I have finally begun to upload video from the concert onto YouTube. Right now, the following performances can be viewed: (Click the links to view.)
Come Just as You Are I-Ming Huang and Tomo Tsai
Fairest Lord Jesus Sarah Giron, I-Ming Huang, and Tomo Tsai
Un Sospiro (Liszt) Jonathan Tao, piano
Fantasie-Impromptu (Chopin) Olen Rambow, piano
Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) Olen Rambow, piano
I’m hoping to make more available soon.
I finished the last chemo! Hurray!
It’s been such a long time since everything started. But when I look back, it seems pretty short.
The last couple weeks, our church’s topic was about God’s wonderful and extravagant grace. When the pastor asked, “When was the last you ever received an extravagant gift, or gave one?” I was thinking: “Hey, you know, that’s a very easy question for me.” I’ve been receiving extravagant gifts since I was diagnosed! People’s care, love, greetings, donations. They are all extravagant gifts. And the big concert that was thrown for me. If that’s not extravagant, I don’t know what is. Everyone who has helped has been giving me extravagant gifts! Thank you!
Cathy will have her final chemotherapy treatment this Friday if everything goes as planned. She’s dreading the effects of the treatment, but she’s glad that it will soon be over.
At M. D. Anderson (at least in the Mays Clinic), they have a bell that everyone gets to ring after they’ve had their last chemo treatment. It might sound like a small thing, but it becomes a very important symbolic act to look forward to after enduring six months of chemo.
Aside from a trip to the emergency room the night before the concert, she’s been doing well. The tumors have shrunk away so that she can’t even tell that they’re there now, and she hasn’t had any serious complications. She’ll still have to have surgery to remove her lymph nodes and then six weeks of radiation. Please pray that she’ll stay hydrated and safe from infection through this last treatment.
In the meantime, Cathy has started taking classes again and is a full-time student at HCC. She drops me off every morning at work before going off to study and attend classes herself.
We are planning to put some footage from the concert on Youtube in a week or so, with a link from this blog. If you missed the concert, you’ll be able to see some of the performances. I’m working on tracking down the tape that I’m told was made.
Also, donations have continued to trickle in, and we are now up to $55,652. Thanks again to all of you who gave, not just of your money but your time and talent as well.
It was a MIRACLE! That’s all I can say about the concert on Saturday night.
Thank everybody for helping out to make the concert possible. Volunteers who directed traffic in such hot weather, worked at the booths, ran around inside to help. The beautiful music on piano, saxophone, and flute from Tomo, pastor Huang, Sarah, Jonathan, and Olen; the lovely narration from Jimmy; the beautiful and powerful dance from Ad Deum; the fun skit from the A. D. Players; and the great songs from Matt and his band. All of you are so talented and humble. It was an amazing concert!
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl that couldn’t be more normal. But God’s love and your support have made me feel that I’m special and precious. Thank you for your kindness, generosity, and love. Thank you for standing with me and going through this hard time with me together.
Here are the final numbers:
Donations received at the concert: $21,556.00
Donations received before/after/online: $27,298.00
Net income from T-shirt sales: $1034.34
Income from other sales (music, CD’s): $214.12
TOTAL AMOUNT RAISED: $50,102.46
Thanks again to everyone involved. The above amount will go a long way in relieving the financial burden of the cancer treatment.
Several people have asked that we publish the cost of the treatment. It is impossible to know for sure how much everything will cost in the end, but when you register as a patient at the Mays Clinic at M. D. Anderson, they say that the first year of treatment is likely to cost between $114,000 and $264,000. We have already been billed $85,000 for diagnostic work and chemotherapy treatments, and we have yet to go through surgery and radiation, so it looks like we’re going to fall closer to the $264,000 end of the spectrum. (We have been told that radiation will be about $60,000, and we know only that surgery will be expensive.)
It is possible that Cathy’s insurance will cover the surgery, but only if M. D. Anderson will allow the operation to be conducted as an in-patient procedure. We were told that such operations can be conducted as out-patient procedures and that her doctor has no say over whether it will be in-patient or out-patient. Apparently, they frequently discharge patients in the 23rd hour so that the operation can count as out-patient. This practice must be due to pressure from the insurance companies, which have limits on the amount of out-patient procedure expenses that they’ll cover.
The concert was wonderful. Every performance was fantastic, from the musicians of WHCC (Pastor Huang, Tomo Tsai, Sarah Giron, Jonathan Tao, Jimmy Tsai, and perhaps even myself, if I may say so) to the dancers of Ad Deum, the actors of the A. D. Players, and Matt Brouwer and his band. Laurie Hughes’s presentation on reducing cancer risks during the intermission was very well received, too. Anyone who didn’t come really missed out on a great event!
We again extend our gratitude to all of the performers, organizers, volunteers, and donors who participated in the concert. You made this a wonderful evening for Cathy and me and many others, and we are deeply indebted to you.
The total amount of donations received at the concert came to $21,544. This figure does not include online donations or gifts that were given before or after the concert. We will publish a more complete figure when it has been calculated.
For now, I need to go to bed. (It’s 3:06 a.m.)