My name is Melissa Young Bissey and if you have a few moments, I'd like to tell you a little the last few years of my life. Approximately 4 years ago, my son JW, (who was born with cerebral palsey) passed away. He was the light of my life and a lot of me was darkened at his passing. Like any mother that loses a child, a part of me died with him.
As time went by, things got a little easier. I met a great adventurous guy that told me all about these fantastic places he had seen and visited. Jimmy and I talked about seeing the world after my daughter graduated from high school.
In May 2013, I was getting a drink from and suddenly lost my depth perception and slammed my head into the refridgerator. The next day, my daughter rushed me to the hospital after my head felt like it was going to split in two. I went into a seizure. An MRI revealed that I had a Stage 4 Glioblastoma (thats a brain tumor). A neurosurgeon told me that I had about 6-12 months to live. We looked at our options and determined that surgery + chemo + radiation was the best route. After surgery, I started losing site in my right eye. I was on all kinds of medications that distorted my mind and body. As 2013 came to a close, the tumor was still there and putting up a fight, but I was still living and fighting it.
I was put into an experimental chemo program. This medication was not for the weak and the side effects were very hard. I was in and out of the hospital several times in early 2014 (being admitted for 1-2 weeks at a time) because of these side effects. After all of the treatment, a scan revealed that the tumor was dying.
This was great news! The chemo was very hard on my body and I needed a break (per doctors orders).
This battle was far from over but up to this point:
* Became a diabetic
* Constantly swollen from all of the drugs
* Have constant virtigo
* Need help doing most tasks
* Constant headaches
As I came into June/July, I started noticing that my vision was getting worse. A scan in late August/September would reveal that the tumor came back with a vengence. Seeking opinions, I was told that without treatment, I had 3 weeks to live and with treatment maybe 6 months. I started chemotherapy in October.
That brings us to today. I am still getting treatment and again the tumor is retreating. I would love for it to go away and let me live, but reality is this will most likely be my last year. I am blind now and require constant care. I also have many small seizures a day, some lasting as long as 10-15 minutes. I am on more medications to just try and function and live through the pain, dizziness and diabetes.
Jimmy and his family has taken great care of me. His mom has been staying with us, helping with bills and taking care of me. Its hard for Jimmy to work because I require constant care.
I am reaching out to the world to help me raise money for bills and for a great "first/last trip." I would really love to "see" some of the world before I go. Granted I cant see it, but my imagination is still good and Jimmy can describe it. Knowing I am at the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, or standing in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower would be huge. I would like to go out knowing that I got to go to a few places in the world and have a little joy before passing on.
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