Don and Tracey Paulson Cancer Fight

Hello Friends,

I've been meaning to do this for a long time and procrastination is the greatest curse. 

Many of you know my dear Tracey Paulson who has worked with me for the past 12 years.  In fact, many of you know that she is really the brains of this operation we call Alternative Strategies Group.  :)

As you can read below - Tracey, her daughters Ashley and Amanda, grandaughter Hadley, and her husband Don, have been fighting a courageous fight and the hits just keep coming.

Don was first diagnosed with cancer in 2008.  I'll let you read the details of their journey on his Caring Bridge website.  Don's Caring Bridge Website  Suffice it to say, kicking cancer's butt for almost 10 years is not anyone's idea of a good time.

Mayo Clinic and Sanford Health have been working together to tag-team this thing and save Don's life.  I know many, if not all of you reading this have been affected by cancer in some way.  It seems we all have a friend, relative, or an experience of our own to share.

You can imagine that the expenses and the stress of medical bills and travel don't help in your mental state of mind and your willingness to fight.

Tracey's been a trooper through this whole thing, and Don sure has too.  They are too proud to want or ask for any help from others.  Others (friends, relatives, church members) have been a tremendous help with meals, home improvements, transportation, a whole host of things. 

But now it's finally time for someone (me, because it would never be Tracey or Don) to ask for some financial help.

The situation today is that Don had an amputation in January and is currently undergoing immunotherapy treatments.  The drugs alone for each treatment cost $40,000.  Insurance does not cover this because, although approved, the drugs are not approved for Don's particular type of cancer.  As you can imagine, there are a thousand examples of these kinds of slip-thorugh-the cracks expenses that are not covered.

After Don's disability ran out from his employer of over 20 years, he was let go and removed from their benefits plan, including health insurance.

While they are carrying health insurance on their own now, it's costing over $900/month.

If you are so inclined - would you consider donating a little money to the Paulson's to help them sleep a little easier and concentrate on the fight, not looming bills?

Thank you so much for your help!

(This is an excerpt from Tracey's first Caring Bridge post last summer:)

Don' Journey

Journal entry by Tracey Paulson — 7/13/2016
Back in September of 2008 Don woke up in excruciating pain, after a trip to the ER we were told that Don had kidney stones and also a large mass on his left Kidney.  Don had his left Kidney removed in September of 2008, and his staging came back at a stage 3. Every year since 2008  he has been doing follow up blood work and testing, which have all been good reports.  In November of 2013 Don had discovered a mass on his left Thyroid and after a doctor visit and a biopsy we were informed that his mass was nothing to worry about and was not cancerous.  In November of 2014 Don went in for a follow up visit to realize that the mass on his left Thyroid had grown large enough that the doctors were surprised that he could swallow or eat.  A removal of his left Thyroid was scheduled for December of 2014 but we were not to worry that they were positive this was not cancer. On December 15th of 2014 Don went in and had his left Thyroid and the initial pathology taken during surgery came back benign.  Don returned home and the afternoon of December 18th Don received that call from the doctor that his final pathology had come back that he had follicular carcinoma and that he was scheduled for surgery on December 19th, 2014 to remove  his right thyroid.  Don's treatment for Thyroid cancer was completed in February of 2015 by radioactive iodine and 6 days of isolation in our bedroom. 
Don was experiencing back last fall followed by hip pain and after treatments for a few months his back and hip had felt much better but was experiencing extreme pain in his thigh, which Don had felt hardness in thigh.   Our chiropractor referred him onto a brain and spine specialist which we met with on July 12th, 2016.  Don's right thigh is measuring larger then his left thigh and the doctor felt to do a correct diagnosis that he would order an x ray and an MRI of his right femur.  We received a call right after we got homr from the doctor and completing his x ray that a large mass was attached to his right femur bone and that further testing needed to be completed before his MRI in a few days.  Don was alos being referred onto an oncologist and needed to be on crutches.  
We found out this morning July 13th that Don does indeed have cancer for a third time.  It is a secondary cancer to either his Kidney or Thyroid Cancer.  We will be meeting with his oncologist next week and will going to his MRI this Friday.  Don is in extreme pain and his femur bone is extremely fragile and could snap or break at anytime.  
Thank you to all of our friends and family for the prayers! We are ready to trudge forward on this cancer journey again and know that we can win this battle by the GRACE of God.  God has placed each of you in our lives for a purpose and we love you all.
Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"

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Jason Erickson
Sioux Falls, SD

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