Fitts' Breast Cancer Expenses Help

In one word...devastated. That's how we felt when my doctor told us that my breast cancer was actually stage  1B not stage 0.

Originally we had been told it was an easy fix just stage 0 so let's do preventative measures. We decided a double mastectomy would be best just in case it decided to turn into full blown cancer and not stage 0 in the future. The surgery would be followed by radiation and I would be back to work in 7-8 weeks. Then out for a long weekend to have the reconstruction surgery.
The day we found out the cancer was stage 1B we were told that I would need chemotherapy along with the radiation as I had an unusual high amount of Foci spread throughout my left breast. A count that they had never seen before.  They usually see 5 at the most and mine was 22. We were still very hopeful that it would mean minimal time of me being out of work.  The company I work for is wonderful and offers 6 months of 100% of my pay while out on short term disability. This and the fact we had good medical insurance kept us positive that this would be a small financial set back for us but that we could manage it. In turn this let us focus on fighting this evil cancer.

In early May I had my surgery. Other then the normal pains and aches, things seemed to be going pretty good. Then in June, one month after my surgery I ended up in the hospital with a high tempature and bad infection in my left breast. To shorten this up I ended up having several surgeries to clean out the fluid build up and more rounds of antibiotics. I also had 2 rounds of chemo one in July and one in August. After the second round of chemo I was again admitted  to the hospital with a high tempature. Test done on the fluid revealed that I had MRSA. Another surgery was done and they removed my expander from that breast. The doctor kept me on antibiotics hoping that this would clear up the infection and that the wound would finally close from the original surgery and all the surgeries that followed. This did not happen and I was sent to a wound rehab center to see if they could help with the healing process. As of today November 19th (over 6 months later) I am still being treated by the wound clinic as my wound is still not closed.

The chemo had to be put on hold after the second round as chemo kills all good and bad dividing cell in your body and this being part of the reason it was taking me so long to heal from my open left breast wound. We were hopeful that the wound would have healed by now and we would have had the chemo and radiation behind us.  It looks like this process may restart around December 16th. Most of all we had hoped I would be back to work. 

Three weeks ago my 6 months of short term disability pay ended. I'm in the process of trying to get my long term disability approved. The letter I received yesterday says it can take up to 45 days for us to hear if it is or is not approved. If approved the pay will be 60% of my pay. My pay until now has been covering my co pays, cost shares and travel expenses back and forth to Northern, Virginia. Because of the infection and multiple surgeries we have had to pay well over what we thought this cancer fight would cost us as every appointment, hospital stay and medicine have a co pay. 

We are kicking this page off because people have reached out to us to ask how they can help. It was suggested by several friends and co workers that this would simplify everything. The donations will go toward co-pays and cost shares for doctors visits, medicines, hospital stays, durable medical supplies and travel to and from my appointments in Northern, Virginia. When and if the long term disability is approved we will close down this request as we feel that the 60% of my pay will cover these on going charges until I get my chemo and radiation and can head back to work. 

Thank you all for your consideration and any donation you make to this fund. TOGETHER WE ARE GOING TO BEAT CANCER!!!!! To anyone else who is suffering from cancer hang in there and FIGHT!!! We are all in this together until this thing is totally eradicated.

Godspeed to all...

Michael and Nora

Donations

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  • Lauren & Josh Borum 
    • $50 
    • 76 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 77 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 77 mos
  • Patricia Smith 
    • $50 
    • 77 mos
See all

Organizer

Nora Lynn Aardema Fitts 
Organizer
Frederick, MD
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