I have never in my life had to or even thought about asking strangers for money. I’m not even sure that it is something that actually happens, but don’t know where or what else to do.
I am 60 year old widow. I have COPD and lung cancer. I do not want sympathy, I only mention this as I cannot work and want people to know why. I have worked my whole life and raised a family on two incomes, like most of America. My husband was my world. He worked hard every day and was an inspiration to so many people in our town. He was loved by all who knew him. He was taken from me 2 years ago in a flash. We had a wonderful day as a family. We had dinner and were settling in for the evening, like every other evening. He went to change his shirt, came back and stated he didn’t feel right, something was wrong. I knew just by his face this was urgent. I called 911, he was loaded onto the stretcher, put in the ambulance and I never spoke to him again. To this day, I am devastating by his death. A pulmonary embolism was the cause. So quick, so shocking. My whole world crashed. That happened in 2019, and my life has plummeted since then. I began having a lot of trouble breathing, could not fight off colds and coughs. I figured it was just my body responding to the trauma. I began missing more and more days of work. The doctors said it was bronchitis. By fall of 2019, I had been hospitalized twice and taken by ambulance once for the first time in my life. By the time COVID came, I had 2 more trips by ambulance. I could not breathe. Like I was drowning and could not get out of the water. The longer it went on the more panicked I became and that exacerbated the problem. Finally, after being admitted a third time, on the day the COVID lock down began, I was given a pulmonologist. I was diagnosed with mid stage COPD and began treatment. At this time I was told a lump showed in my lung and needed further observing. After some lonely, scary and painful tests, I was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer. I am so lucky to have caught it so early. I have finished radiology and the tumor has shrunk and does not appear to be changing. I will have my final 3 month CT scan next week and hopefully will only need to have another in 6 months. Fortunately, I have decent health insurance or I would be destitute. I add all of these details because it helps if you understand how I got here and what has happened to me in 2 short years.
After my 2nd hospitalization, I continued to work limited hours as a waitress, as I always had. I knew it was quickly coming to an end as I couldn’t do half of what I was able to before. Too out of breath, heavy perspiring for trying to breathe. It was noticeable to others and embarrassing to me. As fate would have it, 2 months later, March of 2020, I worked my last day. Two days later all restaurants were closed indefinitely due to the pandemic. Within 1 year of my husband’s passing, these are the losses I incurred. I lost my best friend, best part of me, my health, my job,my health insurance, my social life and my income. I just couldn’t believe the spiral my life was on. In June of 2020 I received my cancer diagnosis. After I cried and freaked out, I picked myself up, and took charge of my treatment. I did all I could to remain positive, but I was still forever going to deal with COPD. I can no longer do anything without running out of breath. I cannot dress, take showers go to the store, run, work in my yard, play with my granddaughter on her swinger, nothing. I still get dressed, shower,the necessary things that I must do, but that is with great effort. I have very little free lung space, so breathing is a luxury. I now must rely on my adult children to help me with everything I did, every day, just 2 short years ago. It is absolutely horrible.
Ten years ago my husband and I began renting his dream house. After his passing, and my diagnosis, I knew I could no longer keep up with the upkeep of the property. I also knew I just needed some time to figure out my next step in life. 2 weeks ago, my landlord sent me notice that she wants us to leave. She wants to sell the property. I can’t take care of it properly, so I can’t buy it. It needs work that I cannot afford. So, after 10 years, I have 60 days to find new living arrangements. This is complicated, but if I were to rent again, it would deplete all of my resources quickly and could only be temporary. I have never been a day late with rent, in 10 years. I have done all of the maintenance on the property, including upgrades to appliances, etc. We have paid our landlord $150,000.00 in rent. I can’t do that anymore.
I have begun the process of buying a home. One that will accommodate my family as I need their assistance. I am in desperate, desperate need of anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000.00. I realize this is a ludicrous request but I felt that as a very last resort I would reach out. On top of everything else that has happened, I am losing my housing at a time when home buying is out of control. Homes are listed and sold within hours and often for way more than the asking price. I cannot compete with that.
I am running out of time and options. I can only bite the bullet and ask for help at this point. Any help and even consideration will be so appreciated. I can only say thank you for listening and reading my story.