If you don't already know me, I'm William, and I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease about 20 years ago now. If you don't know what CD is, it is thought to be an autoimmune disease that essentially turns your immune system against your GI tract. It can cause severe inflammation, frequent/urgent restroom visits, dehydration, electrolyte depletion, blood loss, weight loss, and more. If you can name a treatment, I've probably had it at some point. Read more here.
It has landed me in the hospital several times over the years, but the past couple of years have been particularly active.
In 2018, I had one of the worst flares I have ever had. I was in and out of the hospital several times with some visits lasting a month. I lost over 50 pounds, was being fed through an IV with TPN for a while and was hooked up to several machines, all giving me different medicines.
After early 2019, things seemed to have finally calmed down some and I continued getting routine Entyvio treatments to help keep things at bay.
It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago (2/13), that I was beginning to really exhibit symptoms of another flare and wanted to get in front of it before it could do a lot of damage. I brought myself to the emergency room and was admitted right away after it was seen that I was pretty tachy (rapid heart rate - mine was 145+).
Since this was a new hospital to me, this naturally brought in a new GI team who needed to do some initial tests and procedures to see exactly what they were dealing with. The CT they did revealed what they thought was a blockage in my colon, a large unidentifiable cyst/mass on my right kidney (currently being investigated), and gallstones. The colonoscopy, however, revealed the severity of my disease.
On the SES-CD scale, I'm a 30. The cut off for severe is 15+ and they didn't even score my entire colon. It also revealed a large mass in my transverse colon and several polyps. They sent it off for pathology reports and thus began the longest two weeks of my life.
A couple of days later, I received the news that the mass they found was in fact, colon cancer. A chest CT was done right away to see if they could find any signs of spreading to other organs. It came back clear.
Due to the severity of my CD, past dysplasia scares, and multiple biologics not working for me, it was recommended to me to get an ileostomy. An ileostomy being the removal of the entire colon, and it being replaced with an ostomy bag.
After the colon is removed, it will be sent to pathology to find what cancer stage I'm at which will determine if chemo needs to be done. The surgeon thinks I'm stage 2 or 3. Stage 2 may require chemo, stage 3 will definitely require chemo.
The recovery time for this surgery is 6-8 weeks, which doesn't even take into account the potential treatment time that may happen with chemotherapy and additional surgeries if need be.
The thing that is keeping me going is the prospect of actually not having many of the symptoms I have dealt with for 20 years and actually going into remission. It's a long road ahead, but I think I will come out stronger on the other side.
Why this Gofundme?
Your generosity will give me one less thing to worry about during my recovery. Right now, while on PTO, I'm losing out on the 10% shift differential I get for working nights - it may not sound like a lot, but it is when you depend on it.
When the surgery occurs on 3/16, I will need to transition over to FMLA and disability, which reduces what I bring home even further (I'll get up to 60% of normal pay).
This will help me take care of any medical bills that I will receive or incur later on down the line (copays, out of pocket costs - $3500), while also keeping the lights on and a roof over my head now and during my lengthy recovery time.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read this and considering helping me out.
DonationsSee top donations
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more