Granny’s Surgery Journey

I have debated on what and how much to share about this but have decided I will share my facts and experience just for a record.

On Monday June 10th, my mother had an elective mastectomy of her left breast.  This was also the day that Kendall left for camp for a week.

After discussion, praying and planning. I had taken the entire day off on Monday. The rest of the week, I worked and then headed straight to the hospital to spend some time with Mom and to give my sister-in-law and brother a chance to go home. We had discussed beforehand that no one would be spending the night as mom is normally alone at night. Surgery went well but, in the recovery room, she went into A-fib.  The result was a cardioversion that occurred on Thursday.  I don’t function well on little sleep and each evening up to Wednesday was long and I got home much later than anticipated.  Most nights I talked a few minutes to Matt, Lily and Zach before heading to bed.

Mom was up and walking Thursday evening!

She was able to come home on Friday!

5 Things Friday

  1. I have 8 days before my summer break. 4 days both next week and the week after. Lily graduates’ high school in one week and both Kendall and Zach finish next Friday.
  2. Zach has dental work scheduled for next Wednesday and I have taken the whole day off for it. I am really not looking forward to it!
  3. Lily’s car messed up on Monday and we have been sharing a car all week. Hopefully her will be fixed this weekend.
  4. We started swim team practice this week which is fun and exciting for everyone. But we are all most excited for Braxton to swim!
  5. We have eaten our first squash from the garden!  It was small but delicious!  I am hoping for many many more!

Sunday Catch Up

The last three weeks have been hard. A constant struggle to keep a good mental attitude along with the additional stress of financial responsibilities have made things easier to leave unsaid until I could process.

I am hopeful that we are through most of the unknown and can now work on getting the financial part taken care of.  This is hopefully one of a couple of post in the next week to catch up with where we are at.  This post will focus on the medical side of things along with financial cost.

Matt had surgery on Valentine’s Day to remove a known basil cell cancer spot from his cheek. We knew that there was a strong possibility that future surgeries may be necessary.  Unfortunately, it was confirmed on February 16th that they did not get all of the cancer. We returned on March 22nd and were given four options.  After much thought and pray, Matt decided to undergo a second surgery. This surgery came with greater risk including nerve damage and facial weakness, along with the same knowledge that the surgeon may not be able to remove all the cancer cells. This second surgery occurred on March 8th.  My God is the great physician with the results a complete success, all the cancer has been removed AND no weakness or nerve damage!  This surgery is not the very end as Matt has another spot on his shoulder that will need to be removed this year. The surgery has also highlighted high blood pressure that will also likely require medical intervention this year as well. We have been discussing both of these needs and will attempt to address in a timely manner, but we also are trying to be good stewards of our money as well.

Matt does not have medical insurance.  His current employer does not offer it.  We have checked into having him on my insurance, but the rate is $400 a month.  He also checked into purchasing through the marketplace, but those rates are between $600 and $900 a month.  We knew going into both surgeries that we would be financially responsible.   Each surgery cost around $4200 with additional expenses we currently have medical bills at around $9500.   Obviously, these are not items that I had on my mind with our 2023 budget.

We also have been surprised by a $400 tax/ tag bill for the Tahoe. Although it is small it also adds to my financial stress.

So what does this mean financially for us.

We did not want to cancel our Disney Trip nor our annual beach trip.  I am determined to keep enjoying the kids over the next 2-6 years before we become empty nesters!  We have decided to increase our debt load over the next year.  This was not an easy decision and one that some people will not agree with however we decided and will continue to work toward our end goals.

One of the steps that I am taking is to continue to eat out of our freezers and pantry, I am also going to become even more diligent on not wasting food.  We currently have not spent any of our grocery budget for the month, instead used credit card points to purchase needed items. Although the pantry challenge is official over, my goal is to limit the budget as much as possible until June. More details of what we are eating will be given in my Monday Menu plan.

I had already decided not to purchase any additional seeds or plant starts this year. This is now even more important than ever.  I am planning to do a post this week with a garden update including current plans and dreams. A chicken update should be included with this as well.

We are re-evaluating all expenses and seeing where that we can reduce our spending.  I am not sure that we are prepared to make some of those sacrifices and if we decided to keep things the same we will continue to work at paying down debt and enjoying life at the same time.

Hope you will hang around for the journey!