Jimbo's Fight with Cancer

On April 2nd, 2018 my step-father, Jim, was diagnosed with stage 4 Kidney Cancer metastatic to his lungs, liver, spleen, pancreas, and bones, (It’s now metastasized to his spine and brain). He was told the cancer was terminal and given less than six months to live.  He  was approved for immunotherapy, but chose not to do any aggressive treatments that would affect his quality of life.  Both Jim and my mother quit their jobs after the diagnosis and focus became solely on Jim's cares, comfort, and quality of life. He remains at home, enjoying his time with his family, his new puppy, his grandchildren, his fantasy football leagues, playing his x-box games, and his occasional, "breakfast with the boys." Jim has beaten his diagnosis with resilience, and his desire to live, but at the end of the day, he still has a terminal cancer diagnosis and he needs round the clock care.  Jim has a hard time walking and uses a cane to get around,  he has lost most of his feeling in his hands and fingers, and has lost most of his strength, making it hard for him to open and pour milk on his cereal. He has lost control of bowel and bladder,  and his body cannot regulate his blood sugars, so he also is battling the symptoms of high and low blood sugars including confusion, sweating, weakness, fatigue, excessive thirst, and excessive urination.  Jim has a hard time in the mornings, before his insulin, breakfast, and pain medications. He wakes up in a cold sweat, disorientated, in pain, nauseous, and pale. As the day moves on these symptoms usually cease, and he is able to enjoy his day. He spends most of the day sitting in his bed playing Xbox, or sitting in his recliner watching his puppy, Walter, run around.  Jim is having a harder time getting out of the house, and has to bring his wheelchair most places. My mother has been Jim's sole caretaker. They have been living off their retirement, 401K, and savings accounts.  They cashed in Jim's life insurance policy to pay medical and premiums for their health insurance.  Their health insurance; COBRA, is almost $2000 a month with a $6000 deductible.  His medications are $300 monthly, and another $200 for depends, chucks pads, and toiletries. This does not include their living expenses, mortgage and regular monthly bills, as well as some of Jim's "bucket list" items my mother was able to do for Jim this year. Jim was able to walk me down the aisle, enjoyed a vacation, fishing up north with his family this summer, and getting the puppy of his dreams. In January, their deductible will be increasing to a $10,000 deductible, Jim still needs around the clock care, and expenses will just continue to increase as Jim declines. It took my parents 10 years to come back financially after my brother died, and I know there is a huge financial stress for them (although they are too proud to admit it). The whole situation is devastating for them; physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially.  My mother has taken on everything; takes care of Jim 24/7, manages the finances, takes care of the house,  and is raising a teenager with only the little relief, that us kids are able to give on the weekends. (Their friends have been great helping with his appointments, meals etc.) I worry about her physical, and mental well being with everything on her shoulders right now, and I am unable to be there as much as I was this summer.  I know my mother would rather chew her own arm off than ask or accept help from anyone, so I decided to start this on their behalf.  While my mom puts on a brave face for the rest of us, she is struggling on the inside and worried about the future for her and Kenzie. I would like to make things even a little easier for them by lessening their financial stress. My hope is that they allow this campaign to remain up.....and that we can bring some light and relief to the next few months of their lives.  Jim has spent his entire life serving the Weston community as Captain of the Everest Metro Police Department, and now its time for his community to rally around him. Jim wants to live. Lets let him live the rest of his days out, showing him and my mom the amount of support, love, and compassion they have in their corner. Thanks so much for considering, please share and please keep them in your prayers. ~Emily

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimvercimak?fbclid=IwAR0Q4v7C2tdbMbnSjPux--DLjSN-3RHXqsgXV-kRZYnlF7O1WIjm9tW7BMc
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Organizer and beneficiary

Emily Casteel
Organizer
Sun Prairie, WI
Teresa Volpe-Vercimak
Beneficiary

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