Kick Cancer's Booty (Literally)
On Tuesday February 17th 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer. This was a shock to me and my family.
Now we are gearing up for radiation, chemo, surgery and then finally 6 more months of chemo. I have health insurance but my deductable is $5,000 with an additional $6,000 out of pocket expense (the 20% I will be responsible for after I meet my deductible). I will have 6 weeks of radiation everyday at Cancer Care Center of South Texas along with chemo pills. Other expenses will be adding up quickly with the drive from my work to the center each day, 5 days a week for 28 treatments total.
Hoping all goes well after treatments and surgery, there is still the possibility that I may require a colostomy bag after the surgery, another added expense.
As a single mom, I already have a tight budget with little to no wiggle room, no savings account and no credit cards to help with these costs.
I only have a limited amount of sick and vacation days at work. I can't afford to go without pay and I know that towards the end of radiation I will be feeling pretty terrible. I will also be in the hospital for a week for surgery and an additional two weeks at home to fully recover.
In order to cover the treatments, surgery, gas, colostomy bags and other expenses that will come about due to this cancer, I have set a goal of $20,000 that I hope will help alleviate the stress of this financial burden I will soon find myself in. Your donation is going to save my life and help to ensure that I live long enough to see my children's children.
As many of you know I have been fighting Stage 4 Rectal Cancer for the past four years. It has not been an easy fight and cancer has taken so much from me along the way.
1st in May of 2015 it took my ability to use the restroom like a normal person. I had to have my rectum completely removed and a colostomy bag put into do the job. Luckily for me the colostomy bag has been one of the easiest transitions that I had to make and I am extremely grateful for that.
After that the cancer decided to go after my lungs. I had two pieces of my lungs on each side. Then later the cancer began to grow on two rib bones on my back on the right side. I had to have a chest wall mass removed and pieces of my 5th and 6th rib in May of 2017. This surgery would leave me in chronic debilitating pain nerve pain that is borderline unmanageable. I would find myself in the hospital multiple times just for pain management.
Treatment would progress with us going through a variety of chemo and options to try to keep the cancer growth at bay. One treatment caused me to lose all of the skin from the bottom of my feet and I was having to use a walker to get around. The same treatment did also help me to lose some weight which has helped my body rebound a little quicker from things.
In June of this year I went for a CT scan to check the status of the chemo treatments and immediately got a phone call that my spine had a fracture. I did not know this had even happened! I met with a surgeon and he scheduled the surgery for a few weeks later so I would be off of chemo. As the week progressed I began to have to use the walker more and eventually started to lose the ability to walk. My surgeon was having a baby and I ended up having one of the top surgeons in the country operate on what had now become a compressed spine. I was so worried that I had waited too long to go to the hospital. My surgeon met me and told me that he would not operate unless I had been off chemo for at least 3 full weeks, when I looked at my calendar it was exactly 3 weeks to the date. He operated the next day and I was able to go home using a walker. I could do steps, walk at a moderate pace, and get myself around. I did not drive just because of all of the pain meds I was taking. Staying at University Hospital also helped me to find a new palliative care doctor that finally made some head way in my pain management and I was finally able to sleep through the night after over a year not sleeping!!!
Things seemed to be going well. Then towards the end of July I started physical therapy and in a few days I started to lose the ability to walk again. By August 1st I was in the hospital having sedated MRI’s. I have loss the ability to walk and to feel things from the waist down. The good news is there was no new cancer growth or issues with the hardware in the spine. There is inflammation, but there is nothing they can see to operate on. The team caring for me made the decision to get me into the Reeves Rehabilitation at University. The goal is to get me home in a wheelchair and to be as self sufficient as I can be. Since August 7th I have been training nonstop with physical therapist and occupational therapist to learn to help myself as much as I can.
This is a huge life change for myself and my family. It is difficult and just a lot for all of us to take on. We need prayers, thoughts, and now we are in desperate need of financial help.
I had Medicaid for my health insurance, but once I started getting paid my disability benefits I lost Medicaid as my insurance. I have to wait another year and half before I can have Medicare for insurance. Currently I am using Carelink through University which just helps to discount my services. Everything I need now is out of pocket.
