Kim's Travel and Medical Expenses

In 2009 my wife of 30 years Kim, was diagnosed with 3 individual brain tumors identified as Ganglioglioma. These tumors are quite rare, encompassing only about 1% of all brain tumors. In February of 2010 Kim underwent an invasive surgery that posed incredible risks to her. Kim came through beautifully with the help of some physical and occupational therapy. Even with the struggles of memory loss and eyesight problems that existed, she never complained. We were hopeful we had seen the last of the problems. Kim was required to have MRI scans every 6 months as a precaution.
In the summer of 2011 the imaging picked up another tumor. It was determined that another surgery would be required and the risks again were increased due to the difficulty of scarring caused by the original surgery. Surgeries of this type are generally computer assisted and the computers have a tough time telling small differences in scar and tumor materials. The surgeon brought in a second set of eyes and hands, and eight hours later my wife is back with us again, safe and sound. This time, recovery was much slower and Kim spent a good deal of time out of work. Again, eyesight and memory loss got a little worse. The scans continued. Still, never a complaint.
After six years of clean recovery, in February 2017, a small abnormality, a blip to be watched. After all, can't be, right? This tumor is not supposed to be reoccurring. So, from February 2017 until September 2017 we watch, quietly with no discussions with anyone including our children. We didn't want to alarm anyone unjustly.
September 2017 we have the scan and it lights up with another tumor. We set appointments with the original surgeon and in turn, a radiation oncologist. This time, things didn't seem to fall into place. Both doctors were unsure of what to do and with this tumor, there is no practical information available or doctors specializing in this area. The only experienced surgeon for this tumor that anyone really knew of was the surgeon we already had. We were stuck.
Originally, we had a surgeon from California look at the case. He specialized in both this type of tumor and event, but more so in the actual mapping of the brain and how areas are effected by surgery and trauma. This doctor's opinion gave us the confidence we needed to move forward with both previous surgeries, he after all was the best. So, we again reached out to him to see what we were to do.
This time, no referral, no opinions. This doctor has agreed to and is going to perform the surgery. You never really know why things happen, why the surgeon here balked and made us go look for options. I try not to question what god's intentions are, I only deal with the things I can.
I'm sure I don't have to explain the financial damage the past occurrences have caused. On top of this my wife will definitely be out of work for an unknown period of time, and our bills will roll on. I have to take her 3000 miles away for help in November and travel expenses alone will be in the thousands. Add to this, we just changed insurances at my employment and we really have no sure answer of what they will/will not cover. All of this while trying to pay off one college loan and take care of another next year.
I'm a proud man and I have been blessed with a lot of material things in my life, all of which I would gladly give to make this go away.

And still.....never a complaint from her. She is truly amazing.
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Jim Spedden 
Henderson, MD
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