Fight for Harris

 

We are the Harris family. My husband Bill was diagnosed in August 2012 with stage 3a testicular cancer. In May Bill started complaining of lower back pain. I told him to go see the chiropractor, he did a few times and it didn't really help. Then his right leg started aching and he also started feeling bloated and didn't have much of an appetite. It wasn't anything to serious so we both didn't give it to much thought. I received an acceptance letter to nursing school in May and Bill thought it would be a good idea to switch his day shift to graves as soon as school started. He wanted to switch schedules because we have 3 children and haven't ever had to put them in daycare but we were going to have to for my schooling. He thought if he was home during the day we would be able to save money. I knew this was a bad idea because I knew he wouldn't be able to watch the kids after working all night. I said no, but he wouldn't drop the idea so I told him we could pray about it. We did and I felt ok about the grave yard shift. When nursing school started it was a huge adjustment for my family. It ended up being so difficult I thought about quitting school, luckily I didn't. I was gone full-time and Bill wasn't adjusting to his new shift and he was so tired and stressed out. He wasn't acting like himself and then about two weeks into school he found a lump in his right groin. It was hard and it didn't move or hurt. I told him to make an appointment with the doctor. He did and was seen the very next day. The doctor thought it was suspicious and sent Bill for an abdomen CT scan. The results came back showing a large tumor in his abdomen and the swollen lymph in his groin. Because of this Bill was set up with a Surgeon and had his swollen lymph node removed. It was sent to pathology and they thought it was questionable so it was then sent to the Mayo Clinic. The results came back as a pure seminoma testicular cancer. We then went to the Urologist. She found some tumors in his left testicle. He had to have another surgery and had a radical orchiectomy performed. The testicle and the tumor were sent to pathology and the results came back as cancer. The doctor wanted to know why he hadn't ever had his testicle looked at in the past. The weird thing is he had. We will have been married 13 years this coming May and since the first year we have been married his testicle has felt lumpy and it has hurt him. Every year I would say go get that checked out and he would. No one ever said anything about it and I didn't push the subject because his blood work from his physical always came back normal. The urologist told us that Bill should be dead but he has a scar on his abdomen that saved his life. When he was in first grade he had a bad appendectomy performed and was left with a really bad scar. The doctor said the surgery disrupted his normal lymph pattern and instead of the cancer spreading up into his lungs and brain it went to the abdomen and right side of his body and into his pelvis. That is why his back, leg and abdomen started hurting him; the cancer was eating his bone. The tumor in his abdomen was about 5X8 in size. After this we went to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in SLC and saw 2 different oncologists. They did testing and scans on Bill and everything came back conclusive as stage 3a. I still wasn't satisfied and made Bill get 2 more second opinions. We went to ORMAC and saw an oncologist there and also McKay Dee. All the second opinions were the same, stage 3a testicular cancer. This was such a low blow and so out of nowhere. I didn't send my husband to the doctor thinking he had cancer, I thought maybe he was coming down with a bad virus or something. It was really hard because I was scared for him and my kids and myself. But I was also grateful that no other doctor had caught his condition before then because I knew that I wouldn't have my children if they had. I also was sad because I wasn't done having children and I knew that this would put an end to that. We did give a sperm donation and had it frozen just in case, although I knew it was a long shot to use it. We did the donation after the orchiectomy and the doctor told us it was a bad sample. He didn't end up having very many swimming sperm left and we could try in the future but that it would be around $18,000. I cried on the way home from that appointment. Bill said to me Chelsie if we are meant to have another child God will bless us. I was stubborn and angry and didn't say anything. His surgeries and the sperm donation all happened in September and he was scheduled to start chemo in October. I missed my period in Oct and took a test and was pregnant. I cried because I was so happy. I spent a lot of time on my knees asking God to give me the opportunity to have another child when Bill got better and life went back to normal. But things never work out how you plan them and God had different plans and gave us a baby. I told Bill and he said that was good but I could tell he was stressed because it added more pressure on him. Bill started his treatments on Oct 22, 2012. He was given 3 cycles to do of BEP, which stands for Bleomycin, Etoposide and Cisplatin. His schedule was for 9 weeks, but the cycles were in 3 week increments. He went M-F from 9-2:30 and sat in a chair and had those drugs put in him and then the next two Tuesdays he would have a treatment. Then the M-F would start over followed by the next two Tuesdays and so on until the 9 weeks were up. That first day was a really hard day for us but I soon found out that all the other days would be 10 times as hard as the first one. Bill lost about 45 pounds and he was so sick. It was really hard to watch him go through that. It was really hard to manage going to nursing school, taking care of the kids and him. Luckily for our us we have really wonderful family, neighbors, friends and people we go to church with. We have been so blessed with help. We have had meals brought to us and the lawn mowed, house cleaned, kids watched. You name it; it has been done for us. We were also a sub for Santa family for Christmas which was so wonderful. My brother even did a fundraiser and made bracelets and sold them. We are so grateful for such kindness that has been shown to our family. Bill has been off work since his surgeries started in Sept. His last chemo treatment was on Dec 18, 2012. He just started feeling a little better and started going back to work on light duty. He is a correctional officer. This last week we met with the oncologists from McKay and the Huntsman Cancer Institute and they all agree he should do another round of chemo. So he starts again tomorrow, Jan 21, 2013. I am sad about this; I was just starting to feel like I got my husband back. We have struggled a lot but have been blessed so much. It is so crazy how much medical care costs. Cancer is expensive and Bill has been off work since Sept. We could use a little help. I hope our story touches your heart and just know that we are so grateful for all the kindness that has been shown to our family. We will use donations to pay for our medical bills and catch up on our personal expenses since Bill has been off work for a few months. Also we will be blessed with a new baby boy in June and I will finish with my LPN in May and start my RN year in August, so hopefully our life will be getting back to normal by then.

  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 101 mos
  • Chuck & Carole Edwards 
    • $100 
    • 101 mos
  • Mike Mo 
    • $10 
    • 101 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 101 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 101 mos
See all

Organizer

Chelsie Harris 
Organizer
Syracuse, UT
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    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