This is where I need everyone’s help. Now that cancer has taken my legs I need an electric wheelchair just to live and have a decent quality of life. A chair is going to run us around $3,000. We also need a ramp for the home and other home modifications.
Other needs are my colostomy bags which run $200 out of pocket, all my medications are out pocket, not to mention adult diapers, self catheter kits, bed rails, shower chair, out patient therapy, a chair lift for the car, etc.
Please share this update via email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, just all of your social media outlets.
I am a single mom fighting to get back home so I can spend time with my wonderful sons and family.
Any amount you can donate will be put to great use. Anytime you share my story you are helping to get the word out for me.
Please contact me if you know of any resources that can also help us. We are meeting with Project Mend this week which may be able to give us a manual chair to get home. But in the long run a manual chair isn’t going to be what I need to help with pressure sores occurring.
If you know of a decent retailer for electric chairs please let me know.
Please pray, share, donate, and keep my us in your thoughts during this very sad and trying time in our lives.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
I have good days and bad days. But I'm still fighting this. The next drug is a pill that can do some liver damage so I'll have blood work more often. This new drug will either work or it won't. So I have a 50/50 shot.
I found out that I won't be paid my disability until August which I think is unfair. I still need help from all of you to get by. Hopefully soon I can get things under control, but right now I need help.
Again your donation is not only helping me, but it is helping my kiddos too.
You can also donate through paypal. Gofundme takes 9% of all my donations. Paypal donations have no fees. Contact me for PayPal information.
Again thank you for your continued support and consideration .
Please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers.
I had hoped to have my disability approved by now so I wouldn’t have to keep coming back to all of you to ask for help. I did manage to get Carelink and as of March 1st Medicaid to cover my treatments. This is a huge blessing and I have been able to continue chemo.
I thought I would have enough money to get me through March, but unfortunately I do not. I have multiple bills coming up, my savings is depleted, and I really don’t have anyone to ask for help other than all of you who have been so kind to donate in the past.
I have been without a job for over a month now and considering how this past month went health wise, I am not going to be able to go back to work.
You would truly be blessing me and my sons if you could donate to our campaign. Any amount is very much appreciated.
Here is a list of our most pressing needs:
CPS Electric Bill: $175
Geico Car Insurance: $120
Phone Bill: $30.00
Medical Debts I pay each month: $100
Personal Debts: $290
Nathan’s tuition $320 due by the 5th of March.
I had to put Nathan into Pre K at St. Monica’s. At the time I did not qualify for the state funded pre-K. Nathan is a fall baby so he was not old enough to start kindergarten last year. I wanted to give him a head start, so I picked a pre-k that was close to home, that his brothers also went to, and that even myself went to.
Their tuition of $320 is quite reasonably, especially since they switched to full day classes this January. Nathan only has 3 months left of Pre-K and I know he wants to graduate with his friends. I don’t want to take these last months of school from him because I am having to wait on disability to kick in.
Thank you for all of the ways that you support myself and my boys. Whether it is a donation or a simple text message telling me to hang in there. All of you have been crucial in helping me to fight this awful disease.
Today I get my CT results and find out if my current treatment is working or not. If it is not I will have to switch to a new drug that is in pill form. I will also need funds to pay for those pills also.
Please pray that my CT scan does not show an progress in this disease. With all of the pain I have been enduring I started to think maybe the cancer was back at my surgical site. I really hope not.
Thank you once again for being by my side in this fight.
Much love to you all,
I thought I could be Super Woman, but it is time to hang up my cape. Instead I get to wrap a scarf around my soon to be bald head. If I could get $1,000 in donations a month I think I could make it. You are investing in keeping me alive. Thank you to those of you who still read these updates. The current battle is all the tumors in my lungs. They can only use chemo right now to try to stop it. If the chemo I am on now is not helping I will switch to a different drug that will either work or do absolutely nothing. They did a test on my cancer and how it mutates and of course I have one of the mutations that is very hard to kill. I am still fighting. I just need all of you to help me to win the battle.
Much love to all of you.