Robert Gregory Cole is organizing this fundraiser.
Hello ! In December 2013 I was rushed to the ER . I was A CT scan revealed 'something on my kidney" . This initial scan was found to be incorrect. The "something ", was a tumor on my bladder. It is an unknown as to how long the tumor was growing, but looking back in hindsight.... I had been extremely sick over the past few years, maybe two or three times a year. Very high fevers etc. but only lasting two or so days. It seems that long hours on a film set for four to six weeks, and a large amount of coffee (bladder irritant), caused the tumor to rupture and bleed. If I had not over stressed myself I may have not known of the cancer until it had spread. Carolyn Foland is my angel and helped me from the initial diagnoais! She made appointments and argued for care for me. I had my first surgery at New Hanover Regional Hospital in February, 2014. The procedure was a TURBT. (trans uretheral resectioning of a bladder tumor). At the time I was working , and continued to work while awaiting my follow up. I worked because I was hired as stand-in for the lead in a film by #Charlie Kaufman .
My urologist decided to perform a second #TURBT, as the cancer biopsy had shown a HIGH GRADE cancer. He wanted to be sure that all the cancerous material had been removed because of the thiness of the bladder wall and the danger of the cancer entering the tissue, where it would then spread to lymph nodes etc. I then went quickly back to surgery to remove any remaining tumor . The cancer was high grade ,and he wanted to be sure. This has been repeted three more times. Three more surgeries and the chemotherapy. I also continue the treatments as a proactive measure. Each single treatent is around $1400. This repeated 6 times. Then again a few months later. I have had no insurance throughout this entire ordeal. I sold my car to pay for medications. I have sold my valuable books. First editions etc. at huge losses. I have not worked ,nor have I been able to use other available treatments. I have been suffering depression and repetitive bouts of sickness. Me and my Carolyn did all we could to make appointments and to just get seen, much less have excellent doctors perform expensive surgical procedures and treatment. We arrived at the doctors office with no insurance or anything else. I was in pain and bleeding from my urethra. Carolyn's state of panic and her unwillingness to take NO for an answer, somehow got me in to see one of the top urologist and surgeons available. He saw immediately that the CT scan had not been done with the proper dyeing. It was a high grade tumor on my bladder. He performed the initial procedures. I was then scheduled for a chemotherapy regime . This is a fairly new therapy consisting of filling the bladder with living bovine tuberculosis virus. This stays in for a few hours and is expelled in an ultra bleached receptive ,due to the living virus. #BCG Therapy "Bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy: Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is the main intravesical immunotherapy for treating early-stage bladder cancer. BCG is a germ that is related to the one that causes tuberculosis (TB), but it doesn’t usually cause serious disease. BCG is put directly into the bladder through a catheter. The body’s immune system cells are attracted to the bladder and activated by BCG, which in turn affects the bladder cancer cells. Treatment is usually started a few weeks after a TURBT and is given once a week for 6 weeks. Sometimes long-term maintenance BCG therapy is given. Treatment with #BCG can cause symptoms that feel like having the flu, such as fever, chills, and fatigue. It can also cause a burning feeling in the bladder. Rarely, BCG can spread through the body, leading to a serious infection. This is repeated 6 times. After my first treatment, when I got home I received a call from the doctors office explaining that there would be no more appointments scheduled for treatments. No insurance was the reason. I went months before seeing a new Urologist. He is excellent and is working with me. But as he explained...'his time was free but the medicine is very expensive." The tumor had returned. Probably from not getting the full round of initial treatment. Now , I am asking for help. I have not been able to work since the cancer began . Without the continued treatments, the cancer will return and spread. My medical bills have run into tens of thousands. I have been using expensive supplements and a new diet. I have had my life turned upside down. We are asking for your help in raising funds. Your donations will be used for treatments, transportation to and from physicians appointments, prescriptions , and the general needs of life that are almost impossible because all money goes to I want to be able to continue treatment. My angel has been Carolyn Foland. My partner of twenty years! She pushed the doctors to see me when we didn't have a dime. literally. Her initial demand on the physicians office, gained two surgeries and multiple exams with one of the top urologist Thank you so much for considering to help! All is really appreciated and helps considerably! It's to bad that #CANCER has become big business.... but that a given. And the fact is, when it happens... it's scary and you follow the regimen. I was told that the treatment I undergo, is the best and no radiation! The doctor told me that even a few years ago, they would have just removed the bladder. Thanks for taking time to read all this. Please join in #Run for the cure. Robert Gregory Cole