Michele's Medical, illness & Health

My name is Michele Infantolino,  I recently had a very unfortunate diagnosis after Thanksgiving of 2015.  The following is my story:
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving while walking Bently, my rescue boxer, I felt a very bad pain in my left rib going all the way around my left side towards my spine.  The following Tuesday I went to my primary physician and told her that I wanted an x-ray because the pain was diferent from my normal back pain from a previous car accident.  She immediately sent me for an x-ray.  She called to tell me my ribs were fine, however they found a mass on my lung.  Wednesday I went for a Cat Scan that showed I have a 3cm. mass in my upper lobe and also a tumor on my spine T8, they then did a ct guided biopsy which collapsed my lung for three days.  The following day I saw a Pulmonary Doctor who recommended I see a Thoracic surgeon in Las Vegas, where my husband and I reside. 
Since then our whole world, as we knew it, came tumbling down around us. 
My appointment was scheduled for  3 weeks later with the Thoracic Surgeon.  He suggested I go for treatment in Boston where he did his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.  He basically told me that if I wanted to live and if I was his bride, I should be in Boston for the procedures.  There was nothing they could do for me in Las Vegas. We couldn't even find a Doctor there who would look at my back. Since we have family in Boston, we opted to go there.  They specialize in spine tumors, so I made an appointment here in Boston, within one week.  I had x-rays and over four hours of continuous MRI's.  This was definitely the right choice as I have a whole team of Doctors working together, my radiologist, oncologist, Thoracic and orthopedic Spine Doctors.  They took one look at my spine and told me that I needed surgery A.S.A.P..  The tumor had eaten away my vertebrae and the tumor, itself, was the only thing holding my spine intact.  (Had I made one wrong move, I could have been paralyzed), this was a  very rushed surgery becauseof what they found.                  First things first, last Wednesday I had an embolism procedure to block blood flow to the tumor on my the spine, on Thursday I was operated on within a few days of arriving in Boston, the surgery was a total of 10 hours,  I will need radiation for my spine and also rehabilitation and physical therapy.  I was told that recuperation on my spine alone will be at leatst a full year.
After my body is healed from the spine surgery ( I have an incision almost 12 inches long, they put in a titanium cage to support my spine where they removed my tumor.) next they will start with treatment for the mass in my lung. I was told I will need Chemotherapy and Radiation and possibly another surgery.
I have been discharged from the hospital and released for now to family who resides in Boston.  The Doctors wanted me to go to a rehabilitation facility, however it is not in my Medical Ins. network. Still working to find a shuttle service to and from rehab.

I will, most likely, be here for many months recuperating and getting more treatments.  The medical bills alone, for the surgeries, will be off the charts, then there is all of the chemo, radiation, rehabilitation, our other expenses including flights back and forth from Las Vegas to Boston so that my husband can spend some time with me while I'm going through all of this.
Sam has continued to work and commute when he can, he also will need a rental car while here.  Then there are all of the household expenses,  dog boarding , rent plus everyday expenses, food, medications, etc.  
So,  with me not working, it is really mounting pressure on both of us.  Fula/PTO has not kicked in yet, will start other x-rays for radiation mapping on the 10th(FEB).

We will be forever grateful for any help that you can give us at this devastating time.  I won't give up, I want to live a Long and Full Healthy Life..

Thanking you from the bottom of my heart!!!



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Michele Infantolino 
Las Vegas, NV
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