Orval Vance's Cancer Treatment

It is with great sorrow I announce the passing of my dad, Orval. On Feb. 22, 2018 at 12:35am my dad lost his battle with cancer. While we find ourselves grieving for the loss of a wonderful husband and father, we know he is in a better place. A place where he is no longer suffering and no longer in pain. I would like to thank everyone for the generous support we have received over the past month. There are not enough words to express my gratitude and I am truly humbled by all the people who have reached out to help, send love and just listen to our family.  

My dad’s service will be held at:
Greenlawn Southwest - 2739 Panama Lane
March 10th at 10am.
In the main chapel

Update from Shirley:

I lost the most precious love in my life at 12:35 this morning. Orval Vance lived a fun, happy life, the first 42yrs, & happy but painful life the last 27. The last few yrs. were very uncomfortable, but if he could walk you through a problem, be it mechanical or personal, he was happy to do it. Please know that if you touched his life it was never forgotten. We love & thank you for all that was done to help him. I have the most hurting hole in my soul, hold on to those you love, kiss them every chance you get, & let them know how much they mean to you

My name is Shelli Shealey and I am asking for your help. On January 11, 2018 my dad, Orval Vance, was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.  The cancer has metastasized to his spine, neck, ribs, pelvic, hip and into the lymph nodes. In addition to the diagnoses, he fell on January 10th and broke his arm. He has been in an extreme amount of pain. He has no strength and requires help to do even the smallest of task. This affects his ability to hold up his head, walking and sitting up.  We were blessed with a wheelchair and it has been a huge help.

On January 17th we met with the oncologist to discuss treatment options. The standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer is hormone therapy, it’s a shot of Lupron given every 3 months. This will reduce the amount of testosterone in his body and hopefully reduce the lymph nodes especially the large one in his neck. There is experimental medication, Zytiga, that can be given in addition to the Lupron, but it is extremely expensive. The medication is $8,000 a month and will use up their prescription benefits in a matter of a few months. Once this happens they fall into the Medicare “Doughnut” Hole and will have to pay $4,000 out-of-pocket then the prescription will be covered until the end of the year. This cycle will happen every year and will be extremely difficult to pay each year. Both of my parents are on disability and live on a fixed income.

We have looked at other options such as chemo and radiation. They can do radiation, but it will be more to help with the pain instead of killing the cancer. As for chemo, he is not strong enough to handle it at this point. 

Orval was injured at work 28 years ago and has not been able to work for many years. During this time Orval and Shirley went through all their savings and any emergency funds they had put aside. My mom owned several of businesses, Ladybug Cottage and Classic Interiors. Due to the recession and her declining health she sold off the store. It was a blessing she was able to sell the store, but it has been difficult losing the income.  

My parents met 40 years ago on Christmas Eve at a Christmas party. He tapped her on the shoulder and asked if he could buy her a drink. She turned to answer and with one look knew he was the one for her. She has always said he was the best Christmas present she ever received. They have spent the last 40 years side by side. He cared for her 30 years ago when she had breast cancer. He came home everyday at lunch to care for the blisters that were left from radiation.

No matter where or when, if you needed Orval he was there. He has always been there for his friends, here at home or Quail Valley R.V. Park. His injury from work kept him from physical help, but he could talk you through just about anything. He talked me through fixing my van. I learned how to take apart an engine to replace the timing chain and housing as well as the water pump, belts and hoses. He is an incredible wealth of knowledge especially when it comes to mechanics, but he can do just about anything. If you needed a tool he had it. If you needed a car you could use theirs. If you needed a bed, it was given without hesitation. He is truly a man’s man. Fishing, hunting, sports or whatever the gang was doing, he was there.

I am asking for your help in hopes that my dad will get the chance to be one of the guys again, hope he will be there to help the next niece, nephew or friend. Our goal is $8,000 and it will give him two years of treatment. If it is in your heart to give, please know it will be appreciated more than words can tell.

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Shelli Shealey 
Bakersfield, CA