From the beginning of July until the end of August, I attended the cancer clinic in Abbotsford BC 5 days a week for radiation as well as 2 short hospital stays for the chemo. In addition, I had a feeding tube installed so that I could get nourishment in the event I couldn't swallow properly and also had all my teeth extracted. At first, I could still eat semi-solid foods but as the treatments progressed and the tumprs shrunk, I was left with 2 holes in my mouth caused by the tumors. They went from the roof of my mouth and up into the sinus area. As a result, eating and drinking became very difficult and I became dependent on the feeding tube for most of my nutritional needs.
2 1/2 months have passed since my last radiation treatments and the recovery has been slow but steady. My biggest problem is trying to regain some of my lost weight. I lost approximately 30% of my body weight and I wasn't carrying much excess before that. I am pretty well a bonerack now. Although I can eat through the tube, I long for the day that I can taste foods and eat a decent meal.
On November 14th, I went for a follow up PET scan. The scan detects any active tumors present in the body and if it comes back clean, it means chances are, you have beaten the cancer. Shortly after the test, I got a call from the oncologist. She said she had good news. The scan was clear and other than some swelling and inflamation (which is normal), I was looking good. You can't imagine what a relief that was. My emotional state of mind took a complete 180. I now have the motivation to get healthy again and put on some weight so I can get my strength back and return to the workforce.
I still have a ways to go though. In addition to the damage to my mouth, I also have problems with my vision. These are all items that can be dealt with though and that's where the fundraising comes in.
I had to give up working 7 months ago due to the intense therapy requirements and loss of health. I applied for early Canada Pension and iI was also able to recieve EI benifits but they only lasted 14 weeks, That along with a small subsidy from the Cancer Society has been my sole source of income. Unfortuneatly my workplace never had a benefit program so I only recieve the small pension which only covers a portion of my living expenses. It is only through the generosity of my family that I have been able to cover my expenses.
If I can raise enough money, I will be able to get a prothesis that will seal off the holes in my mouth and can also incorporate dentures so I can actually digest real food instead of grinding everything up first. It would also be great to have my vision problems looked after. These are items that aren't covered by the Provincial medical plan so I have to come up with that money myself. Saving up for it isn't an option at this point and my family has helped out so much already that it would be nice if I could find the funds myself. It would be wonderful to get well and become a productive member of society again. Although I'm in my 60th year, I know I have a few good years left in me.
I don't know exactly what the final cost will be because of the complexity of the prothesis but I came up with the starting figure based on what an upper and lower plate would run.
Depending on the success of this venture, I plan on getting the prothesis and then dentures, followed by whatever is needed for my vision problems.
So that's my story. I thank you for taking the time to read it. If you can make a donation of any amount, I am extremely greatful. I realize that charity dollars get spread pretty thin these days and with Christmas just around the corner, that makes it even tougher.
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