In May 2014, my father suddenly became paralyzed as a result of a tumor that was somehow overlooked in the frequent routine bone scans and MRI's. The tumor was wrapped all the way around his T5 to T9 vertebrae. The tumor could not be completely removed since it had grown into his spinal column. Thankfully, the orthopedic surgeon was able to relieve the pressure caused by the tumor. The removal resulted in having to place stainless steel hardware to support his spine. The surgery was followed up by radiation with plans to start chemotherapy after his incision had reasonable time to heal.
In July 2014, Dad was finally able to have a port placed. Before his Medicare coverage, he was unable to afford a port placement and was forced to have his chemo treatments administered directly through the veins in his arm. Slowly, he regained the use if his legs and built his strength at home with a physical therapist. All seemed to be going well until his incision became infected. On August 15, 2014, my father was admitted to UAB Hospital with a severe infection. The infection originated from the hardware placed during the procedure to remove the tumor on his spine. The bacteria literally tunneled from the hardware creating two actual holes in his back. An emergency surgery was performed and the previous incision was reopened in effort to clean out the infection. After a few days, plans for his discharge were in the works. Then we received the upsetting news that he wouldn't be going home. His care required that he transfer to a long-term care facility for 2-3 weeks unless he could pay of pocket ($3,000+) for the needed PICC line and the very costly antibiotic necessary for treating and preventing further infections. Thankfully, the LTC facility was closer to home, but the news was still quite disheartening.
Thankfully, Dad has felt really well since March 2015 following a series of radiation treatments and chemo in February to treat a tumor found on his pelvis. The growing tumor was found early and treatments were a success!
Over the last few months, his doctors have monitored him closely with regular visits and blood work. We are so grateful that Dad has been free from treatments since March, PTL! Unfortunately, doctors became alarmed in early June when his PSA started to rise significantly which indicated that his cancer was "progressing". Doctors made plans to start a new, more aggressive chemotherapy proven to target the cancer cells in the bones and marrow directly. While waiting for Medicare approval, a routine bone scan and MRI revealed several cancerous tumors where his spine and cranium meet. This discovery put the chemo plans on hold. We are more than grateful for the early detection of these tumors due to their dangerous location. Dad is currently receiving radiation and has been approved by Medicare to receive the chemotherapy treatments necessary to successfully treat his cancer following radiation...PTL! Unfortunately, the uncovered portion of the treatments is a huge concern. The Montgomery Cancer Center has applied for 2 grants to help with the cost of the treatments, but even with Medicare and the grants, Dad will be responsible for $9,800 of the treatment cost. I am hoping to raise funds to help him with the remaining portion and to give him some peace of mind. We are confident that the Lord will provide as always. My dad is, and has been, a true testimony of faith and perseverance. He has dedicated so much to others...he truly has a servants heart. Your donations are greatly needed and appreciated. Thank you all.
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