NOTE My mother Heather Bailey, formerly an employee of St Marys High School is also reaching out to former collouges for donantions on my behalf.
Last year I reached out for financial assistance by starting this “Go Fund Me” campaign after being diagnosertd with Stage 4+ Squamous Carcinoma but have only raised $3,800 to present. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for any donation no matter the amount but perhaps I did not emphasize the severity of my condition. My prognosis is terminal and I am fighting for my life.
After my tonsillectomy in May 2016, to remove my left tonsil which was determined to be the root cause of my cancer I was given 3 to 6 months to live. I decided to remain in the Philippines and underwent Radiation and Chemotherapy (which I had to pay for from my own savings) due to the fact that I had no health insurance to cover cancer treatments while living there. Returning to Canada and waiting for medical coverage to be reinstated was not an option since I may have died waiting.
The initial 33 sessions of radiation and concurrent chemotherapy treatments did seem successful in that the tumor on my neck was no longer visible and I felt relatively good despite the weight loss and other side effects.
Unfortunately after another follow-up PET scan in December 2017 the results were not what I was expecting. The results showed that the cancer is very aggressive and has metastasized into other areas of my body including but not limited to vertebral spine, bone lesions involving the right scapula, some ribs, pelvis, right femur, left hip with an increase in the extent of the previously noted lesions in the skull.
NOT THE RESULTS I WAS EXPECTING (PET Dec/17)
WHOLE BRAIN RADIATION THERAPY
Upon receiving the results that the cancer had spread into my skull it was imperative that I receive whole brain radiation therapy immediately before any tumor(s) were able to form onto the brain itself so I received whole brain radiation therapy over Christmas ending January 3, 2018.
HAPPIER TIMES AT CHRISTMAS
Again with another prognosis of 3 to 6 months to live and depleting funds I then had to decide the next course of action to combat the cancer throughout my body. Would I stay in the Philippines without ever knowing if there were an end to consultations, tests and treatments? How long would this go on for and how could I possibly afford it any longer without medical coverage?? Or do I return to Canada in hopes that medical coverage would be approved in a timely manner in order to proceed with the next chapter in combating this horrific disease.
SIDE EFFECTS OF WHOLE BRAIN RADIATION
The choice was obvious… After recovering from the whole brain radiation therapy I made the decision to return to Edmonton, Alberta by myself and Cyrene and my daughter Elizabeth will follow once all the relevant documents are granted.
SAYING GOODBYE TO CY AND ELIZABETH
I arrived in Edmonton, Alberta January 27, 2018 optimistic and feeling relatively well all things considering. I immediately started the process of obtaining health care coverage and after doing so I walked into my first Oncology consultation at the Cross Cancer Institute on February 23, 2018 weighing a mere 145 lbs. One month to the day upon returning to Canada I received my first Immunotherapy treatment at the Cross utilizing the drug Nivolumab on February 27, 2018.
Just a couple of days later I was physically unable to stand and the ambulance was called and I was taken to the Alberta University Hospital and was admitted March 2, 2018 as an in-patient under the assumption that I was waiting for a bed space to become available at the Cross Cancer Institute.
Unfortunately a bed never did become available at the Cross and due to limited space at the Alberta University Hospital I was frequently being moved from ward to ward. Although I was receiving the scheduled bi-monthly Nivolumab Immunotherapy injections and necessary Radiation sessions focusing on my left hip, lower spine (L4), as well as my neck (C5 to C7) in order to alleviate the pain and regain my ability to walk - this was an extremely difficult time! I felt no assurance of being cared for since I was unable to establish any type of rapport with hospital staff given that I had to explain my condition each time I was moved to another space available. During the time I was unable to walk, I developed severe muscle atrophy, bed sores and my weight dropped to 135 lbs after being confined to a hospital bed without proper support according to my prognosis.
Not until April 12th was proper care offered to me at the Palliative Care Ward at Grey Nuns Covenant Hospital. Needless to say I accepted and am still here. The care here has been excellent and I am stable continuing with the scheduled Immunotherapy sessions and my weight has increased to 158 lbs. I have been doing physiotherapy and am slowly making progress, walking with a 4 wheel walker.
During the time that I have been in Canada, Cyrene has been diligent in the Philippines and has obtained Canadian Citizenship for our daughter Elizabeth. We are now just awaiting Elizabeth’s Canadian Passport to arrive in Manila at which time they will join me here in Edmonton in time for Elizabeth’s 5th birthday on June 26! Having them join me here will not only be incredibly uplifting to me, but Cyrene will be able to help me with daily tasks.
ELIZABETH'S CERTIFICATE OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP!!!
I have rented a small place in West Edmonton which I will transition into once I have been discharged from hospital. The building has the essential disability access and amenities including an elevator, basic gym, small pool and hot tub which will also help me gradually gain back the muscle mass that I have lost through muscle atrophy. Physiotherapy will be a major part of my weekly schedule from here on. Arrangements have been made and the unit will be equipped with a bare minimum of disability aids such as a chair in the shower, toilet seat riser, access to support in accordance with Palliative Care, “Wheels of Hope” which provides volunteer transport to and from my scheduled Immunotherapy appointments. The space is not really suitable to house myself, Cyrene and Elizabeth for the long term but it will have to suffice for the time being while I focus on continuing treatments and physiotherapy.
Since I have been unable to work since I was diagnosed 1 year ago with terminal Stage 4+ Squamous Carcinoma, with a prognosis that I had expectancy of 3-6 months to live and having to pay for extensive treatments and all other expenses in the Philippines, my savings have diminished and I do not have enough money now to cover my basic monthly expense even in the small space I have rented.
I am pleading for your compassion and financial assistance during this difficult time which may turn out to be the final chapter of my life. My mother Heather Bailey has helped me as much as she can and came out to be by my hospital beside for 3 weeks not knowing if I am going to pull through. It has been a hard time to say the least for all of us.
Obviously we have never been in a situation like this before and have nowhere else to turn. I am essentially starting from scratch while being terminally ill.
Please donate in any way you can so that I can continue fighting and focus on living the remainder of my life with Cyrene and Elizabeth in relative comfort. I am not about to give up and my bi-monthly treatments of Immunotherapy utilizing the drug Nivolumab and radiation, if the need arises, will extend my life expectancy as long as my body can tolerate the treatments or alternative therapy if it becomes available.
Funds raised will go towards the following but not limited to… medical expenses, Cyrene’s and Elizabeth’s travel from Manila, finding proper accommodation for the three of us, outfitting said property with the necessities to meet my medical condition, Prescriptions, Palliative Care, transportation, support for my family’s monthly expenses including food, clothing, kindergarten school for Elizabeth and any other unforeseen expenses.
If the amount surpasses any expectations, funds will be left in a trust for my daughter’s future upon my death.
I thank you for taking the time to read this and ask that you donate any denomination possible since every little bit helps.
AGAIN PLEASE LET’S GET THE WORD OUT - after you have donated PLEASE “Like” and share my campaign by sending it to your friends or share on your profile.
WITH YOUR HELP HOPEFULLY WE WILL BE REUNITED AGAIN SOON.
- David Gregory
- Gerri Korec
- Allan Arnold
- Donna Mckay
- Ann Garnett
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