Over the last 8 months, my mother experienced pain in the mid to lower region of her back that progressed to the point she could not get out of bed most days. This was, apparently, the first symptom of the cancer. Over the next couple of weeks we went to numerous doctors, who ran a slew of tests, yet could not pin point the cause. By January 2017, aside from her chronic back pain, my mother started to experience debilitating nausea and vomiting which led to her, ultimately, losing 75 pounds over the next 5 months. The woman I knew to be plush, and full of life, had become frail and sickly. Yet, no doctor could give us an answer to the burning question of what so, drastically, changed my mothers health. After numerous emergency room visits, and many doctors, one doctor decided to run a cat scan after pressing on my mothers stomach and seeing her cringe from pain. Later that week we got her results. A large mass was found in her Pancreas, and more masses were found in the liver and lymph nodes as well as the adrenal glands. That same day we were sent to oncology. As we sat in the oncologists office, we knew the news was not good. When she uttered the words, stage 4 pancreatic cancer with metastasis to multiple areas, our hearts dropped. The oncologist said she does not anticipate that she can cure my mothers cancer. My mother was given 6 months to a year depending on whether she decided to do chemo or not and was told to get her affairs in order.
We refuse to accept this prognosis and have every intention of fighting back. We found a clinic, Cancer Treatment Center of America, that is willing to take my mother and offer her more options for treatment. Although any stage 4 cancer is difficult to treat, it does not mean there is no hope whatsoever as the first oncologist suggested. Because my mother will be receiveing an integration of conventional and alternative treatment her insurance will not cover all of the costs. Additionally, we are required to travel out of our home state since the clinics are not based in New York. The funds we raise will cover the costs of her treatments, and the expense of traveling with her to, what will be, our new location. The doctors at the CTCA offer a more hopeful outlook as they have had success in the past with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.
Anyone who has dealt with cancer of any sort, or had a loved one face it, knows it can create a financial burden. Any donation, small or large would be greatly appreciated. My mother is fighting for her life, and for her 7 children. She has not given up, but we can't do this alone. Help her become one of those inspirational stories of hope, instead of a cautionary tale of how the body can so easily fail us. At the very least, read her story and become aware that not everything is promised and we should cherish what we have in the time we have it.
I will post updates frequenty for those who are interested in her journey. Additionally, if you have any further questions, or even some friendly advice, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am open to all ideas and will do whatever it takes to save my mother.
Denise's biggest fan (Jennifer)
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