We set up GoFundMe to help with bills, expenses, and everyday needs while Jim is battling Cancer. Read his story from Day 1 up to now. Every dollar helps!
I was admitted to the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI on Friday, January 28 after undergoing some routine blood work when abnormalities arose. I spent the weekend in ICU and underwent four blood transfusions to bring my red blood cell count back above dangerous levels.
On Tuesday, February 1, 2011 I was diagnosed with Cold Agglutinin Disease. Cold Agglutinin is a form of Hemolytic Anemia. The immediate cause of Hemolytic Anemia is the early destruction of red blood cells. At this point they needed to determine what was causing the Cold Agglutinin disease, which could be from an extrinsic or intrinsic cause. Tests showed that it was not caused by a virus (extrinsic) but from a tumor. I was then diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Definition of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A cancer that starts in the immune system. Any of a large group of cancers of lymphocytes (white blood cells). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever, and weight loss. There are many different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
I spent one month in the hospital in a very special room that had to be kept at 90 degrees to keep my body and blood temperature warm. The Cold Agglutinin Disease is activated by cold, therefore the blood/fluids and all food/liquids had to be taken or administered warm. I started a regimen of chemotherapy, warmed through a series of tubes.
In July of 2011 I received the test results that I was in remission. The treatments made me weak and unable to work at my previous pace. But I was overwhelmed with the fact that I was in the clear and could start to rebuild my life. I fought back to regain my strength and return to my work as the head chef at a restaurant in Burlington, WI.
In August of this year, after 8 years in business, my mom and I closed the restaurant that we built from the ground up. I have always supported myself and quickly found another job to support myself and my wife.
One year and three months after my initial diagnosis, a PET scan revealed a small growth that put me into the category of a "recurring" cancer patient. I start treatment again on Monday, October 29, 2012.
Although I felt shocked, angry, sad, and scared, upon hearing the news, I have something now that I didn't have before - experience. I have lived through cancer once. I know a lot about what to expect and hope for.
I never thought I would be in a situation where I would need the help of others to be able to take care of myself and my family for our basic needs. The treatments will keep me from working full-time and making enough money to keep my home. My wife works more than one job to help make ends meet. Knowing that I have a long road again to recovery I am asking for your help. My goal is to raise $ 5,000. Any amount you are willing to pay forward to help me with this battle is greatly appreciated.
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