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Cancer sucks...please help - David

$14,185 of $14,500 goal

Raised by 121 people in 6 months
Created May 21, 2018
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Hi folks. My name is David Harris. I am 39 years old and I live in Bay City, Oregon. I need your help to save my ass…literally!


In April of 2018 I got some shocking news. I was diagnosed with stage 3 Anal Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Squamous Cells form the surface of the skin lining of hollow organs in our bodies, and they line the respiratory and digestive tracts. This kind of cancer is relatively common, but its occurrence in the cells of the anus is incredibly rare. So rare that some have suggested I ought to play the lottery. While the thought of winning the big one is appealing, I think the chances of being diagnosed with anal cancer are even greater, at least in my experience. In addition to my backside, the doctors have identified the spread to surrounding lymph nodes, and are concerned it may have spread to my lungs, but it is too early to tell.


The treatment for the cancer involves the use of high doses of precisely directed radiation, in combination with intense doses of chemotherapy. This treatment is recommended so as to not disturb the incredibly important sphincter muscle. The prognosis for eliminating the cancer is pretty good, but I’m hoping everyone out there will cross their fingers and their toes for me!


I can really use your help in beating this thing! First, your finger and toe crossing, praying, well wishing, and good vibe sending mean so much to me said or unsaid, so please send it in droves. Second, I need your help tackling the enormous financial burden that is all too common in facing major illness. My mounting medical bills include diagnostic testing, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and the slew of medications designed to treat side effects and enhance the effectiveness of treatment. It would also be very helpful, if I can afford it, to take advantage of natural herbal remedies and spiritual guidance, because I believe the earth contains the keys to lasting health, and a strong spirit makes for a resilient body. Finally, given my line of work, I am a paycheck to paycheck person, so I could really use assistance with the daily responsibilities of covering some rent, bills, and any lost wages so I can focus on this challenge and get back on my feet again.


So why should you save my ass? Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that, and sometimes I think I may have been dealt this for some karmic debt unpaid. But one thing I do know is I’m just like you, and we are equal. We come from the same place, are made of the same things, and will return to the same place when we go. I think we need to remember that.


So who am I and what do I do? Well I’m a person, who has known inside since I can remember, that I was destined for great purpose. I think this purpose is yet to be realized and that is why I must beat this and live long.


I’m thankful to my father for sharing nature with me, it has given me everything, and I am lucky to work on its behalf every day. I work for a non-profit that rehabilitates nature. My job is to raise money to execute projects that keep our mother earth whole, and as part of that I get to share my immense enthusiasm and passion for the natural world with people of all ages and walks of life. In my small community I am also a volunteer firefighter, an opportunity I never expected. It affords me the chance to be there for people and the things they love NOW when they need it most. Racing under the sirens, challenging myself physically, learning skills, and playing with the jaws-of-life is exciting and rewarding. I also volunteer at Bay City’s Art Center a non-profit dedicated to sharing the creative and therapeutic benefits of endless forms of artistic expression. And lastly, I spend most of my free time in the woods and on the water admiring animals, plants, and fungi, and with the woman in my life, my cat Sisquoc, my labby dog Belle, and my three chickens.


In my short time around cancer patients and the amazing people who are committed to help us persevere, I am utterly taken aback and forever inspired. Thank you, and know that I am a dedicated part of “our” team for the rest of my life. I’ll be seeing you on the front lines.


That’s it in an eggshell. If you’d like to share things we have in common I’d love to hear from you, and I’d be happy to share more details about my fight, if you wish. Also, if you can contribute and/or share this with others, please let me know who you are, and where I might be able to send you a thank you.


