It was also the day their world was turned upside down when they were told that Jodie had an aggressive form of breast cancer.
This couldn't be true, not now - not them.
Jodie just turned 40.
Darren, a Warrant Officer in the Canadian Forces with almost 20 years of service was just posted to Garrison Petawawa. They'd only been in their new house for 5 weeks, they were still unpacking, getting settled in, making their house a home.
Cole, the light of their lives and an absolutely wonderful young man is only 12 years old.
The next several weeks are a whirlwind of appointments, tests, meeting new doctors, answering all kinds of questions - but getting little in the way of answers in return.
Jodie's health is declining, her vision is severely impacted, she can't eat and is so weak she's using a wheelchair.
We have answers the doctors tell her, it looks like the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes, it's Stage 3. There's a game plan. Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, figure on a solid 6 months of treatment. Just a few more tests to do, come back tomorrow - we will get these tests done and in 2 weeks you'll start chemo.
August 28, 2018, 18 days of getting accustomed to the new normal that is their life. A few tests, that's it. Except it wasn't.
There's something in Jodie's brain. Go up to MRI now, they are waiting for you. Then go over to the other hospital campus, there's a neurosurgeon waiting for you.
Yes, waiting even though it's after 5pm on a Tuesday. Jodie was tired, all she really wanted was a nap.
Less than 24 hours later, Jodie was having brain surgery to remove the tumour on her pituitary gland. Within a day she's feeling so much better. She can see a bit more, she can eat, her colour and energy levels have greatly improved. Everything makes sense now. As much sense as it can in this nightmare.
Treatment on hold, need to deal with the brain. Pathology report comes back. It's the breast cancer, it's spread to the pituitary gland. There will need to be more surgery. Also, with the spread to the brain, your cancer is now a Stage 4.
This is what the last month has been like for Jodie, Darren, Cole and the families that love them.
Yes, Jodie's treatment is covered by Ontario Health, that doesn't cost them anything out of pocket.
The realty is, yes cancer sucks and it's expensive.
The hospitals she needs to go to are 150 km away, 3+ hour drive in traffic to Ottawa. Appointments and tests are usually booked on consecutive days to conserve on travel time, however they need to then stay overnight, or several nights.
When Darren & Jodie are sent to 3 different hospitals/clinics in one day - that's almost $50 in parking fees alone.
Due to the tumour destroying her pituitary gland, Jodie's health is fragile. That pituitary gland is pretty important. Jodie will be on multiple medications daily for the rest of her life. They've told her the next surgery could damage her vision more.
Don't fall they tell her. Don't suck out of a straw. Don't bend over, too much pressure on your brain. Don't blow your nose. Don't sneeze. You cannot be left alone. Jodie's mom Anne has taken a leave from work to move in and help take care of her only daughter.
Jodie hasn't been able to work since this nightmare started. Darren has missed quite a bit of time. Their income is greatly reduced while their expenses have increased tremendously. Stupid cancer is stupid expensive.
And that, dear reader, brings us to the ask. I talked to Jodie about this at length and she realizes that stupid cancer is stupid expensive and they are going to need some help.
That being said, little bits add up and I'd like to offer up a few challenges. Pick what speaks to you, what works for you.
There is an email address for Interac transfers: [email redacted] to keep it simple, a good password would be january28
- give up your Tim's or Starbucks for a few days or more, send an Interact transfer of the money you saved for Jodie!
- return your empties, for Jodie!
- brown bag your lunch, for Jodie!
- coupon it, for Jodie!
- start a Jodie jar!
Within a day or two, there will be a mailing address where mail can be securely held, and we will update once that's in place.
In the check out at the grocery? See all those gift cards?
Grab one for gas, or groceries, or Amazon, toss is in the mail.
Would you spend an hour of time with Jodie? I mean, why wouldn't you right? Share an hour of pay with Jodie.
She'd do it for you.
Small things add up to big things.
Good company on a journey makes the way seem shorter.
Thank you for anything you able to share or help with.
Please know that it's very much appreciated.
Do it for Jodie!
Facebook Support Page for Jodie Ferrie ♥
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