My mom, Kathy, was recently diagnosed with a very rare Sinus Cancer that is centrally located in the head and neck. Her treatment will start with 6 weeks of induction chemo (over nine weeks) followed by three additional dosages of chemo with radiation for 7 weeks more, totaling 16 weeks of treatment. Unfortunately, the side effects of the treatment in this location are likely to be traumatic, including the possibility of needing a feeding tube, loss of hearing, smell, taste and compromised speech.
Ultimately, I am very uncomfortable asking people for money and for every reservation I have about asking for financial assistance, my mom has 10. She has always been dead set on providing for herself and has never accepted hand-outs, no matter how difficult a situation may be. The woman doesn’t even like me buying her birthday presents!
Here’s why I decided to finally take the plunge and make one. Kathy is the primary care-giver to a 25 year-old son with ASD who has frequent violent breakdowns. She has devoted her entire life to him, both good and bad days. Recently, there have been more bad days than good. Cancer and related treatments are stress-inducing and weakening. She needs peace during this time, and these circumstances just don’t allow that. I would ultimately like to use this money to schedule more activities for Ryan that will reduce his anger and hopefully prevent his breakdowns. I am also in the beginning stages of designing a program that will help make independent-like living more accessible to adults on the Spectrum. Although this is not my main concern funding-wise, having some extra money will help me better evaluate what type of programming will work best for Ryan with this program in mind.
Second off, she will be out of work for upwards of 6 months with no disability. That's enough of a reason to start this all on its own.
Lastly, I’m in Boston. I’m a three hour drive away from where my family lives. I have a career here. I’m in graduate school here. I have a life here, and as much as I want to pack up my stuff and move back to Albany to help, I know that’s not what my mom wants. Sticking to my endeavors and creating a solid future will provide more benefit for my family in the long-run. With that being said, the distance is not stopping me from finding any possible way I can help. I’ve been doing a lot of research on proper nutrition and supplemental activities during treatment. Even before my mom’s cancer diagnosis, I have been researching “bio-hacking” techniques out of personal curiosity. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on outside remedies that can help aid in the effectiveness of cancer treatments and decrease side-effects. However, like most things in the health and wellness industry, these products come at a price. I’m not above throwing myself into a substantial amount of debt to try out some of these products and techniques (don’t tell her that), but with a $60K grad school tab awaiting me in a short two years, even the smallest amount of assistance would make a tremendous difference. If the nutrition plan and supplemental treatments I provide for her ultimately help, I will make sure I spread this knowledge far and wide so that others can benefit.
Some products/services I am currently researching are:
1) Luongos Fasting Mimicking Diet
2) Chris Beat Cancer by Chris Wark (book)
3) Thorne MediClear SGS Protein
As mentioned, even the smallest donation helps. Please help give back to someone who has lived her life giving to everyone else other than herself.