Rhonda's Leukemia diagnosis and updates

Rhonda has been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  On February of 2018, my Mother-in-law (Rhonda Cahoon) was hit very hard with influenza.  Not long after, she ended up in the Emergency Room with horrible pain in her stomach.   After multiple days in the hospital, countless exploratory procedures, laparoscopy, surgery, endoscopy, nuclear heart tests, blood work, multiple scans, and seeing specialists, she was released with no diagnosis.

Over the course of the next few weeks she was very weak continually feeling nauseous which forced her to quit her job as a cook at the Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge which in turn caused a loss of insurance.  She had worked there for many years preparing and serving food for many recovering from addictions.  She loved being employed at a faith-based workplace, where she could minister the Love of Christ with others. 

On July 19th, 2018 things started to get worse.  She started feeling sicker, and weaker by the day and was spending most of her days bedridden, unable to eat, and feeling rotten, which caused a huge weight loss.  In attempting to eat she thought if she just ate the right items she would feel better, and without having insurance, she hesitated to go back in to see a doctor. 

On August 22nd while in the shower, she passed out and fell, Steve (her husband) brought her to Urgent Care where they refused to treat her telling them she needed to be seen at the ER immediately. 

Once again doctors started testing her to see what was going on and without being able to pin point the cause, she was admitted to the hospital.  After another week in the hospital and a bone marrow biopsy, the results were that Rhonda has Leukemia (Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).  This came as a huge shock to the family!  For any of you that know Rhonda, you know she has always been a strong healthy woman never sitting still.  She is always the one taking care of everyone else.

Spending a week in the hospital without insurance and pending enrollment, the cost was weighing on her and she decided to check out of the hospital with the hope that her insurance would be approved soon, and she could proceed with options and care. 

About a week later she was approved in the beginning of September but found out that they would not back pay any of the previous medical bills or hospital stays.

Life has totally changed for all of the family since her diagnosis.  In the beginning Rhonda and Steve had to travel an hour away daily for labs, and blood transfusions to be done at the cancer center.  At this time it is down to two times each week or more depending on how she feels.

Rhonda must always have someone with her, and due to her low platelet level, she must be extremely careful and shouldn’t use utensils or even brush her teeth or hair too hard since her blood will not clot if she gets a cut, or a bruise.  She is also to use a walker to keep from falling.

It seems like there are a couple of options, option one is Chemotherapy which will require 6+ weeks hospitalized undergoing an aggressive regimen.  Then from there Rhonda will need to return to the hospital 2-3 times per week for months and to do continued care for 2-3 years or longer.  All the while eating a specific way and trying not to come in contact with anyone that may be sick which could lead to problems seeing as she has no auto immune system.  There also is an alternative option they are researching into that some choose to do with chemo and alone.  It’s called Intravenous Vitamin C treatment, it's costly and insurance doesn’t cover it.  In speaking with the doctor’s office it could be in upwards of $10,000.00

I’m asking first and foremost for prayer for Rhonda for healing and for the family as they walk through this difficult time.  God hears our prayers and is a healer!

They are unaware of what this may cost but as of now its accumulating quickly and there is a long road ahead.  Between medical bills, lost wages, travel expenses, and the costs to travel this road, they need help.  Would you join together to help them through this.  We can do that in a couple of ways:

1         Support the “Help Rhonda w/Leukemia diagnosis” Go Fund Me

2         Share the Go Fund Me page on your social media outlets

Since Rhonda has gotten sick, Steve has been the primary caregiver, he has been unable to work any amount of time, which is the supplemental income needed to go along with their monthly social security income.  And at this time the hospital bills have accumulated too nearly $40.000.00 that insurance has not covered, and they still are arriving in the mail.  

To be given a diagnosis of any sort of cancer is hard enough, now add the stress of medical bills and wondering how to cover the expenses of them and daily life.  Anything given would be helpful and most appreciated! Support is desperately needed at this time.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this story.  We pray the Lord’s blessing upon you, and are so very grateful for all the prayers and support for Rhonda, Steve and for the family.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Kurt Kurilla
Brainerd, MN
Rhonda Cahoon

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