On December 23rd, 2013, I received final confirmation that my worst fears had been realized. I, Christian H. Olsen Jr., 33 years old, was diagnosed with an extremely rare and fatal form of cancer in both my chest and abdomen regions - Mesothelioma. Nearly all of those affected with this extremely rare and fatal cancer have it in their chest OR abdomen, not both. I have no idea where I was exposed to asbestos (as this is the only known cause for Mesothelioma) or perhaps it was caused by some unknown source. Most are able to pinpoint direct exposure.
My hope and ultimate goal is to stick around this earth long enough for a cure to be found.
With that said, potentially curative surgery is the only thing on my mind with a 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter at home, kids that I would like to see grow up. The surgery is extremely invasive and complicated. I plan to undergo two major procedures followed by a harsh chemotherapy regimen. The surgery, recovery and all needed support is extremely expensive and I am without adequate insurance coverage for out of state treatment caused by my inability to hold a full time job due to my poor medical condition.
PLEASE help spread the word! If you are still reading, I hope you will consider supporting me even if you are not in a position to donate.
Thank you all so much!
Christian Olsen & Family
Below is a brief timeline and details related to the progression of my condition over the past 24 months:
*100 to 500 Americans a year are diagnosed with Mesothelioma and 95% are between the ages of 60 and 80.
*Dec. 2011- I had a very bad pain in my lower pelvic area, on my left side(just below where my belt sits), CT scan revealed what the doctor called a "stomach infection" I was given antibiotics and sent on my way. The pain did go away and never returned.
*Mar. 2012- Had two bites of food and felt like I ate Thanksgiving Dinner for 10 by myself... The Doctor sent me for an endoscopy and it revealed a bleeding ulcer at the bottom of my esophagus. It was tested for H pylori and came back negative. I was given meds to shrink it and sent on my way.
*Oct. 23,2012- I woke up with a really bad stabbing pain just under my right ribcage, I also had that same pain on the back of my chest. I went to work but was coughing so badly that I left. I then went to walk in clinic and they did an x-ray, I was told to go to the hospital immediately because they could not see the bottom half of my right lung. The doctors did a bedside tap, but could only get 2 of the 3 liters of fluid out. Then 2 days later they took me into the OR and did a camera assisted drainage. The fluid was tested but came back negative. After 8 days in the hospital, 5 of which I had a drain drain tube in my side, I was sent home on antibiotics and told I had some form of pneumonia.
*Jan. 2013- Started to get the same pain under my ribcage went back to doctor, had another CT scan and was asked if I fell down or hit my right side on something...Nope not at all! They told me there were small pockets of fluid around my right lung and it looked like trauma to the area. NOT POSSIBLE. They did a second surgery to remove the small pockets and sent me home on antibiotics. Also, the hospital was nice enough to give me C-Diff not once but twice!
*Mar. 2013- Started to feel really full after super small meals, went to doctor and he sent me for what he called an up and down(endoscopy /colonoscopy). Before the procedure was done, the doctor sent me to do a chest x-ray just to make sure there wasn't more fluid in my chest. I was told there was a small amount of fluid which was expected due to previous surgeries. I was told the ulcer shrunk and wasn't an issue and my colon looked fine. Once again, I was sent on my way.
*Oct.2013- Started to get pain once again under my ribcage but only when I yawned.. Went back to doctor that did previous x-ray, because the doctor whom had done the two surgeries prior was not in office. They did an x-ray and said there was the same amount of fluid in there as was in march 2013. I was sent for a CT scan and after it was done I asked the lab to send it to my surgeon that had performed the previous surgeries. Three days later my surgeon called me in and said there was now an enlarged lymph node and he wanted to drain the fluid and take a biopsy of the lymph node.
*Nov.6,2013- Back into the OR.. Woke up to my mother, father and wife crying because they were told it was malignant but they didn't know what type yet. Waited two weeks to be told it was inconclusive. I was sent to another hospital that never received the slides from the previous hospital, needless to say the appointment was useless. I then called another hospital, waited a week for an appointment and was told I needed a laparoscopic biopsy.
*Dec.17,2013- Back in the OR.. Woke up and was told I had small spots all over my abdomen but it had not spread to my intestines and IF it was cancer the spots could be removed. Also was told the 2-3cm mass they thought they saw on CT scans was not found.
*Dec 23,2013- Final pathology report.. CONFIRMED Mesothelioma Epithelioid cell type, not only my chest but in my abdomen as well.