Chris' Battle Against Cancer

*********11/20/17 - UPDATE - So, for those who don't already know, on the day after the benefit, 10/22/17, I was taken by my kids to the emergency room at Stone Oak Methodist because I woke up very confused and was not making any sense.  I was admitted with severe dehydration and abnormal lab values which quickly turned into kidnay failure.  The kidney failure then led to respiratory failure.  I was put into a medically induced coma and placed on a ventilator.  I was weaned off the ventilator after several days, but did not wake up from the coma.  Unfortunately, I was not improving and the boys were told they needed to prepare to let me go.  Then suddenly, after 11 days in the ICU, I opened my eyes and started talking again.  3 days later, the boys brought me home, although I was VERY weak and unable to walk or do any of the things we all take for granted.  The boys, (and Dante), learned how to transfer me in and out of the bed and I prepared for going to an inpatient rehab facility in the hope of regaining at least some of my independence again.  Fast forward 2 1/2 weeks and here I am typing this update.  I am FAR from "good as new", but I am able to walk short distances and pretty much take care of myself again.  I am even driving again.  I am still in PT, and will be starting speech therapy soon to see if they can fix the muscles on the right side of my face that "droop" and don't work right.  Already it has been a long and exhausting road and the road ahead of me is even longer.  None of the doctors are too sure what happened (at least not that they can tell me), and none can offer me any guarantees it won't happen again.  Both boys stopped working while all this was happening, and Brian has now lost his job in part because of it.  We are all worn out, but THRILLED to have this time together now since 3 weeks ago, it didn't look like we'd even have the chance to say "I love you" and "good-bye".  I believe that it was the power of all of the love, prayers and support I got from all of you that brought me back from the edge and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.  It has been amazing and humbling to discover how many people truly care about me.  Every single day now is a gift from all of you.

My mother has recently been dignosed with pancreatic cancer. The outcome is uncertain but, many of the intangibles linked to the possibility of losing a mother are not.

Between the years 2000 to 2007, a study of 15,037 American pancreatic cancer patients occured in order to establish an average of mortality rates and treatment costs, among other things. Patients with metastatic disease (my mother) beared an average treatment cost of $135,000. Although my mom has insurance, her portion of that cost would still be nearly $30,000.  Pancreatic cancer is also the third leading cause of death among all  types of cancer.

Being the person that she is, she has beens very successfully making a cognizant effort to not only keep a smile on her face, but on those around her as well. Regardless, she needs our help. As her oldest son, I know that nothing would give her more comfort than to be able to look into a foreseeable future, in which, her family is safe and comfortable with, or without her, and that we won't be left with staggering medical bills. I also know that nothing would give me, her family, and her friends more comfort than to know that we could nip this disease at the heals, given the opportunity. 
She has been a nurse for 29 years and a damn good one at that. She's also ruthlessly stubborn and way too smart for her own good. I actually pray for every physician and nurse that has treated, is treating, and ever will treat her. I often think that they might need a hug and a pat on the back more than she does at times. She gained the ability to help  the lives of so many people through the opportunites and knowledge procured via a lifetime of bartending, nursing and charity work. It's what so many of us have been lucky enough to witness when she was in street clothes instead of scrubs that really makes her incredible. My little brother and I grew up in a home where new faces of friends in need of shelter were the norm.  We were raised by our single mother to accept anyone and everyone without a thought of judgement.  She has always been a helping hand and an open heart. She's loving, fun, considerate, tough, and everything else that makes her the special woman that she is. The one thing that she will never be is alone. She deserves every ounce of help in any way, shape, and form possible. Anything and everything is deeply appreciated.

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Organizer and beneficiary

Chris Butts 
Universal City, TX
Chris Garrett 
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