My name is Steven McCombs, my wife's name is Joan.
Two days after Christmas last year 2016 she was taken to emergency with a strangled colon, they untwisted it 3 times in a 24 hour period and finally did a colostomy. She didn't like the idea of having a bag, but we saw it as temporary. Within a short period of time they performed what we now know was a form of paracentesis. After it was done the area got infected. Once released from the hospital I continued the wound care process at home. Lymph edema in her legs followed. I did the wraps daily. When I felt like we had this under control, ascites fluid started building up in her stomach. Weekly they were removing up to 8 liters during Paracentesis procedures. Next came anemia and blood transfusions. It started to settle down. She attempted to return to work, got lite headed, fell cracked her eye socket and had some bleeding on the brain. This cleared up. During this time I took over everything from cooking to cleaning, helping her change her bag to keep her meds and ostomy supply's updated and doing all the driving. I am her only caregiver. When things seemed to be settling down with the need for Paracentesis, the wraps, lightheadedness and the inability to walk without a walker; her liver started to fail. This problem also stabilized. When we thought we out of the woods her kidneys failed. She has now been in dialysis for about 6 months and we have gone through the transplant evaluation for liver and kidneys at the University of Minnesota, which a decision is being made shortly as to her acceptance to their waiting list. I promised her I would get her through all of this and get her back to normal, regardless what I had to do to make it happen and that I wouldn't let her die.
I know this is s lot of information but I wanted to preface my reason for contacting you. Last week I was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I watched your video about the discovery of a new treatment using a person’s own DNA to fight the cancer cells. My question is: are they interested in using test patients to further their research and conclusions. I very much doubt if our insurance would cover such new technology though.
I need to stay alive to be able to keep my promise to my wife and so far the biggest part of her journey to recovery is the great attitude she has maintained. I have worn myself out trying to make sure she stays as healthy and happy as possible, but I'm afraid if something were to happen to me she would nosedive. I know with chemo there's always a chance for remission, but the last year has been anything but lucky for us.
To add to health problems, sick benefits have reduced her income by 60%. She had been the office manager for 20 years of a Railroad Union.
I'm older and retired but I need to be able to go back to work and take care of her at the same time. I will have to find a way to get legitimate work from home with a very flexible schedule. Which is a totally different problem.
Realistically I don't see how I can do this with the treatment options currently available to me.
That is why I am contacting you. I know this is a long shot but I have to try everything if I am to help her and keep my promise, even if this only buys enough time for me to help get her through.
This was a letter my brother sent last week to a Dr who had a recent development seen on Fox 9 news.
Today we met with the University of Minnesota Oncologist who stated he will need to have his left lung removed as soon as possible.
We believe this may happen around the holidays at this point.
The money he had saved is running out and there concerned about losing the town house they purchased last fall.
Steve is trying to figure out how to make ends meet while he's recovering from the surgery and wants to work from home but with the upcoming scheduled surgery and recovery this will be difficult.
The hope is the money raised will help keep them in their home and buy him time to recover so he can go back to work, if anyone has a means of working from home or possibly a hospital Steve wants to be able to support themselves but this is going to be all uphill to do that.
Both Steve and Joan are staying strong and are remaining hopeful that they both have a complete recovery and someday can do the same for others but for now they are in a place of need and don't want to ask for help but really have no other choice.
I'm Steve's younger brother, for me he always was the one who I looked up to and respected, while I'm trying to help anyway I can I know this may be more challenging especially if the insurance ends, we believe it will continue but there has been no confirmation from the Railroad union that Joan has worked for 20 years.
Surgery will probably be close to the end of the year, their savings was used and are now looking to be able to stay in their home during their recovery proccess.
If there's a donation you could assist with we would certainly appreciate that.
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