Hi. Many of you may know me from my YouTube channel ChampagneTasteOnABeerBudget
where I create videos on beauty and shopping at TJ Maxx. Because I had been on disability for Fibromyalgia YouTube was my only source of income. However in February of 2021 I began feeling unwell and after I uploaded my March 27 video I had to take a break from YouTube and social media.
I spent the Spring and Summer having multiple tests and seeing various doctors. Most of which focused on my new upper GI issues. They diagnosed a hiatal hernia and we began discussing surgery for that. But then my new GI recommended a colonoscopy. The current recommended age for it is 45. Because I am 52 and never had one I decided to do it. And I had been experiencing bleeding from the butt since February.
The colonoscopy revealed a large tumor and on Friday, October 8, 2021 I was told by phone that I had cancer. Although it was the beginning of Columbus Day weekend things then began to move very fast. On Tuesday I met with a colorectal surgeon about a resection surgery for my colon. He would need to remove a foot and a half of my colon to be sure the tumor and surrounding areas were gone. I immediately scheduled this for November 1, 2021. He will also remove surrounding lymph nodes and these will be biopsied. Only after this is done (as well as my 3 CT scans set for October 18) can they conclusively tell me what stage my colon cancer is. My wish is that it is Stage 1 AND that I do not need a round of chemo after my surgery!
I am lucky to have the emotional support of my boyfriend, Pat, who I live with. However, we are not married and my expenses are my own. And Colon Cancer is one of the most expensive cancers to treat. I am grateful to have insurance but there are always co-pays, deductibles, etc. For example my outpatient care is only covered at 80%. Any money that I raise will be used to pay for my surgery, chemo (if ordered), medications, physical therapy, medical supplies and medical travel. It all is already beginning to add up. Estimates are that it could cost me $10,000 to $15,000 out of pocket for one year.
I thank you for taking the time to read this. I know there are so many GoFundMes posted and so many people are far more sick than I am. That kind of makes me feel guilty for posting this. But cancer is my new reality and I cannot be in denial as to how this is going to drastically change my life. And Pat's. Some of you may remember but when I first met Pat 7 years ago he had just lost his wife of 31 years to cancer. For him to have to go through this - caring for a partner with cancer - is just beyond what I can even imagine. I just cannot burden him with my cancer expenses.
I will be sure to update here as soon as I get scan results and, most importantly, my staging result. If you could say a prayer for me it would mean the world. At 52 and no family history of colon cancer this was the shock of my life. But I am determined to fight like h*ll even if it means chemo, going bald, throwing up I DO NOT CARE. I am willing to do ANYTHING to BEAT THIS CANCER.
With much gratitude,