She didn’t let this define her; she excelled at school, graduated college, and had a successful careeer as an insurance broker. She found time to fall in love, and in 1995 married her best friend. All throughout her life, she has been the best example of a kind, caring, and loving person who always put her needs after those of others. She always made time to comfort a friend, either in person, or by phone or text. A smile and a hug were ready for anyone who needed it!
In 2015, cancer returned in the form of basal cell carcinoma. They were small, and a few procedures later, all were removed. We hoped that this would be the only recurrence...but in 2016, after routine surgery, leiomyosarcoma was found. This is a rare, aggressive cancer of the smooth tissue that doesn’t have as much research as other types.
(And as if things weren’t bad enough, in September 2016 Lina’s beloved father was diagnosed with the same rare type. He lost his fight in January 2017.)
Lina’s tumour was removed in situ, and for six months we were hopeful that she was cancer free. But in August 2016, the tumour had recurred: large, aggressive, and inoperable.
Lina had to stop working, a PICC line put in, and she underwent multiple types of chemotherapy and radiation, but unfortunately, nothing worked. An oral type of chemo that prevented the tumour from progressing no longer worked as of September 2017, and we have had many difficult and painful decisions to make.
She has had a chest port put in and is ready to undergo palliative chemo once again. It is our goal that during her palliative care that she is as comfortable and pain free as possible....physically and emotionally.
And here is where we need your help. Certain drugs that are not on the Canadian drug registry are not covered by any private insurance company, nor by the Ontario Health Insurance Program. (Just one of them costs $540/month).
It’s not just drugs, either. We have reached our insurance cap on professional therapeutic massages, and insurance will not pay for essential dietary needs unless it is the only source of nutrition. The massages have proven to be quite helpful, as it makes Lina more comfortable, and many times an Ensure is the only thing she’s getting calories from. Her quality of life is much improved with these things.
Then there are all the little expenses that add up: transportation to and from treatments (taxi or gas/parking costs); finding foods that she can tolerate and enjoy; comfortable clothes that don’t press on sensitive areas.
Sam, Lina’s husband, has taken Compassionate Care Leave from work to be by her side. But this program’s benefits have run out, and the financial burdens we face are very great.
It’s never easy to ask for help...but we are asking, so that Lina’s quality of life can be as comfortable as possible, and so that Sam can continue to be there at her side.
We thank you from the the bottom of our hearts if you can help us in our time of need!
(Identity clarification: Maso Tirag is the Facebook account of Lina’s husband, Sam. Spell the name backwards. It’s a Star Wars thing...)
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