In 2015, he finally landed a job that would help us actually start to save for our future. This elation lasted 3 days. In August of 2015, he was diagnosed with stage 3-colon cancer at the age of 48. He went thorough surgery and 12 rounds of grueling chemotherapy. Witnessing it was heart wrenching. He begged me not to bring him back for another round. I kept telling him….only 8 more…only 7 more…only 6 more…..until the last round in February of 2016. It was the finish line. He would not rest until he got the all clear from his doctors. Which he did in May of 2016.
In September of 2016, he had what his doctors assumed were kidney stones. After a few days of no movement, he was told to go to the emergency room. A scan showed that it was not a kidney stone but diverticulitis. It was an infection in the colon, which is common. Had nothing to do with the previous cancer diagnosis. However, the scan showed something else. His abdomen was full of tumors and he was suddenly stage 4, where 3 months prior he was given an all clear.
After a week in the hospital, he started chemo again. This was a different round of drugs and he lost all of his hair. Again he fought on. After 3 months of chemo, he entered the hospital in February 2017 for what turned out to be a 9-hour surgery, which involved an internal chemo treatment called HIPEC. He woke up to discover he was on a ventilator because he couldn’t breath on his own. He had a tube in his stomach and has a scar that is more than 12 inches long down the middle of his abdomen. He was in the hospital for 7 days. When he was able he worked remotely because he was so scared he would lose his job. They had only known him with cancer. I’m proud to say he recovered. And his reward? Another 6-9 months of chemo, with a high probability of having to do this surgery all….over….again.
His treatment has cost almost a million dollars from the start of this “adventure”. We have insurance, but with all insurance plans, we have a large deductibles. Which keep resetting every year. We are on year three of the clock resetting.
He is a fighter. No one can deny that. But he is tired. So, so tired. I work full time and he is so scared that eventually he won’t be able to work. Which leaves a mountain of medical bills and my one income floating everything. Luckily he has an amazing team of doctors and who are beyond caring. The only thing we don’t have are funds. You think you get ahead and the mailman of doom arrives. So it is with heavy heart we ask for help. Fighting for your life should take all of the energy you can muster. Paying for it shouldn’t.
- Karen Blackford
- Eileen Shand
- Pamela Wilkie
- Rachel Theran-Teixeira
- Janice Bloom
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