I have known Jeanne & George Pullis for over 30 years, first as an employee,
and then as a friend. To those of you who know him, George is the quintessential 'go-to'
guy - no matter if friend, family, or casual acquaintance. Jeanne, his wife and soul-mate of 35 years, is an active therapy dog team partner who visits hospitals, schools, and libraries with her rescue lab, JellyBean Josh, to bring smiles and hope to others
experiencing life challenges.
We have created this GoFundMe to help them on this journey that they find
themselves embarking on. For those of you who are unaware of their story, below is an
overview of George's situation. Those of you who know the Pullis family are well aware
of their love of family, friends & life's simple pleasures; we hope they can find their way
through this struggle.
In February 2019, during a routine surveillance colonoscopy, George was found
to have several colon polyps in the ascending colon, which was diagnosed as a
differentiated adenocarcinoma. A CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis showed no
evidence of the primary tumor or metastatic disease. On 3/6/2019, a laparoscopic right
hemicolectomy was performed, and after a successful recovery, George was blessed
with the next two years of uneventful health issues.
In December 2021, after experiencing some headaches and dizziness, he was
diagnosed with a chronic right-sided subdural hematoma and underwent MMA
embolization. During this episode, he also presented with 'Bell's Palsy', which has
subsequently been resolved - but we later found it left a residual effect to his facial nerve.
Simultaneous to this diagnosis, in December of 2021, during his routine oncology
visit, it was noted that there was an increase in his CEA [a tumor marker] levels. Over
the next several weeks, this continued to increase. In March of 2022, his biopsy
confirmed the recurrence/metastasis of peritoneal carcinomatosis, which develops when other abdominal tumors spread to the peritoneum, leading to multiple new tumors on the surface of this membrane. A diagnosis of peritoneal carcinomatosis generally means that your abdominal cancer is in an advanced stage - treatable but not curable.
After this recent diagnosis, George began chemo, but after 8 treatments, he began to show increasing signs of weakness, and loss of appetite, along with some of the other known side effects of chemotherapy. He also was experiencing some neck pain, which we originally attributed to the port infusions. However, when this continued for 5 days, he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where an ultrasound revealed a DVT
(Deep-Vein Thrombosis or blood Clot) which extended to the brain. He was
immediately put on blood thinners, but was told that DVTs were a common occurrence
in cancer patients, and he will need to remain on the medication indefinitely, in addition
to keep his blood pressure under control.
In early September 2022, he began to experience difficulties in eating - attributed
to the Bell's Palsy episode - presenting his current condition [dysphagia -
difficulty/inability to swallow] resulting in a loss of 25 lbs in 2 weeks.
For the next month, George will be off chemotherapy, to help his body
recover from all that is going on; the continuum of care after that is yet to be
determined. He'll need surgery to remove the infusion port in his neck but needs to
wait until the blood clot is resolved.
George's cancer treatment is 'palliative', which means though treatable, it is not
curable. Earlier in September, he presented to Memorial-Sloan Kettering, who
confirmed that his current treatment is the recommended protocol for omental cancer
diagnosis. Though his chemo treatment is such that the quality of his life is taking a
tremendous physical and emotional toll on him and his family, the most significant
concerns are their children and grandchildren, especially their two granddaughters,
Alexia and Julia - who Jeanne and George adopted upon the tragic loss of their beloved daughter - and to ensure their lives remain as normal as possible.
With all they are now facing - the loss of income and additional uncovered
medical expenses, as well as assistance for George's ongoing care - we are reaching
out to family and friends. We hope many of you who have crossed paths with them and
love these two proud and independent people will find this as a means to help them
through this challenging time, and help relieve some of the financial stress in the
George is a realist, but he's also an optimist and hopes one day he'll be able to
walk on that golf course he loves so much. We share that hope, and we thank you for
George is continuing to show improvement in his verbal and eating abilities thanks to speech therapy and acupuncture treatments. He is now under the care of New Milford Hospital Oncology and has had to resume IV chemo due to the increases in his CEU markers over the past 3 months. Side effects have been a loss of appetite, Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia
[redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet, causing difficulty in walking for any length of time]. Upon the next readings of bloodwork, it is more than likely he will need to resume continuous infusion via an elastomeric pump. Despite all these challenges, George continues to be optimistic and undefeated.
We thank our friends, family and neighbors for their continued support!!