fend for themselves through the entire process. They still bear the effects of the neglect, fear, and frustration of the hell we all lived through.
Not only did we have to deal with all the other issues, but we had to deal with financial strains. One parent working, driving back and forth to a town three hours away for our son's treatment, having to buy a car to get back and forth to Albuquerque for the treatments, buying food and entertainment for our son to try and distract him as much as possible from the hell he was going through. If we bought things for our sick son we had to also buy them for our other children or they would complain and we just didn't have the energy to argue with them (plus, we felt guilty because we know they are getting a really raw deal anyway). We would also buy him whatever he wanted to eat, whenever he wanted to eat it, because he was often nauseous and only wanted certain foods. Our credit card bills became astronomical. We are still trying to recover financially.
The one and only thing we did not have to worry about through the entire ordeal was, how we were going to pay for this procedure, or how we were going to come up with the money to pay for the deductible on this? Not once were we asked for money from a single doctor, we never saw one single bill. If we had been left to cope with the added strain of having to deal with an insurance company, deductibles, getting approval for procedures, or any of those types of things I do not think we would have made it.
The reason I have a cancer free son today, the reason I have a marriage, the reason our other children have their brother and parents back is...socialized medicine; healthcare paid for by the tax dollars of the American people. So, the next time you get frustrated because the new Affordable Care Act is gonna cost you a little more money (if you are wealthy enough to afford to be taxed more), just remember that the extra money you are giving to your "tax and spend" government is saving the lives of cancer patients, saving marriages, and even saving families. Yes, ACA will cost our nation some money (although not as much as some would have you believe). Our family is hear to tell you one thing, "Its worth it."