The previous months leading to this diagnosis James' health started to decline, along with his energy levels and ability to work. By the end of May we knew something was definitely wrong. After multiple trips to the local hospital and being sent home we packed up and headed to Wake Forest Baptist ER. Immediately they knew there was something wrong with his heart.
On June 5th, his 60th birthday, they did a heart cath and saw no major blockages which led the doctors to search for other explanations leading us down the terrible road we are on now. After a weeks hospital stay, heart biopsy, a bone marrow biopsy, and a plethora of other tests they confirmed James had Multiple Myeloma Cancer accompanied by a nasty & rare disease called AL Amyloidosis. The Amyloidosis produces proteins that can't be broken down settling in organs and damaging their function. The main organ hit was his heart, which is why he went into heart failure. We can't get rid of the damage that has already occured or protein that has already deposited but with chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant we hope to stop the cancer and the production of the protein build up.
James is currently in his 5th round (going on his 16th treatment on 11/1/17) of chemotherapy with 3 different drugs (pill form, injection, and infusion). Once his cancer markers have lowered to acceptable levels he will be headed to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX for a stem cell transplant. This is his best chance at long term remission. The tenative plan is for them to fly out after Thanksgiving. They will harvest his own cells for the first week, then treat him with chemotherapy during the second week. This chemo will basically kill every good and bad thing in his body. He will become very, very sick and weak. Around the third week they will put his stem cells back in to help his body recover. He will be in the hospital for another 2-3 weeks. He will then be released and stay in Houston, coming back for daily checks at MD Anderson for roughly two more weeks. The entire stay should be 8 weeks if all goes well.
James is very prideful, you all know that, and it took some major convincing for him to allow us to do this fundraiser. We are looking to raise $12,000 which only pays for James & Cathy's flights out to Houston and back home, and for their housing for 2 months in Houston. Their health insurance has already increased to $2,850 per month premium with BCBSNC. By the time they pay all their premiums next year along with James' out of pocket max they will spend $42,000 purely on health care costs (that's if they cover everything).
We greatly appreciate the prayers, support, well wishes, and any donations. We serve a sovereign God and can find joy in that during these most difficult of times. From our entire family, thank you!
DonationsSee top donations
- All Donations Sent Directly to James
- Mark Bridges
- Margaret Ballerini
- Thornburg & Associates Inc.
- Larry & Jackie Dunlap
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