August 1st, 2014

Brain Cancer Killed This Blog

When I started ElectricVenom.com back in 2003, my son was a toddler and my husband was an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army who was gone a lot. A lot. Then we relocated to a rural area in Hawaii — which isn’t nearly as pleasant as you’d think — and he was gone even more. There were times when two, sometimes three weeks would pass and I hadn’t spoken with anyone over the age of three.

I’ve often said this blog saved my life back then, because it put me in contact with people all over the world and gave me a reason to think. Now, I’m hoping this blog can help save my husband’s life, or at least make what’s left of it a little bit better.

You see, about a month after my last post — on July 12, 2012 to be specific — we learned that my husband has brain cancer. At the time, his tumor was considered slow-growing and following surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and he was expected to have a very good shot at living a normal lifespan.

Earlier this week, we learned that his tumors (he has two now) have progressed to glioblastoma, which has a median survival rate 14 or so months. Since he’d had an MRI in May which showed the tumors being in check, the growth between then and his July MRI indicates the clock started ticking in the past month or two.

The Venomous Hubby

Frankly, we’re terrified. We’re also in need of your help. Although Mike has been working throughout his various treatments, he is no longer able to do so. His cognitive and speech skills are rapidly declining, and he is physically exhausted from nearly 18 straight months of daily chemotherapy.

Although his boss did everything he could to keep Mike on, his condition is such that he just can’t keep working. As I type this, Mike’s resignation letter is sitting on in his office, awaiting his signature.

But Mike is worried about retiring. It’s not just that he’s a workaholic, though he is (and that fact is responsible for about 70% of this blog’s content, come to think of it). He’s also afraid of what’s going to happen to our family financially once he’s no longer bringing home a paycheck.

See, Social Security Disability will take a few months to kick in, as will his Federal medical retirement pay. Until then, we’re broke. Flat. Broke. (Having a daughter who only just graduated college and a now-teenaged son who’s in braces and band will do that to a family.)

So we’re raising funds to help Mike complete his Bucket List in the time he has remaining, and to hopefully cover some of the gap between his last day of work and his first day of disability payments.

If you can, please contribute. It doesn’t have to be big — even $3 would be great! And, if you can’t contribute, then please know as we do that prayer is the most valuable form of currency there is. We could sure use some.

•To read more of Mike’s story, or to contribute to his fundraiser, please visit his GoFundMe.com campaign here.

•To follow Mike’s progress, please “Like” his Facebook page: Mike Berry’s Brain Cancer Battle.

Thank you,
Not so “Venomous” anymore Kate

 
 
 
 


June 10th, 2012

Kids These Days

Like everyone else in the country, we’ve been watching our pennies a lot more closely than ever before. And, like children everywhere, the Big-Eyed Boy just does not understand that nothing in this world is truly free — not food, running water, or electricity.

Here we are, only two weeks into summer vacation, and I swear I’ve spent most of my days going around the house turning off lights in rooms that he hasn’t been in for hours, telling him that he does NOT need the TV going in the background if he’s busy playing Quake on the computer, and shutting off water faucets left running because he forgot he’d turned them on to wash his hands.

So today when I found him sitting on the deck with the door to the kitchen wide open, I just about lost it.

Me: “We can’t afford to air condition the whole outdoors. Who do you think Dad is, Nelson Rockefeller?”

Big-Eyed Boy: “Who?”

Me: “Warren Buffet?”

BEB: “Who???”

Me: “Bill Gates?”

BEB: “WHO????”

Me (sighing): “Mark Zuckerberg?”

BEB: “Of course you’re not him. He’s old but not your old kinda OLD.”

Somehow, I managed to resist the urge to lock that child out of my house.