Those of you that know me, are aware of the very tough last couple of years that I have had. I have maintained my sobriety for over 18 months so far, and I have a firm foundation in place. I plan on never going back to that hell I got myself into. That being said, I have been diagnosed with Multiple Mylenoma in October of 2017. I have cancer of the bone marrow. There is no cure for M.M. it can only be treated, maintained, and often reoccurs years later.
I had been feeling very fatigued, exhausted, and sore for the majority of 2017. I had gone to numerous doctor's, had multitudes of blood work, and was sent to see specialists. I was sent to a kidney doctor that said my kidneys were only functioning at 20% of normal. He in turn sent me to a blood doctor who was also an Oncologist. My heart sank right then and there. Oncology? A cancer doctor? Wait a minute, I had gone thru all of this in the last couple of years with my mother, who died from Uterine cancer! This can't be happening to me now! Erin and I went to meet the Oncologist on October 20th. He explained his concerns, and suggested that I have a bone marrow biopsy to find out what was really going on. We did it that day. After the biopsy was done and sent out to the lab, we went back a few days later for the results. That's when I was told that I definitely had cancer. Erin and I were listening to his words, I was trying hard to process them all, but all I was hearing was seemed like Charlie Browns teacher! Drowned out and monotone. I was in shock. I have always been a healthy eater, exercised, and relatively healthy. ((And oh how I miss it now!)
I asked what we can do, what's the plan of attack? When will I feel better? Within the week, I was having full blown chemotherapy treatments. I had an allergic reaction to one of the IV meds they give me every Monday. So now I am being given a different IV chemo treatment. I also have to take another chemo medicine every other day, and up to 20 steroids on my IV days. My life as I once knew it, will never be the same. Some days it's a struggle just to get out of bed, I am THAT exhausted! I have always been a busy body with excess energy, but I am learning to listen to my body now. Take frequent naps, and slow down when I am feeling the effects of all the chemo meds coursing thru my body. The plan is for me to do 4 months of aggressive chemotherapy treatment, and then be sent to Stanford, who has one of the best transplant teams in the country. I will be having a bone marrow/ stem cell transplant, and just thinking about it, is absolutely freaking me out!!! But I can do this. I HAVE to do this if I want to have a somewhat normal life again. As I mentioned before, this type of cancer is NOT curable. So it's my best option, especially at 52!
I am starting this campaign because I need to raise money for my outpatient lodging, food and transportation that I am going to need after the transplant takes place. The transplant itself usually consists of my being quarantined in the hospital for up to a month during the transplant, then It's required that I be able to stay nearby, and within 20 minutes of Stanford in Palo Alto CA. I have a VERY limited income, I get less then $200 a month ( I have had a SSDI case pending a hearing since 2016) and I need to raise enough money to be able to stay in the Bay Area for a month after my transplant. The hotel or studio apartment will have to have a kitchen, since I won't be able to eat out at all. I will also need reliable transportation to and from the hospital every day ( for a month approximately) and I will need a 24/7 caretaker. I will be SO wiped out from the heavy duty amounts of chemo they will be giving me, I have been told it's going to feel like I am dying. I'm not going to be able to take care if myself at all.
I want to have all my 'ducks in a row' for my transplant. It's stressful enough going thru all if this daily, I don't want it to wear me down even more then it needs too. I want to stay alive, and I am willing to do whatever I need to do in order to make that happen. With your help, you can personally help me do that. God knows I can't do it without the help of my family and friends. I want to thank you all for anything your able to donate in order for me to move forward with my Stem Cell Transplant. It's greatly appreciated!