Jim had been been receiving chemotherapy and radiation and in August was diagnosed with an aggressive form of melanoma in his left hand. The surgery to remove this tumor left all conventional physicians of the opinion that he needed to have his arm amputated above the elbow. A surgeon at the University of Florida accepted Jim for an experimental surgery to implant plates and artificial materials inside his hand. The surgery was successful with more than 250 stitches and a hole about two thirds of the top of his hand left open for a couple of weeks before it was ready for the first skin graft. Jim has had one skin graft from his neck to the hand. He developed an infection in the graft since it was performed and he's fighting that with antibiotics. He will need to undergo one or more additional grafts. There was a picture of his hand uploaded, however, it may be blocked by the site due to the graphic and disturbing nature of the image. Recovery for this experimental surgery to attempt to save his hand, if successful, will take up to a year.
Since that surgery Jim learned that the lymphoma had not responded to the 6 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. Jim has since begun an experimental cancer drug. He is one of eight patients enrolled in this trial program. The first series of this drug treatment and radiation has shown some reduction in the lymphoma in his chest and arms - thank God. Unfortunately, the lymphoma in his neck is not responding and his doctors have recommended surgery to remove two of his lymph nodes.
Jim's fight against two aggressive forms of cancer has been physically challenging. His treatment schedule and the fatigue and physical toll from these treatments on his body has left him unable to work and support himself, his 11 year old daughter and ever growing medical bills. Jim needs our prayers mostly and whatever financial support we can offer.
Some of the treatments have been covered by special grant programs through the Moffitt Center and other treatment funds have come from a generous donation by a friend of a friend who is also a cancer survivor. A substantial amount of the costs related to office visits, drugs and surgeries not covered by the grant or Jim's health insurance have exhausted all of his savings and retirement savings and needs our help for these and basic living expenses.
Please remember him in our prayers and anything you can do to ease his financial is sincerely appreciated, and please share with friends on FaceBook.
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