I was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme
- the most aggressive form of Brain Tumor there is in November of 2016. I have chronicled in detail the journey since then at http://www.braincancerchronicle.com/2018/02/the-story-so-far.html
and subsequent blog posts.
Very recently, on June 20th, 2018, we were told from an MRI report that the tumor is back in a different part of the brain: http://www.braincancerchronicle.com/2018/06/the-monster-rears-its-ugly-head.html
The tumor recurrence needs a brain surgery to be done in the next few weeks as surgery is the first line of defense against the tumor. Consequently, I will be unable to work and earn my living for a few weeks in the next couple of months.
Things have become even more difficult for me and my family as I got into an unfortunate accident resulting in a couple of broken leg bones last weekend: http://www.braincancerchronicle.com/2018/06/a-moments-bad-judgment-leads-to-serious.html
As I have explained in this 5-minute video at Ignite Boulder
recently, tumor recurrence is a highly likely possibility for a Glioblastoma patient, and multiple tumor recurrences over a few years - each of which will need a brain surgery to address - is likely to kill the patient in a few years.
There is room for hope despite this dire prognosis as innovative and effective treatments are being investigated to cure/handle this terminal brain cancer. Most notably, Duke University announced on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, about the impressive results they have observed from the Poliovirus Therapy Treatment in Phase 1 clinical trial.
I am seriously investigating the possibility of me enrolling in this treatment at Duke University in the very near future. http://www.braincancerchronicle.com/2018/06/getting-serious-about-moving-to-durham.html
Also, hoping for more innovative and effective treatments to come along in the near future to further expected lifespan while dealing with Glioblastoma.
I am starting this fund-raiser to help me deal with Glioblastoma as effectively as possible while continuing to live as normal a life as possible.
Even while I was in full-health before the brain surgery and terminal cancer diagnosis, I was having difficulty making ends meet as a freelance Ruby on Rails Developer. This problem has been worsened since the surgery in November of 2016, with ongoing treatments, physical and mental limitations from surgery and treatments, lack of a stable income/disability insurance to cover for expenses while I was not able to work/find work, and other factors. The situation has worsened even further since early 2018 because of increased costs of living - increased healthcare premiums, increased rents, increased expenses for support and unconventional treatments (supplements, diet changes, running marathons, counseling, etc.)
Almost every month since the original surgery in November 2016, I have faced a huge gap between my monthly income and the monthly expenses. I have been addressing these gaps with various strategies as follows:
* Start a fund-raiser:
I had one fund-raiser last year and got a very encouraging response from my friends, family, and well-wishers in the numerous communities I have been fortunate to have been part of.
* Avoid/postpone paying bills:
A big item in this category is my tax-filing for 2017. I filed for an extension and have not yet paid the taxes due for last financial year. Expecting the bill with penalties to be in the $15,000 range.* Withdraw from my retirement savings account:
Earlier in March of this year, my bank balance was close to zero and I decided to clean out my retirement savings account instead of making it a habit of starting fundraisers on an annual basis. http://www.braincancerchronicle.com/2018/03/time-for-another-fund-raiser-to-help-me.html* Charge everything to a Credit Card:
There have been many big bills coming my way in the recent past from the treatments, as well as my wife's USMLE preparation work. Since all these expenses are unavoidable, I have been charging them to my credit cards. Consequently, I have raised a total of around $30,000 on credit card debts - $16,0000 on personal credit cards and $14,000 on a business credit card.* Reach out to close friends for private donations:
In the last couple of months, 7 of my friends have helped me out to a tune of $7,000 through private donations with my financial situation.
In addition to outlasting terminal cancer, I want to turn myself into a writer as I have been mulling around three memoir ideas:
1. Years 1 & 2 with terminal cancer:
A chronicle of my journey with Glioblastoma since the initial diagnosis to surviving the first two years. Hoping to write a short, inspirational and educative tome on this topic.
2. How I turned myself from a 5-hour-marathoner to a 2.5-hour-marathoner and qualified for Boston Marathon as a middle-aged-man:
Qualifying for Boston Marathon has been an inspirational goal for me for the past decade or so. I hope I will be able to turn myself from my current ability to finish marathons in 5 hours time-range to be able to finish in half that time, and document the process along the way in this memoir.
3. Dear Aisiri - A letter to my 4 year-old-daughter:
I hope to be around through my daughter's childhood, growing up to be a strong and independent woman, and become a parent herself. If Glioblastoma were to make that impossible and force my daughter to grow up without a father during her important formative years, I hope to leave behind a document that she can fall back on for inspiration and hope in the years to come.
Any help you provide through this fund-raiser will go a long way in helping me and my family deal with Glioblastoma with a very positive attitude and increase our chances of outlasting this monster. We thank you with immense gratitude for your help in our tough times.