Tuesday, May 4, 2010
It's amazing how you can keep your head about you while everything around you spins out of control. In slow motion, you see things happening but on the outer edges it's a blur.
I made the decision to have a lumpectomy and surgery was scheduled for May 16th, 2007. Since I had no insurance, it would be an outpatient surgery. Before the surgery took place, the breast surgeon decided I needed quite a few tests, including a PET. Once all the tests results were in, the conclusion was the cancer was confined to the breast and had not traveled to other parts of my body.
Surgery was successful. I remember the surgeon saying they had got it all, the margins were clean. She had also removed some of my lymphnodes in my left arm pit, which were also clean. Good news! I went home that afternoon and was to be home for two weeks before returning to work.
Recovery was up and down. By the end of the two weeks, I had developed an infection in the incision. Doctor's orders were for me to stay home another week.
During this whole time off, I trusted by employer to honor their word. But in the first part of June when I was to be paid my commissions, I recieved a very small paycheck. About 1/4 of what I'd anticipated. After numerous phone calls, I was told since I wasn't able to handle my accounts, they gave my commissions to the other rep who had filled in during my absence. Long story short by June 20th, 2007, I was out of a job and not able to draw unemployment benefits.
I had about enough saved to survive a month or so and that was it. Then my significant other, who had obtained his CDL, suggested I get mine and we would drive a rig over the road.
I couldn't see any other options. The world was spinning out of control and this felt like solid ground. So, I earned by CDL and passed my medical. Then disaster struck again . . . my significant other had a stroke while in the rig. I get a call at 4am from him and he couldn't talk, but he managed to get the word stroke out of his mouth. The company was able to GPS locate his truck in a Louisana truck stop and get help to him.
Can it get any worse? Oh yes it can. I managed to hang on till about August before every last cent was gone. I had trained for 6 weeks over the road with a trainer, but I couldn't afford to keep my home any longer. You don't earn very much in training and I was just going further in the hole.
In the end, the breast cancer of 2007 took my job, savings, retirement, and home. I had large debts and no way to pay. I was able to keep my car, clothes and my furniture went into storage. The tornado had wiped me out.
I went to Dallas, to the terminal where my big rig was parked, and prepared to start a new chapter in my life.