Hello, my name is Crystal Nardone, and my husband, Patrick Connors, is a painter, art scholar, and an art teacher. He is also one of the kindest, most intelligent, charming and delightful people you could ever hope to meet. He is beloved by his many friends and students for his contagious enthusiasm and love of painting as well as his dedication to his students’ individual artistic development. Last year he was diagnosed with a stage 4 high-risk, aggressive form of prostate cancer. There were no warning signs, so as those of you who have been through this type of ordeal will understand, our world was flipped upside down.
His prostate surgery was followed by two more surgeries to address complications, three blood transfusions and 3 weeks in intensive care. Once this ordeal was over, the healing process began for Patrick but the cancer reasserted itself in mid July. Things turned worrisome again. In September, he was placed on a new cancer protocol, in fact he was the first cancer patient at the Kimmel Cancer Center to be on this innovative therapy. By November he was responding positively, but the treatment has serious side-effects: soreness, limb pain, and the worst side-effect of all, chronic fatigue.
The good news is that he continues to respond positively to the therapies and medications. The cancer cells remain inactive; the downside is that the soreness, limb pain and the chronic fatigue intensified. It has limited Patrick’s time to teach and lecture. His painting, his lifetime passion, has also been limited. The loss of income over the past year, along with the growing medical bills not covered by insurance, has made it necessary for us to ask for help. Patrick works as much as possible, exercises regularly and intensely to combat the fatigue, and never loses faith he can continue to fight. We have 18 months more of treatment, including radiation, and I have no doubt that Patrick will carry on with the same grace and enthusiasm that is his nature. The slogan we have adopted at our house is to be “cautiously optimistic and aggressively positive.”
The outpouring of love and support from our families, friends, and neighbors and, of course, from his Cancer Team at Kimmel Cancer Center, has been an enormous blessing. While it is stressful and difficult to ask for financial help, we find ourselves falling behind. Every little bit helps. Please donate. Thank you.
- Cynthia Eardley
- Linda Dennin
- Jennifer Presant
- Justin Wiest
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