Marcie's "Celebration of Life" Fund

This is quite difficult to write. I am an only child and grew up with two divorced parents that prided themselves in their own financial independence. That means asking for financial help was quite foreign growing up and I have somewhat inherited that trait. My whole life I have lived with the cognition's of "work hard", "pay for your own things", and "rarely ask anyone for financial help." 

Today is where I push that aside and become extremely uncomfortable. I need to ask for financial help for my mother who has Stage IV Colon Cancer with Metastasis to her stomach lining; deemed incurable.

"By asking for help it's not that you're weak, it's not that you're anything like that. It's just allowing somebody else to give their gift." - Marjean Holden

In November 2017, my mother, Marcie Mendalski (53), had extreme pain in her lower abdomen. Right before Thanksgiving, she went into the hospital and x-rays had shown a large tumor in her colon that was causing the pain. In December 2017, the biopsy shown that it was cancerous; Stage III Colon Cancer. 

We were all in shock. Colon cancer does not run in our family and we had no clue who to turn to. People around us gave us mixed messages. Some said "Colon Cancer is the most treatable cancer" and some said "It is a silent killer." A week after the biopsy results, we were told that Chemotherapy would be the course of treatment and that she would be able to beat this. She would definitely be able to beat this.

When my mother attended her first Chemotherapy treatment right before Christmas, her PET scan showed more information on the cancer that we all did not expect. My mother's new diagnosis is Stage IV Colon Cancer that has spread (mets) to her stomach lining. The first doctor stated that cancer spreading to the stomach lining is incurable; chemotherapy will not cure it but may slow it from spreading further to organs and lymph nodes. They gave her 5-10 years left to live. We went to get a second opinion and they stated similar comments.

Right now, the course of treatment is Chemotherapy with fingers crossed that it won't spread further so she can live longer. That was when I started to do research, join support groups, and read endless forums on this form of cancer. That is when I came across Sugarbaker Oncology Associates in Washington, D.C. who specializes in the treatment of peritoneal metastases from gastrointestinal cancers. My mother has already started the process of sending him her information and if he accepts her case, he could offer a treatment that could make the cancer NED (no evidence of disease). This is the best shot my mother has at living. Living long enough to see her only child and daughter, me, get married. Live long enough to see if I eventually have children, travel the world, or own a million cats. 

If my mother is accepted to try and receive treatment in Washington D.C., the money being asked for is to help her with the costs of that. The travel, the lodging, and the assumed large amounts of medical bills. 

If my mother is not accepted into the specialized treatment, the money being asked for is to help with her already large amount of medical bills and to try and have her live a life she will enjoy. My mother once told me that when she dies, she wants to be cremated and spread in Alaska because it was her dream to go and visit there. It would now be my dream to take her there not in an urn, but alive physically and emotionally. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate the positive comments, prayers, and words of encouragement...Those are just as important. 

With much love,

Kelley Mendalski

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Kelley Rae
Chippewa Falls, WI

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