Dear readers, please read this article below and support my very dear friend Sunni and her husband Scott. They both need literally everything in their power to survive. It would be wonderful if you donate. Click on the Sunni’s Go Fund Me page.
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Well my very dear friends, what has happened is unthinkable. The unthinkable never happens when you’re watching. It waits until you’re so busy doing what you’re doing that you never see it coming, and then there it is, right in your face.
We weren’t ready, when after the third trip to the ER on June 6 to finally get Scott admitted to getting his hernia repaired, and realizing that continually rubbing dirt on it and manning up to the pain wasn’t really his best plan of action, and something like surgery really needed to be done, so he could get back out there and start the new job he had his eye on, and be the provider he has always been.
What happened instead, after the doctor was going to turn us away this third time, was, I told the doctor that I wasn’t taking Scott home until he diagnosed him. After the Ultrasound, the doctor didn’t find a hernia, but Scott had spent three solid weeks in bed in pain, and I demanded an answer. I pressured him to do further diagnostics, so a cat scan was done, and stage IV inoperable colorectal cancer was found. It had also traveled to the lungs, lymph and liver.
After the wind was officially removed from our sails, and as we looked at each other in disbelief, they found Scott a room in the big VA hospital here in Vegas, and I somehow found my way home while that video played over and over in my head. Our lives changed forever with those unfortunate words. Scott will never get back up, get dressed and go to work, at least not in this life. The 3 – 6-month prognosis, with the 5% chance of up to a year with chemo if it works, is pretty damn sobering.
One of the most significant challenges with this new normal, is I have to become the breadwinner, which hasn’t been my role in our relationship. I made the fun money, my Pilates workshop money, and my money was mine, and his money was ours and paid the bills.
My clientele is only in the beginning stages of building here in Las Vegas, and I have nowhere near the income needed to support our monthly bills, let alone my business expenses, food, etc. What I have done is apply for Social Security for both of us as we magically each turned 62 in the last couple of months. I have applied for Social Services, I am working on a loan modification for my current house and am short of selling my California house. Unfortunately, there is NO equity in my home. I have made deals with the electric company, credit card companies, and requested disability benefits for Scott from both Social Security and the VA. I will be doing a bankruptcy, and getting a less expensive car, but I want to stay in our new house. So we are making it roommate ready.
My time these days is spent working as much as Scott’s needs allow me to, but he needs me here to help him with basic things since he is too weak and in too much pain 24/7 to do much on his own. It happened so damned fast. Two months ago he was complaining of his hernia, but he was still looking the gym-built guy who let nothing get in his way of doing whatever was needed, whenever it was necessary, for us and others. He was a cardiac critical nurse for over 33 years, he did roofing as a side job and built lots of my Pilates apparatus. He was my Superman. Here we are just a few weeks later, and he is thin, weak, and doing his best to stay on top of the pain. My Social Security is $679 a month, and Scott’s allotment of $1684 before they figure out the disability portion is not going to arrive in my bank account until late August. Those are just the facts.
What is needed is money to help me finance our bills while I figure out how to bring in more money. I plan on continuing teaching and providing workshops with great presenters; it’s just that the time available for me to teach is diminished now because of the care that Scott needs. My first thought was to request $10 from everyone on my Going More Joe FB group because I have paid it forward there and have put in so much time and energy, that I felt it was a fair trade. So many people suggested that I let myself be supported by the community during this time, that I am just leaving it to everyone to decide their level of support. I am grateful and humbled, and I guess my lesson is to learn to receive. Why is it SO hard?
The bills I’m facing are a mortgage, utilities, car and medical insurance, food, kibble and dog treats which are about $4,000 give or take per month. Scott also requests someone who can cook, lol.
I am not sure what I thought would happen when Laura took the bull by the horns and urged me to let her set this up. It has now been drilled into my stubborn head that it is okay to ask for help. It doesn’t come easily, and if I’m honest, I’m humbled by the open generosity, the giant hearts and the reaffirmation that people really do care about others. I just paid the June mortgage yesterday, and tomorrow I can pay July. We are more grateful than there are words for…to have this kind of help from people I know and love and those I have never met personally gives me a feeling I can’t describe. We want you all to know just how much we appreciate you. Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts ♥️.
Note from Laura Cotler: I set the Go-Fund-Me campaign goal at $20,000 to help Sunni through 5 months of Scott’s illness. There are also unforeseeable uncovered-by-insurance medical costs. This money won’t cover the cost of a cook, lol, but it will keep a roof over their heads, provide for basic needs, allow Sunni time to nurse Scott, and help give her time to sort things out.
I wanted to help do this fundraiser for Sunni because she has given me and the greater Pilates community so much through Going More Joe. When I approached Sunni and asked her if I could make her a Go Fund Me Page, her first reaction was “no way,” but many of us persisted because we feel so much love and gratiditude toward her. I was in such a bad place physically and emotionally when I first happened on GMJ, and Sunni returned me to life. I want to give back and show my love and support as she goes through this very hard time in her life. So, if Sunni has touched your life in some way, please consider giving what you feel you can.
“You never know what light you might spark in others just through your kindness and your example.” ~Jennifer Rockwood
Here is the link to Sunni’s Go-Fund-Me campaign: