I intended to write this over a week ago, yet with coronavirus affecting so many lives it feels somewhat irresponsible for me to ask for anything. This is magnified by the fact that there are truly, many people in greater need than me in this moment. For most of my life, asking for help has been extremely difficult for me. I have been very successful to this point using an attitude and approach of independence and autonomy. However, in recent years I have become increasingly aware of the limitations of my individuality. Therefore, as part of my practice and healing, I will take this opportunity to ask, to express this need, without expecting anything. I may even express it again, and differently, in the future.
And I would be remiss if I did not share that until this point I have received an abundance of support: fresh meals, cards, rides, packages, sweet messages, financial support and so much more. However, as I prepare for the journey of the next months, I know I will be ever more reliant on you.
Here is where I am, currently. As many of you know I have lived very humbly for the last 10 years, since retiring from IBM and corporate America in 2009. Decent investments and a modest lifestyle have allowed me to live the lifestyle I have desired, focusing my energies on my internal world, meditation, relationships, sexuality, yoga and small communities. I earned very little, I kept expenses low and used savings as-needed. I lived in monasteries, in bungalows and friends’ basements along the way. I cashed in many hard in frequent flyer miles to cover those transoceanic flights.
At the start of 2020 I started looking for work – for two reasons. One, I decided I needed to include more routine and human connection into my life. And two, my savings account is steadily approaching zero as the expenses related to living in the U.S. accelerate. Working is not an option right now, for several reasons. Primarily because remaining unemployed enables me to continue use Medicaid insurance for my cancer treatment. As far as costs go, I never see a bill, but my understanding is that the sticker price for all the diagnostics and 6-cycle chemotherapy is between $300,000 – $400,000. I am grateful every single day that I am receiving this benefit from the government, and more fundamentally to YOU (everyone currently paying taxes in the US – Medicaid is funded 50/50 from state & federal funds). There are many individuals out there today making decisions about whether to pursue treatment or to feed their families. I cannot imagine the immensity of this struggle. All of this to say that I do recognize my fortunateness, my privilege and luck in this situation.
Finally, as I spoke about in my Two Hearts post last month, something I have been overlooking, despite being a warm and kind being, very capable of love and care, is in fact my inability to receive that very same love and care from others and the world. To deeply, fully, profoundly receive it. Therefore, with deep humbleness I ask for your continued support and love throughout this healing journey.
Here is how to help:
1. Meals and Groceries:
My wonderful friend Nikki has organized a meal train that has had a group of committed friends dropping of wonderful meals and snacks each day. Some people are cooking, others are ordering takeout from local restaurants. I worry that this small group may need extra support during my 5 months of treatment. If you live around Boulder and like cooking, please consider signing up! Also, it costs about $25 for a good, healthy meal to be delivered from a local restaurant, so if you live far away and still want to support me in this, please see option #5 on how to send $ to buy a meal.
This is the link to the meal train: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/z1q9eo
2. Complementary and Alternative Care:
As I move through the process of chemotherapy, it is critical that I support it with alternative healing modalities like massage, acupuncture, supplements, etc. Due to coronavirus, the oncological clinic I was visiting has closed down and I am seeking outside and much more expensive support. Throughout these months I plan to visit integrated, holistic healers and doctors, which will not be covered by insurance. As I move towards the end of my treatment in June/July, I will prepare for a series of detoxes and alternative healing to fully support and quicken my recovery.
3. Local Support (Rides and Errands):
If you live in Boulder and can support me by running errands like grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, or potentially giving me rides to the healing center for my treatments, please let me know and share your mobile # with me. My friend Mary Kathryn has organized a text-message group for exactly this purpose.
I absolutely love receiving things in the mail – cards, photographs, flowers, snacks, boxes, postcards from around the world. Anyone who sends me a wig or a hat I promise to wear it and send you some pictures.
If you have the time and inclination to send anything to me, you can trust that this will absolutely brighten my day in an instant! My address is:
410 S 38th St.
Boulder, CO 80305
5. Financial Support:
If you have the desire to support #1 or #2, or wish to send financial support for me to use on anything in my process, please consider sending your support via PayPal or Venmo. Amazon gift cards are also very helpful. If you are specifically sending money for a meal or acupuncture or anything specific, please say so in the notes and I will apply it appropriately!
Venmo App : @Keith-McGuinnes (last 4 digits 6417)
PayPal Transfer: paypal.me/KeithMcGuinnes
(Be sure to choose a friends & family transfer – otherwise Paypal deducts a 5% fee if you choose Donation or Paying for Goods or Service)
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Love, Support, Blessing, & Prayers:
Most importantly of all I ask you to continue to keep me in your thoughts, to continue sending healing energy my way. If you pray or meditate regularly, please include me in these. If you have an altar and can offer a candle or a flower to your higher power on behalf of my healing, please do.
And please continue to shower me with supportive WhatsApp, Facebook and E-mail messages. I love receiving photographs, music, poems, and anything else inspirational.
With Love and Gratitude,