Back in November of 2017, he had a sore throat and didn't think much of it. After some time passed and it felt worse, he saw a doctor who said it was an ulcer and put him on medications to treat it as such. The doctors claimed to do a biopsy and ruled out that at that time; it wasn't cancerous. When the medications weren't providing relief and in fact were only literally getting harder to swallow, he went back to the doctor where they did what they called a "deeper" biopsy and it was confirmed that it was esophageal cancer. Because of the size and the location of the tumor, this affected him being able to swallow anything from food to even water. Shortly after being diagnosed, he went into surgery for a feeding tube.
We were told in the beginning of all of this that the chemotherapy regimen they were going to use for his esophagus should also treat both that and the nodules they found on his liver. It seemed easy enough, 4 or 5 weeks of radiation and a month of chemo. But it's been anything but simple since the start.
From problems with insurance, insane amounts of miscommunication with the doctors offices and labs, etc. instead of being almost done with all of his treatments, he's in fact missed weeks of chemo because of bad communication. New problems just keep arising and what was supposed to be a relatively smooth road to recovery, has been and currently is nothing but complicated.We have recently made the decision to get a second opinion and switch to a different oncologist. Unfortunately the insurance is taking a long time to authorize the chemotherapy at this new office. And on top of everything that's going on, his insurance is dropping him in April since he's out of work right now until further notice. We are probably going to look into some kind of assistance, but our problems are also much bigger than just insurance. Of recently we were also told that the chemotherapy medications might not be able to treat the liver if there's a possibility that there's also cancer in the colon.
He'd have to have a colonoscopy done which is almost torturous at this point because his system is already so weak and flushed out. He can only feed a couple of shakes a day through a gravity bag into his feeding tube. They are supposed to operate on him when this is all over to try to remove it when it's small enough. My dad hasn't been able to eat solid food since late November. We want nothing more than him to get through this so he can enjoy eating again, and just feel better in general.
Anyone who knows my dad knows he is the hardest working person. In fact through out all of this, he just keeps talking about how he wishes he could go to work and how bad he wants to be able to just go back to work. My dad has always been the bread winner and the back bone of our family. He is the strongest man I've ever met and would give anyone the shirt off his back if they needed it.
Unfortunately due to all of the circumstances, we do not have enough income coming in to conquer all of the bills that we currently have and are going to endure. It's been a roller coaster from the start to now and we are just trying to get by and be prepared knowing that the insurance is going to drop next month.
Please excuse any grammatical errors or missing details, I am trying my hardest and putting all of my focus into writing this story out. We are all a bit frazzled and I am doing my best to project the extent of what has been going on here lately. I feel like I can't even describe it fully but I am to the best of my ability.
Any amount would seriously be so helpful. If you can't donate which is completely understandable, it would mean the world if you could share his story. I appreciate everyone who has been amazingly helpful in this time of need and everyone who will continue to be. Thank you so much for reading ❤️
- Jason Dunlop
- Dakota White
- James Calichio
- nancy roehrig
- Jessica Balthazar
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