Help Dee Dee Bak Get Cancer Free

Help Dee Dee Bak Get Cancer Free
 
I wanted to create this Go Fund Me for my mom Dee Dee Bak who’s been battling stage 3 Ovarian Cancer.  She’s an amazing 57yr old mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt and friend who is completely selfless.  The kind of person who literally gives all that she has to help anyone in need. She’s had a really rough year and has already racked up over 20K in ongoing medical bills between hospital visits and treatment. Watching her go through this is difficult enough but watching her panic over medical bills and everything that is not financially being taken care (like her 7yr old Cockapoo who has a mass in his rectum that we financially can’t even get biopsied) is heartbreaking. All I want is for her to not base her medical decisions on finances or think for a moment that she is letting anyone down.  
 
Everything started around May 2018, Mom started having digestive issues that steadily progressed. At first it was just reflux, stomach pain, constipation and the inability to eat certain foods. She tried an all bland diet, puree foods and then liquids but despite her best efforts her condition worsened and she got to the point where she couldn’t hold down anything.
 
Over the course of three months she had lost 15lbs and was unable to drive or think clearly. She’d been to numerous doctors, specialists and emergency room visits but they weren’t giving answers as fast as her condition worsened.  On August 20thafter a week of spending her nights throwing and not even being able to hold down water, my dad took her to the Emergency room.  They gave her IV fluids and told her to follow up with the primary and keep her scheduled pre clearance appointments for her endoscopy the GI had ordered. 
 
On August 22ndat her clearance echocardiogram she received a call from her primary that her bloodwork indicated dangerously low potassium levels and she needed to go straight to the Hospital. This was the first time she was admitted into ICU where she spent 4 nights.
 
The following week Mom received her endoscopy which indicated a hiatal hernia and a blockage of duodenum that was preventing food from passing the stomach.  A CT scan was done on September 18thand exploratory laparoscopy was scheduled for Monday September 25th.
 
While in Pre-Op on September 25ththe surgeon said she had a full blockage of her stomach pushing from the outside and they needed to change the laparoscopy to a full bypass. She would be in the hospital 5-7 days and may require an Jejunostomy (J-Tube).  At this point she had gone through months of being ill and just wanted to stop throwing up.
 
Two hours into her procedure the surgeon emerged and told us when he opened her up she was full of Cancer that had spread everywhere from the ovaries, stomach to her small intestine. He did the bypass, placed a J-Tube into her small intestine to give her nutrition and a Nasogastric tube (NG tube) through her nose into her stomach to remove stomach content.  Both were meant to be a temporary necessity for recovery and should be removed in a few days before she is discharged.

One week turned into two then three; tests/procedure were being rescheduled and all of the physicians involved were not coordinating. The NG-tube was still unable to be removed allowing her to go home due to her overproduction of bile.  After multiple endoscopies, CT scans, unstable potassium levels, continuous IV fluids, issues with the J-tube feeding and a port placement we still had no changes to her condition or concrete plan of action.  The only idea they could come up with was an additional surgery for a G-tube placement that would allow her to removed her own stomach content with the belief that they could then remove the NG-tube from her nose allowing her to go home.  This procedure would also require an additional 4-6 weeks of recovery before she could start chemo. I wanted her transferred but for Mom, the idea of starting over was not an option because she really thought this was all she needed to go home.  Considering her diagnosis and how long she had already been in the hospital when the surgeon postponed her surgery on October 18th after her nervously waiting all day for the procedure I had had enough!
 
In desperation I tweeted to a two physicians and Cleveland Clinic Florida for help. By the grace of God Cleveland Clinic responded and helped me though the process of getting a transfer. First step was to stop the procedure the following morning even though consent had already been signed. I didn’t care; I was ready for the shit show if it meant keeping my mom safe. Friday Oct. 19thas the surgical team tried to intimidate us and suggested I speak to the surgeon over the phone in the OR hoping it would change my mind. In that conversation he not only revealed for the first time that the Cancer had also spread to her lungs, but also stated that I needed to understand the difference between mortality and quality of life. At that point there was no way in hell I was going to allow her to stay there.
 
I worked with the social worker and Cleveland Clinic all day to get the transfer approved. At was initially denied because a physician at the current hospital said her only issue was that she needed a G-tube placed as an outpatient procedure which did not require a hospital admission. We worked on an appeal all afternoon and by 11:45PM she was approved for transfer; we just had to wait for an open bed but she’d be moved by Monday the latest.
 
Saturday Oct 20thnot trusting the current hospitals intentions; dad stayed with mom all day until I can get there at 4PM. When I arrived, Mom had gone the entire day without IV Fluids or J-Tube feedings. She was sitting there eating a regular hospital tray of food. Mind you she is now 30 lbs. lighter and food is still not able to pass her stomach; anything she ingests is being sucked right back out the NG-tube through her nose. When I asked my parents why she didn’t at least have IV fluids they said the floor physician wanted to see how she would do without fluids for 24 hours. I was FURIOUS; they were trying to through off her potassium so she would crash and not be able to transfer. I reached out to Cleveland to let them know what was going on, set up my laptop on recording, and at midnight I frantically rushed to Walmart to pick up Pedialyte. Before I walked into the store Mom called and said the nurse told her the ambulance was on the way for transport. By 2:30 AM October 21stwe were in the ambulance on our way to Cleveland.
 
From that moment on everything changed.  Within two weeks they had her stomach decompressed, removed the NG-Tube, done additional tests and by Nov. 2ndshe was being discharged with her follow-up appointments in place.
 
Nov. 14thwas her first appointment with the Gynecologist who specialized in Ovarian Cancer. He was upset with how much time had passed since her initial diagnosis, all she’d been through and still hadn’t officially been seen by an Oncologist. He immediately got her an appointment with the Oncology department and an hour later we were meeting with them and Mom had her first chemo scheduled the very next day.
 
Between November 15thand April 5thshe had 5 Chemotherapy treatments, 6 Emergency room visits, 3 hospital admissions, various tests, scans, follow-up appointments, had the J-Tube removed and began to tolerate liquids by mouth. May 3rd– May 8thshe underwent major surgery; a Hysterectomy removing her Uterus, Cervix, Ovaries, Fallopian Tubes, Omentum, any remaining tumors and permanently close the Enterocutaneous fistula from the J-Tube. May 23rd– present she’s had an additional 4 Chemotherapy treatments, follow-up appointments, scans etc.
 
We’ve been told that this is a lifelong diagnosis and it’s treated like a chronic disease due to the rate of recurrence. While we impatiently wait for results and take things day by day we are just trying to stay positive. Any contribution or prayers you can make will be greatly appreciated.
 
Sincerely,
Kristy Bak
P.S. If you’ve taken the time to read through this novel thank you & please repost.

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Donations

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  • James Zapasnik 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Casey Cahill 
    • $35 
    • 11 mos
  • Patricia Burnett 
    • $182 
    • 12 mos
  • Beverly Jones 
    • $150 
    • 12 mos
  • Gina Kelly  
    • $35 
    • 12 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kristy Bak 
Organizer
Parkland, FL
Diana Bak 
Beneficiary
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