In October after many failed treatments, he went in to see a lung specialist. Testing revealed that he emphysema. Further tests then revealed that it was stage four lung cancer. Barry was a very active man and a biking enthusiast. This news hit him, Marnie, his wife, and the rest of the family like a ton of bricks. Although he was a former smoker, he had not smoked in over 40 years. We suspect that his former job working in an old milk factory did not help matters.
A treatment plan of radiation therapy and chemotherapy was recommended. Radiation therapy was declined by Barry and a mild chemotherapy regime was begun. Since then we've been up and down the rollercoaster that is cancer treatment. Chemo therapy, pallative care, nausea, trips to the ER, hospital visits all leading down a road that we didn't want to travel.
The chemotherapy did not affect Barry positively. While the tumors in his lymph nodes and his lungs shrunk after the first course of treatment, the lesions in his bones and his tumors on his hips were not affected by the drugs. Unfortunately, Barry's digestive track was affected. A former good eater became a person who had food aversions. And slowly, as his food choices became slimer and slimer, so did Barry's waistline.
A second more aggresive chemotherapy was started in April of 2017. Being more aggressive, it affected Barry's digestive system even more. His quality of life was declining.
In May of 2017, the difficult decision to stop cancer treatment was made and hospice care began. Here we are, almost a year later and we are watching Barry go through in-home hospice care. When it began, he was partially mobile with the assistance of a walker. As time went on, he became weaker and Barry is now in need of care and supervision 24 hours a day. Marnie, bless her soul, has been strong and attempting to care for him at home.
With the help of friends and family, it has been a touch and go situation. We have not gotten enough help from friends and family to allow Marnie to continue working her regular hours and still have someone around to take care of Barry. The reality of the situation is that 24 hour care is taking its toll on her and on Barry.
After a few falls at home, Barry was told to be bedridden. He is currently in a respite care center but doctors are recommending that he go into a hospice center. That way he and Marnie will have better support and care. Unfortunately, their medical plans being what they are will not cover much for Barry's on going care. In fact, as of right now, doctors will be releasing Barry from the center Monday, if there isn't a financial agreement set up.
It is essential that Barry be allowed to get care out of the home. The family is anxious to keep him there and our best bet to do that is to have a successful campaing. The funds raised for this campaign will allow Barry, Marnie and the rest of the family to have peace of mind as Barry gets the best care possible while living out the remainder of his days.