Today marks one year since my last chemo infusion. My life is richer from that suffering. I can sense Jesus more clearly now than I ever could have without it. Pray with me for anyone suffering the gift and trial of cancer today.
Also, my wife is heroic- more on this later.
There’s only three days left of selling The Cancer Year online. Please grab a copy or ten if you wouldn’t mind helping me cover some big med bills.
As of today, 462 people have made a generous offer of kindness in supporting my wife and I, post-cancer treatment. We don’t deserve their support, but they’ve given it. We didn’t earn it from them; we don’t know most of them; and they are mostly anonymous to us. Yet, 462 people have given in increments of $8 to bolster us in our time of need. I’m blown away by this. It is certainly not the value of the EP we are selling that has drawn people in. In an age when a song can be downloaded for $.99, hundreds of people have chosen to spend far too much per song because they are kind and caring enough to put our needs to task.
If you’re one of these people, THANK YOU.
Very soon we’ll begin shipping the EPs. I hope that they make a beautiful thank you gift for your financial gift to us. For those of you that have bought several of them, I can’t even begin to repay your kindness.
And this is how Cancer has been good to me: I’ve never been put in a position where an outpouring of support has been my only hope for recovery. I would never wish chemotherapy on my worst enemy, but I would never take that experience back. It was an opportunity to see love from my wife and friends and family that I could never have otherwise seen. And now, it has become an opportunity for us to have a conversation. A conversation that goes something like this,
Me: “I need help.”
You: “I will help you.”
Me: “Thank you.”
Quite frankly, that conversation looks miserable to me. Who wants to admit their need publicly? Yet, I can’t tell you what joy and gratitude I feel for your help. And so, The Cancer Year EP is nothing but a premeditated thank you note. In my eyes, it is not a “product” but the bi-product of my gratitude and of my wife’s. It is our creative solution to say, “Thank you, your gift is beautiful to us. We hope this music is beautiful to you.”
I’ve been so grateful and humbled by your support of Audrey and I during this time of trial. There’s been many prayers offered for us, many of you have purchased our benefit EP, and some of you even bought/ made us food during chemo. You’ve been very good to us. Thank you.
In regards to the EP, we raced out of the gate; selling about 26% of our goal in 4 days. Since then, it has been a bit of a crawl. As time has gone on, several of you have asked some specific questions about the EP and our medical debt. Because of this, I decided to post a transparency report. This will help you see where we stand financially and where your money is going.
To start, I have several outstanding bills from various places: Desert Banner Hospital, Vanderbilt Hospital, Pathology Specialists of AZ and a couple more. We payed what we could out of pocket and then ran dry. So some of our bills are now handled by debt collectors. Some organizations, like Vanderbilt, have been kind enough to understand our situation and work with us.
To further the difficulty, some of these bills were submitted to our insurance company somewhat incorrectly by Vanderbilt. At least $11,200 was submitted as out-of-network, for example. We are working to rectify this, but there’s no guarantee. This drastically increases our liability. (As I type this, that eleven-thousand dollars is being reprocessed, but I don’t yet know where that will end up landing.)
All-in-all, between the debt we have incurred, and our projected costs for the next year, we will likely be in the range of -$12,000-15,000.
In regard to the EP. I am licensed to sell 2,000 copies, physically only, and keep 100% of the profit. Selling all of these would put us at $16,000 less about $1,600 hard costs and some miscellaneous costs like paypal fees and running the online store. Total ~$13,500.
Since releasing the EP, we’ve had 5,381 unique visitors to the site and 427 orders. This means that 7.9% of the people who visit the site make a purchase. This just over 2x the average conversion rate for an online retail store. But also lower than one might expect for a benefit. (164 of those sales came on the first day; 12 came yesterday.) Thankfully, we’ve had many multiple EP orders and have sold, to date, 609 copies.
So this is the picture I’m painting. We’ve had amazing support. I’m so grateful for it. But the work isn’t over. I’m less than 1/3 of the way to my goal. So I need to keep hustling. I hope you’ll be patient with me. I’ve tried to stay relatively quiet and not “market” the album (more on that next time). But I’ll need to talk about it a bit more in order reach our goal.
The way I see it, if you’ve purchased or end up purchasing the EP, you are not buying a product. You are giving our family a very real financial gift. In return, we’re saying thank you by sending you a little present. We worked hard on this little EP and it’s full of beautiful music. I just hope that it blesses you half as much as I am blessed to have your support.
Thank you once again.
If you have any questions regarding the EP, you can hit me up on twitter: @williampriceiii or email: TheCancerYear@gmail.com.
