Son, Father, Brother, Fiancé & Friend
This is his story:
March 10th, 2014: After having trouble seeing while driving, reading and comprehending written text, it was alarming enough to seek medical attention. When the results of a CT scan on his brain revealed a one and a half inch mass, he was transported to ETMC Tyler to undergo further testing, and a craniotomy was performed to remove part of the mass.
A follow up with the oncologist shortly after, revealed the (suspected) unfortunate and life changing diagnosis of Brain Lymphoma; however, in order to ensure the possible diagnosis was accurate, Bree was referred to MD Anderson to seek out multiple opinions.
This was the best thing that could’ve happened to him……
Two weeks, 2 appointments and numerous tests later, MD Anderson doctors believe that Bree DOES NOT, in fact, have cancer. Unfortunately, there always seems to be a “but,” and the roller coaster continues…..
After approximately 7 weeks of testing, countless trips to MD Anderson, and numerous consultations with the best physicians in the field, the diagnosis is still a mystery. He’s had 1 brain biopsy, 1 biopsy on his back, at least 7 MRI’s, 1 pet scan, blood work at every appointment, a 1 week hospital stay, several viles of blood sent to Mayo Clinic, 3 days of intravenous steroids and a lumbar puncture. And as if that’s not enough, after 3 months of being poked, prodded, tested, and re-tested, they still do not know what is causing the lesions on his brain.
Irregularities in his inflammatory processes are the only problems the tests have revealed. They continue to run tests to check for inflammatory/auto-immune deficiencies& diseases. After treating him with steroids and drugs with severe side effects, he has seen significant deterioration in his quality of life over the last few weeks.
Bree has lost a lot of strength on his left side due to where one of the lesions lies on his brain stem. He isn’t able to open or close his left hand. Lifting his son is totally out of the question, and it’s a tremendous task for him just to get ready in the mornings. He has to drag his left leg around and use all the weight and strength on his right side just to put one foot in front of the other. After his most recent hospital stay, he has now been put on a 4 month regimen of daily chemo-therapy, and due to his diminishing motor functions, he has been given a leg brace and cane to assist with walking.
Throughout all the speculations, ups and downs that this roller coaster ride has taken him on, Bree remains calm, laughs at himself when he rolls out of bed and takes 10 minutes to get up, or even when he falls off of the couch and nobody is around to help him. He’s been experiencing these issues for the last 3 weeks and hasn’t been able to work for over 3 months. He has lost all peripheral vision on his right side since surgery, which could’ve been because of surgery or could be from the swelling/lesion in the occipital lobe. He still has tremendous difficulty reading things, describing it (in his words),“ that it’s as if both of his eyes are battling each other to focus on something.”
Unfortunately, adding to the stress of this 3 month coaster ride is the financial strain this is putting on Bree and his family. Hospital stays, scans, tests, gas for the trek to and from MD Anderson, and the inability to work, have created a surmountable amount of bills and expenses that continue to rise each day. We want Bree’s focus to be on fighting this disease (whatever it is) and being a loving father to Cooper and fiancé to Randi. Finances shouldn’t be at the forefront of his thoughts, and we hope, by establishing this site, that these donations can help achieve that.
Any monetary donations will help Bree with his current financial obligations and be put towards past, present, and future tests and appointments to come. As one can imagine, with the insurmountable cost of medical bills that continue to rise, the goal of $50,000 is a mere starting point. We will raise the goal once this amount has been met.
The roller coaster of life has its ups and its downs, but life happens and amidst all the craziness, you have to learn how to live. We all love Bree and want this roller coaster to pull safely back into the station, and Bree to step off the train healthy and move on to the next chapter in his life…with his son, fiancé, family, and friends right by his side every step of the way.
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- Chris Harding
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