Earning money is great. It’s amazing to be back at work and have money in my wallet. I hadn’t earned money from work in over two years. I was always used to having my own money and being able to use it for whatever I wanted. I travelled the world, went on several holidays a year, bought whatever clothes I wanted… oh the good old days! Even after Ali arrived into our lives, we were still able to spend money on good times. And then cancer came into our lives and swallowed up our finances. Being sick is expensive business! Of course it would all have been free had I availed of what the HSE had to offer but I almost certainly wouldn’t be here right now. I made the decision to go down the route of expensive treatments including cannabis oil, herbal remedies, organic juicing, thousands of euros worth of supplements, 3-4 weekly therapies each costing €50+, replacing toxic products in my house, buying expensive equipment… and that was all before the decision to go to Istanbul. I’ve been going for a year now. It started off as 10 days on, 10 days off for three months. Each of those 10 day trips cost €10,500 and flights and accommodation were on top of that. After those three months, my frequency dropped to 3 days every two weeks. The cost almost halved. But it was still up on €11000+ per month. The frequency has dropped again to three days every three weeks costing €6000 each visit. From July on, the frequency will be three days every four weeks, costing €6000/month. As you know, we fundraised €120,000 which covered until February this year. Since then, we’ve spent a further €30,000. The costs are ongoing and as lovely as it is to be earning my own money again, it’s tough to see every penny being put into Istanbul. The money is going towards keeping me alive but it’s not going towards enjoying life. It’s a catch 22.
So where am I going with this? Oh God she’s not going to ask us for money again is she? Yes and no… bear with me… I have been so lucky to have benefited from months of fundraising last year. It was incredible to see my community come together to support me and my family through the hardest time in our lives. My local and wider community saved my life. That is not an exaggeration. Beyond grateful doesn’t even come close, it’s very hard to put into words how that makes you feel. I am grateful for that every day. As wonderful as it was, it’s hard to be the beneficiary all the time. It’s hard to see your name and face plastered everywhere online, on T-shirts and on posters. It’s hard to be a charity case. I don’t feel like I am anymore, I’m out of the woods as it were and I’m back in action contributing to society, paying my taxes (well not yet, any accountants out there want to help me with that one?) and getting on with life again. So get to the point already Mairead will you!! I have set up a Patreon page where if you want to, you can support me financially in return for the content I create on my blog and on social media. I am providing something in return for the money, it doesn’t feel like charity. This money will help pay for medical costs. What is Patreon you ask? The name comes from long ago when people used to become patrons of the arts. It’s a modern way of doing that, of supporting artists or creators you like. It is a platform where you can become a patron of mine and you can pledge to support me with an amount of your choice. If you enjoy reading my posts, if you look forward to new blogs, if you have told me you enjoy my writing, that I should write a book or that you think I’m an inspiration, if you have shared my posts with someone with cancer, if you have learned anything from them or from any of the content I share on my blog, Facebook or Instagram pages, please consider pledging to become a patron of mine. You can pledge as much or as little as you would like. Every pledge will help us pay towards continuing medical treatment in Istanbul.
The dream would be to make enough money on Patreon to pay for the medical expenses so that we can enjoy our lives. Life is short as I know too well. Spending every penny we have on treatment and not being able to have money to enjoy our lives is a bit soul destroying. This is not a charity plea. This is me being paid for creating content, for writing, researching and sharing what I’ve learned along the way with all of you. I put a a lot of time and effort into what I do. If you think that is worth supporting, I would be thrilled if you would become my patron. I will of course, continue to share my journey and my findings with you all through my social media, you will not have to pay to read my posts. But it would make life a bit easier for me and my family if you would consider supporting us. You can opt out at any time. As it stands, Istanbul is a necessary expense and this week, I’ll be committing to at least three months more of treatment totaling €18,000. And after that, we’ll see how things are. My doctors want me to be 2 years in the clear before we even consider stopping or reducing treatment to a minimum. I’ll be one year in the clear come September. So I have a long way to go. But sure it’s keeping me alive so even though I want to complain about it and stop travelling over there all the time, I won’t. I know how lucky I am to be here right now and I’m not willing to take any risks by making rash decisions. So that is it for now, please support me, I want to be able to stay alive and to live my life too. I want us to make memories as a family, it’s more important to me now than ever. I have my life back now. I am healthy and able. The recent set back I had with an infection in my leg showed me how vulnerable I am and my body gives me constant reminders about that. I got another reminder this week when my hair started falling out again. And it had just come back and I bragged about my lovely Sinead O’Connor look on Facebook. I’ve been a whole year without hair now and it will take 6 months to properly grow again. Damn you chemo! Back to the glam turban life though, could be worse.
To check out my Patreon page, click here. Please consider pledging to support me in return for the content I create and share.