Dear friends and family, I'm guessing by now that most of you know that I am in the process of undergoing treatment for a recurrence of the ovarian cancer I was treated for in 2012. It was an incredible blessing to be free of this disease for almost 2 1/2 years. Unfortunately, not only is ovarian cancer a silent killer, but it has a reoccurrance rate of 70% (OvarianCancer.org, National Cancer National Alliance).
On January 4 of this year, I underwent major surgery. At that time, the surgeon discovered more cancer than had been revealed on my pre-op PET scan. This resulted in the surgery being much more complicated and invasive than anticipated. My initial stay was nearly one month, with Rick living the hotel life the entire time (as my oncologist and treating hospital are in Thousand Oaks, three hours south of where we live). I am thankful I am home recovering with the assistance of Rick (an amazing caregiver) and various medical personnel who are making home visits.
Initially, my treatment consisted of five rounds of chemotherapy, each of which required hospitalization in Thousand Oaks. To date, we have incurred expenses for over 50 days of travel. We have learned how to travel (and eat!) as economically as possible, yet still the bills mount. Last week my oncologist changed my chemo regimin, and I should be finished by June 21 (three more trips at 1-2 nights a pop).
Due to the severity of my condition, I have prayerfully elected to be a part of a clinical trial that allows me to be treated via a vaccine that is made from my own tumors that were removed during my surgery. This treatment is not a certainty, however, as there are a few clinical variables that will have to be met before I am selected as a candidate (i.e. clear PET scan, cancer markers within normal range).
If I end up being a candidate for the clinical trial, it will require that Rick and I fly to the Cayman Islands on four different occasions later this year. Our out-of-pocket expenses for the clinical component alone would be $15,000 - that does not include additional expenses like lodging, meals, flights, and a rental car. Let me assure you, these will not be vacations (we will only be there long enough to get my vacination and return home).
While I have been blessed to have health insurance that is covering the majority of my medical costs, we are already incurring high expenses to cover out-of-pocket costs. Some of the in-home care I am having to undergo is not covered by my insurance.
If you know me, you know that I am leaning hard into Jesus during this season of my life. It is humbling for me to request donations! I know that my healing comes from Him, as do all provisions, including finances. Whether or not you are able to donate money, your prayers for Rick and I are invaluable. We are aware you have expenses of your own, and that there are a lot of requests for donations that you are compelled to participate in. Please don't feel obligated.
Finally, if you happen to have access to a timeshare, or know someone who does, who might be willing to donate any time to us for our expected stays in the Cayman Islands, would you send me a private message? It's a longshot, but we thought we would give that a try.