I hope I can give him anything that he deserves.
So far I have paid about a million dollar for the chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant through my insurance and out of my pocket, but my treatment is not finished and I have run out of money. I have $150,000 debt to the hospital. From now on I am supposed to pay out of my pocket for the hospital, doctor’s visit, tests and medications.
Due to GVHD, I have to see my doctor and do some special tests.
I am desperately looking for a way to pay my hospital bills. I am full of stress and feel awful when they stop me at the front desk and don’t let me in to visit my physician. I pray for a miracle all the time.
With your help and support, I hope I can continue my treatment.
This is my cancer story:
I was diagnosed with leukemia on September 2014 on my son’s 4th birthday. I started chemotherapy in my country, Iran. I went to remission after my first chemo cycle. At this point my oncologist told me I needed a bone marrow transplant while I was in remission.
I asked the team to search for a good donor, but unfortunately they couldn’t find a match in Iran except my Mom who was 50% match with me. Even though she was a match, they were not able to do the bone marrow transplant with this low compatibility percentage.
So we decided to fly over 7000 miles and come to the United States to do it. We flew to Houston in April of 2015 and I was admitted to MD Anderson.
Unfortunately, my cancer relapsed at this time and I had to start chemo again. It was so hard for my weak body to go through all those heavy medications again. Many traumas, many failures. After 4 cycles of chemo, I went in remission. This was a good time to get bone marrow transplant.
They took me through a heavy chemotherapy treatment to kill all blood cells and prepare me for bone marrow transplant in August of 2015. After a month pf staying in isolation with many issues and up and downs, I was finally discharged in September. However, I had to go to the hospital for my IV medicines every day from early morning to late evening. At home, I had to self-administer some other medicines every single day.
After a few weeks, I developed a symptom called GVHD (Graft versus Host Disease). It caused a huge, deep, incurable ulcer in my stomach about 2.5” by 1.9” in size. They gave me very high doses of steroids to fit this symptom. Again, too many failures and disappointments.
My weak body from chemo and bone marrow transplant was too tired to fight--I lost 30 lbs. Despite my weak body, my soul was very strong. I fought and fought and I am still fighting.
My blood sugar elevated due to the steroids, and I was in need of insulin injections. My blood pressure was kept bouncing up and down. My bone mass density got lower. My heart got was enlarged with fluids around it.
Week after week, I was admitted to the hospital, each time for almost 7-10 days; away from my little son. I started to have high fever with no signs of infection. All infection test results were negative despite numerous tests such as CT scan, CAT scan, PET scan, Endoscopy, X-Rays, changing my central line catheter, blood cultures, etc., but I still ran fever. Doctors became certain that the fevers were all caused by my stomach ulcer. The pain was the worst I had ever experienced.
In one occasion, the ulcer started to bleed, and I fainted because of low blood pressure and lack of hemoglobin. I was taken to ER by Ambulance. I threw up Blood and fainted again. After I became conscious, I thought that was my last destiny--I felt I should say GOOD BYE to my beloveds. But I fought with this thought b starting to think positive and praying for a miracle.
After a month the doctors came up with a new method to heal my ulcer. It was a miracle, indeed. They managed to shrink the ulcer to a very small size. I am still taking a special medication (tacrolimus) to keep my new and old cells from fighting! They have to carefully measure the level of this medication in my blood at my every visit to control my Chronic GVHD symptoms.
My medications (10 different pills, 2 times a day), treatment, tests and hospital bills are very expensive. The hospital has blocked my account without prior notice. I asked for payment option, but they denied it. I must pay the entire $150,000 to be able to see my doctor at MD Anderson again.
I like to give hope and positive energy to all the patients who have lost faith. When I get over all these miserable days, I want to continue helping patients like myself because I know how they feel and what they go through. Anywhere I see a cancer patient with no hair, a wig, a bandana or a hat, I talk to them and try to give them positive thoughts—that is the most crucial element in fighting cancer. I love to be there for people who are suffering the same agony that I have experienced.
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