In February of 2018, Steve was diagnosed with colon cancer. This was after months of feeling exhausted without apparent reason, and finally ended in a trip to the ER with dangerously low hemoglobin. He was admitted to the hospital, and given blood transfusions and iron. The next step was to find out why he had no red blood cells. Causes suggested were everything from ulcer to cancer. Of course, we hoped for ulcers. After some endoscopy tests, it was determined that Steve has a large cancerous tumor in his colon, and this was the cause of his extreme fatigue. With at least the knowledge that it was indeed cancer, Steve underwent imaging and surgery to determine the stage of the cancer. The surgery showed that Steve's colon cancer had spread into his abdominal lining, the peritoneum. He is in Stage IV peritoneal carcinosis; stage IV, life-threatening cancer. This was not the news we hoped to hear, and it has been a tough road for all of us, and we both worry a great deal about our son and how we move forward supporting him through the stress, knowing that his dad is so sick.
Steve has had surgery to implant a port through which to receive a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs, and that process has started. At this point, we go through the chemotherapy cycles and hope that it works. If it does, he will be a good candidate for a radical and intense surgery at OHSU. We are waiting to see the results of the chemo with another CT scan done in two months' time.
As you can imagine, all of this is costing Steve a tremendous amount of money, even though he is insured. His co-pays are 20% of what is going to end up a very large number. Before his first chemo infusion, his share of the medical bills were already at $6,000, and the figure literally climbs every day. Fighting cancer, and living with the stress that goes with it, is tremendously difficult. The financial burden makes it harder to stay healthy, harder to fight, harder to focus on what's important. Steve needs support from his friends and family while he goes through this. The funds will help him pay his portion of the medical bills and also help him with living expenses, as he will need to use all of his sick leave at work, and then some. He continues to work as much as he can, but the chemotherapy leaves him fatigued to the extreme, and the added stress of financial worry is so hard on him.
Steve is suffering through the chemotherapy and waiting with a good spirit, but tremendous worry about his son. Most days he retains his wonderful sense of humor, but some days are just so difficult. We love him so much, and I just want to do everything I can to ease the burden for him. I'm attending as many appointments as I can, helping with copays and prescriptions, and offering support during infusion treatments and surgeries. I know Steve would hesitate to ask, so that's why I'm doing it. The last thing he wants is to burden others.
Please consider making a contribution to support him. He loves his family and friends so much and I know that he would be so grateful and his heart warmed to know that he has friends who care so much.
With sincere thanks,
and Travis (13 years old)
- Christy Allara
- Vernon Scriber
- Annie Miles
- Julie Wakayama
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