One of Jacek's symptoms was not being able to eat any solid foods for over a month as only (most) liquids would pass through to his stomach.
Once we got a team of Drs approved by insurance (no easy feat) the plan they came up with was to do 3 rounds of chemo (3 chemo meds each time), followed by surgery to remove the entire stomach (connecting the esophagus to the small intestine), and conclude with 25 radiation treatments.
Since he is not able to swallow, he gets 2 meds while in the office then goes home hooked up to a pump that slowly injects the 3rd med over a 5 day span via a port-a-cath that he had to surgically have implanted into his chest. During chemo he also goes into the Drs office 3 times a week to get injections that help increase blood cell production in the bone marrow. He also gets regular blood tests to make sure everything is high (or low) enough to get the next round of chemo.
As anyone can imagine, there are many ways that Jacek will benefit from any donations; most obviously because he is not able to work. Being a casual longshoreman, he did not have set or always consistent hours, making financial aid from the government very limited. We also just discovered that when January rolls around, his deductible is going to nearly double. He would have no issue switching coverage to have a higher monthly payment and avoid the high deductible, but that is nearly impossible since he is in the middle of treatment and he would have to start the approval process from the beginning. Interrupting treatment is not an option. In addition to his deductable, there are certain things that insurance simply doesn't cover. For example, the pump that Jacek is hooked up to while at home is not covered due to the fact that the medicine that it is pumping is avalable in pill form; it doesn't matter to insurance that he cannot swallow a pill half the size of an index finger. Also, the injections that he gets 3 times a week aren't part of his deductable because they aren't considered part of "treatment" since they come from the pharmacy. We've tried to understand their repeated explanations of this without success.
Any funds raised will go directly to Jacek in hopes of lessening the financial stress on him and Grazyna, and allow him to focus solely on treatment and kicking cancer's ass.
Jacek is currently 2 rounds of chemo in. He has days when he feels decent and has days that are pretty tough. No matter how tough the day is for him, Jacek always has a positive attitude and is ready to battle. By God's grace, the chemo seems to have already started to shrink the size of the tumor since he's starting to be able to get some solid foods through his stomach. Although eating is currently not an easy task, he's enjoying fish, angel hair pasta, raspberries, and a few other foods he has missed.
I know there are many people in need of financial assistance and many of us do what we can. Please know this fundraising page will be ongoing as there will be a month wait time after chemo and then another month wait time after surgery to start radiation. Please know a donation in any amount will be helpful and the Wilczek family will forever be grateful.
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- Marianna Malolepszy
- Artin Shenian
- Aleen Kalindjian
- Shannon and Justin Whalin
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