Most of you know us well: we are not the kind of people who ask for help. We have always been the people who have given help. But we find ourselves in completely unfamiliar waters: as many of you now know, Rick was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Esophageal Cancer and this journey we’ve been thrust into is challenging our monthly expenses.
It began as food ‘getting stuck in his chest’ for several weeks. It grew worse and we scheduled an endoscopy in early December. The GI doctor confirmed after the procedure that “something was growing in there” and he biopsied several areas. It took three long weeks to get the pathology report, but we got the one word that changed everything: Malignant.
It took another 3 weeks to meet with an Oncologist, who told us that this was Stage IV – it has traveled to several other areas. The only option would be chemotherapy, something Rick had forever been fiercely opposed to.
Shortly after this visit we were referred to a well-established holistic cancer treatment program; we scrambled for the funding and started, but Rick only lasted two days. The effects of his 2-month long progression of malnutrition had taken a toll and it was clear that he needed more medical oversight than we thought.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
Nearly a month later, after 3 hospital stays, 6 blood transfusions and countless testing, Rick is home – weary, weak, finally on a feeding tube but on an excruciatingly slow, continuous feed (his stomach can only tolerate so much after starving for almost 2 months), and wondering how he will be strong enough for chemotherapy which begins on February 12th. As it stands now, Rick can't be left alone because of his weakened state and how his hourly routine must be managed.
Even with insurance, our medical expenses are already beginning to accumulate. Rick's recent hospital stays and various co-pays alone are already into the thousands. I work for my church in a wonderful, part-time position, but Rick is retired and has a fixed income. My 86-year old mother lives with us and many of you know the challenges we have with her aging issues. We are a one-car family. I am now the sole caretaker for my husband battling advanced cancer and for my mom dealing with declining cognitive issues. We are doing what we can to be responsible, but the expenses and responsibilities are looming over us with no foreseeable end in sight as daily home care is an absolute necessity for Rick while I'm at work. He cannot be left alone.
OUR DIFFICULT REQUEST
It’s a hard and humiliating decision for people like us to ask for financial support of any kind – and yet here we are, asking that if you are able to lend any support toward Rick’s additional medical expenses and home care as they continue to grow, know that it will help our household tremendously in the months to come, and I will pray that God returns the blessing upon you and your family ten-fold.
Thank you for whatever you will do. And whatever you do, please PRAY. Pray for Rick’s healing and restoration. Rick has fought for many people in his lifetime, including me. Fight with me for “the Captain” – my one and only, my best friend and my rock - my Rick.
- John Grasso
- Michelle Warwick
- Donna Leek
- Jean Antolini
- Don Earl
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