Sincerely,

David
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Hello Everyone,
I am so excited to inform you that my first exam to check on the progress of killing the dastardly tumor was positive!!! The Doc said that he was pleased with my progress and that things are on track. I will be going in every month or so for a few years to keep an eye on things, so it is a life long commitment to stay centered on my health. That said the good news was an incredible relief, and I want you all to know there is absolutely no way I could have gotten this far without all of your good wishes. Thank you. Moving forward please keep me in your thoughts, as I will keep you in mine. I will continue to provide updates on my recovery. I plan to reach as many of you as possible to connect soon and I look forward to it, but for now I'm going to head up the river and enjoy some fresh air. Thank you all and I love you. I look forward to chatting soon:)
Sincerely,
David

Respond to my personal email: harrisd_one@hotmail.com
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Hi Everyone,
Every time I sign into go fund me and see all of your names and generous support before my eyes I really am blown away. I'd like to explain in more detail the reasons behind the emotion because I believe it is more complex than one might guess, but I'm going to save that for another day. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am feeling better on a daily basis, and it feels great to be more active again. Tomorrow I have my first exam following treatment, and tomorrow or within the next few days I should know how successful all the radioactive particles and chemotherapy were on their way through my body (Go Team!). So, once again, now and tomorrow, I could really use your collective good wishes. So, in one big blast, say Save Dave's Ass, and it will be done! I'll keep you all posted on the news. Thank you so much for all you've done for me:)
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Hi Everyone! David here. I'm still alive and still kicking! I really wish I could have updated you all earlier on how things have been going, but I was pretty worked over the last 3 weeks. I finished my radiation and chemo treatment with no delays (due to low blood counts and such)! I am extremely excited to have it completed:) ! As I walked out the door from my last radiation treatment they reminded me that radiation therapy is one of those gifts that keeps on giving... well holy %$^$ they were serious. For the duration of the treatment I persevered with flying colors largely due to all of your well wishing I think, but when I got home after my last treatment things changed. It felt like Andre the Giant body slammed me ten times over and between slams someone moved the sun incredibly close to places most of us don't prefer to have the sun hit! So, a wicked sunburn (from radiation), bone deep aches, discomfort in the area where the tumor used to be;), among other challenges kept me bed ridden. Thanks to all of your good wishes and donations and help around the house and yard I've made it through the worst I think. I believe I've turned the corner of recovery!!! Thank you all soooo much. I desperately hope that this has all been successful so keep crossing your fingers for me please! All of your wishes really make it through to me. I will find out if the treatment has been successful later this summer once all has healed up. You are all well positioned in my heart and I can't wait to spend quality time with you soon! In the mean time, spend quality time with those around you who you love and maybe even those you don't, and last but not least reserve some quality, gentle time for loving yourself... you deserve it. The moment is now. Please check out a couple pics posted here from my adventure. The first is the removed picc line that was inserted close to my heart to deliver the chemo, and the other is me inside the radiation space ship on my last day. If you'd like to reach out feel free. It would be nice to hear from you:)
Sincerely, Dave

Respond to my personal email: harrisd_one@hotmail.com
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Hi Everyone. I'm flabbergasted and so grateful for all of the support! Thank you. All of your support has already made this part of my journey so much easier. Your collective good vibes are fueling me to keep trucking.

I'm three weeks into my chemo and radiation treatment. I do radiation treatment daily. The treatment itself is painless and takes about 10 minutes, but the effects on me add up with each treatment. Have you ever felt your bones hurt? (It's weird) At the hospital, I can't help but wonder every time I step into the radiation machine what UFO they pulled it off of. It's a trip. It really makes me proud of us humans, how we could figure out how to build a machine that harnesses the power of the universe to kill disease, with just the earth as our source. I'm so grateful to the people that zap me everyday. They are a special breed.

This past week, my white blood cell count was low as a result of the chemo and radiation. White blood cells are needed to protect against disease and infection and they can't be driven to low for fear of secondary infection. I was told treatment would have to be halted if they didn't show improvement. That is the last thing I want, I want to KEEP rolling! Fortunately, by Friday my blood cell counts had rebounded to normal levels, and so on we go! All in all I've had my ups and downs, but I'm feeling pretty good. I large part due to all of your good wishes:)

I also want to mention that I've been deeply reflective. I imagine It is probably normal for folks who face serious illness. The continuing result of this reflection is a more complete astonishment and appreciation for the joys of life than I've previously known.

Thank you for your support, and as a gift to yourself please join me in reflecting on your today. What was the simplest yet most amazing thing that you experienced? Was it the warm beads of water tapping your back in the shower, the smell of a good memory, the wonder in a child's eye??? What a miracle, huh.

Thanks everyone,
David
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$14,185 of $14,500 goal

Raised by 121 people in 6 months
Created May 21, 2018
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