Help Catie Kick Cancer's Ass

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 2014. Went through 5 rounds of chemo, 25 external & 5 internal radiation treatments, and just as I was finally recovering from treatment, the symptoms started all over again. I was fortunate to have a special form of medicaid to pay for treatment, but once you're 6 months past active treatment, this particular kind of medicaid cuts off.

I had started experiencing symptoms again and after a series of doctors visits I was finally scheduled for a CT scan Nov. 2nd. Before I could get the scan, my medicaid stopped on October 31st. I ended up getting insurance through the Healthcare marketplace (obamacare). I had to wait two months until Jan. 1st for it to kick in. Unfortunately, I found out on Jan 29,2015 that my gynecologic oncologist is not in the network, and so, he's not covered under the insurance.

Since having insurance this month, I have have a pap smear, PET scan and MRI. All came back bad. High grade abnormal cells on the pap. Hot spots of activity were shown on the PET scan, so the dr. ordered an MRI. The MRI showed a mass on my cervix, so the Doctor ordered a surgical biopsy.

The hospital called four days prior to the surgery to tell me that they are not in my insurance network, so I will have to pay full price for this test. Because I'm "out of network" the price is even higher for me than if I was "in." Because I have insurance, even though it is not accepted by them, I do not qualify for any self pay or cash discounts. It seemed an impossible situation.

At the urging of friends, I created this gofundme account. As I write this, together we have raised just over $9,000! I also have the answer to my question about what's happening in my body. The cancer is back.

When discovered, it was the size of a small apple. The treatment shrunk it down until it appeared on the scans as a nabothian cyst. (Nabothian cysts are very common and no big deal, so it was dismissed.) As of 2 weeks ago the tumor has come back with a vengeance and is now the size of a baseball. It has taken over 2/3rds of my uterus. It has grown down from my uterus to infiltrate the base of my bladder.

BUT- it's centrally located. It's all in one place. It not in my lymph nodes and never has been. It has not spread anywhere else in my body at all.

Miraculous events have taken place to bring me this knowledge. My disappointmentioned with the insurance denying the biopsy caused me to find a new oncologist. This new oncologist just happened to be able to present my case before her tumor board the day after seeing me. The tumor board is comprised of the top gynecologic oncologists in the nation. The Mayo Clinic, MD Andersen, etc. This board only meets once a month. How serendipitous! How perfect! Because of that tumor board studying my scans, they advised that I am a candidate for a surgery that has a true potential for a cure! 40-60%! Without this surgery, my chances are literally 0.

The new dr. told me that the cancer was back. Told me that I would have to start an intense 3 drug chemotherapy regime. This would extend my life a month, maybe 2. She didn't think I was a candidate for the exenteration surgery because the tumor is so large.

Exenteration surgery is usually done for tumors 4cm or less. Mine is twice that, and growing by the day. Because the lymph nodes are clear, because it's all in one place, the tumor board believes the surgery could actually work for me!

When I began this campaign, I was raising money to get a biopsy. Now, I'm raising money to help pay the copay on a pelvic exenteration surgery that has the potential to literally save my life! The hospital I will be in is in Roanoke. This is 2 hours from my home. Travel expenses, hotels for Gabi and the kids to visit... this is going to be expensive.

Please help us as we take this new journey to a LONG and wonderful life together!
This is the blog I wrote during treatment. I haven't looked at it since the last time I posted. It's been too painful. I'm sharing in case you want to read about my journey.

Every night before bed we all have a group hug. One night we decided to take a selfie to document Chloe's chipmunk cheeks after having her wisdom teeth out. Tyler called it a groupie just as the camera was going off. This was our reaction.

Love my family! My beautiful, compassionate, hardworking Gabi, the backbone of our family, awesome, creative, loving soon to be teenager Tyler, and talented, helpful, gorgeous miss Chloe, who's a junior in high school. And then there's me, Catie, the slightly wacky, fun loving and inquisitive one who loves my family and my life SO much!

It's for them and all the sweet moments like this that I'm asking for your help.
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Organizer

Catie Quiroga Coulthard 
Organizer
Glade Spring, VA
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