As you may know, I was diagnosed with Cancer in September of last year. What you may not know is that, while I was insured, a rather heavy debt was laid on my little family as we went through doctors appointments, diagnostics, treatments, scans, special foods and prescriptions/supplements. (Even tomorrow, I have a scan that will cost us several hundred dollars.)
Early in the process, I knew that this financial burden was coming, but I was unsure of how to tackle it. It is a number too large for us to handle alone, but not large enough, I felt, to just go asking for money. So I had an idea.
What if I asked my community of creatives to come together and make something new? What if we offered you a little beauty in return for your generosity? So my wife and I set out to do that. With HUGE HUGE help from Producer Nathan Thomas, and a cast of artists, writers and players we made a little 4 track EP with 3 original songs and one rarity from Matt Maher. And with the help of photographer Christina Lafferty, I was able to whip some pretty packaging and a nice little webstore for you to purchase the EP. And with the help of Tina Essmaker, I wrote a little explanation of what led us to this point and the meaning behind the EP being called The Cancer Year.
The EP is in physical format only. For now, this is the only place you can get the 3 original songs. It is $8 and will be shipped out to you as soon as they are manufactured (no later than July 1st).
If you would, please run over to the store and grab a copy or 10. There’s a limit to how many I have licensed to sell. So they may run out fast. (I hope!) Once they’re gone, they’re gone. We’re not going to profit off of this project beyond offsetting the cost of medical bills for treatment and recovery.
Thank you so much for reading this and even considering helping us out. You’re prayers, care and concern were an incredible service to me through treatment. I don’t take you for granted. Thank you.
William Price III
Tomorrow is the last day that I will go in for Chemotherapy. I can’t tell you what a relief this is- emotionally, physically, practically. I’m very grateful to be finishing.
With cancer, the word “cured” is not quickly used. My current status is “no evidence of disease.” It’s really great news. The next step from here will be PET/CT Scans every several months for the next 5 years (assuming the lymphoma doesn’t return.) I’ll also be taking some other health initiatives. I feel the need to detox from the chemo, so I’ll be going on a wellness diet that resembles Paleo or Candida diets. I’m in the worst shape of my life, so I’ll be joining a Crossfit gym with the goal of being in the best shape of my life by May of 2013. Also, I’ll be doing some testing to check in on any immune or thyroid disorders I may have that might have been associated with the Lymphoma developing.
I have been insured through this process, but there has still be a significant cost to all the testing and treatments I have and will be undergoing. This past winter, some wonderful friends of my got together and made a little EP that we’ll be selling soon to offset that cost. It has songs from my wife Audrey Assad, Matt Maher, Erin Gauvin and A Wildwood (Marshall Altman and Audrey.) I’m so excited to finish putting the art together on this and put it up for sale. Please keep your eye out for it and grab a copy or 10. It will really help my little family in our recovery from this trying period of life.
And, rest assured, there will be a colossal party in a few weeks to celebrate.
Lastly, to all of you who have been praying, who have offered practical help, and who have been present to me and my wife through all of this. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If I’ve learned anything through this time, it’s this: No matter what, even if you can do nothing, never run from someone else’s suffering. Offer your service; offer yourself. It means the world.
Today marks the start of Week 2 of chemotherapy. I only go in for treatments every other Monday- making this an off day.
However, I wanted to let you know that the first week was remarkably easy. I am grateful for such a merciful start. I was a little tired, headachy, my stomach was a bit off. But that was the extent of it.
So thank you for your prayers. I’m grateful.
Also, one thing must be said. My wife is the champion of chemotherapy. She’s awesome. Really. I’m a lucky one.
PS My hair will likely fall out soon. I’d love to get some head shots done before then. Any photogs have an hour this week?
Chemo starts today. Prayers appreciated.
Chemotherapy starts Monday. 12-5pm. I’ll be doing a regimen of ABVD— which is standard in America for Hodgkin’s.
I’m a little apprehensive about it. It’s odd to go to a hospital to have toxins injected into your body. But mostly, I’m ready to go. Ready to start. Ready to be done. I’ve been coughing a lot lately, and I’m ready to leave that behind.
I’m hat shopping too. I don’t really like hats. I’m having a hard time finding something nice, warm and comfortable that I don’t loath on my noggin. So, I’m taking recommendations. I’m considering a beard wig too. Is that weird?
Amendment (Nov 27, 2011): Due to the amount of weirded out responses to this post, I feel the need to clarify that the beard wig joke is a joke. I’ve had a beard for 4.9 of the last 5 years of my life. So, you know, just joking.