Time with Tony

Hi friends, 

As some of you know my father, Tony, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two weeks ago.  This is incredibly scary for us because pancreatic cancer spreads rapidly and is often caught far too late.  Initially, we shrugged it off as the flu when he had gotten sick several times throughout the last year but became a bit more concerned when he started loosing lots of weight. (70 pounds in the last year)  The last straw was when he woke up yellow, in pain, & extremely itchy (toxins being released through the skin becasue his organs are performing the way they should).  After several days in the hospital, it was confirmed that he had pancreatic cancer.   

What stage is he at?
At this time, the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes.  We do not know the exact amount of time we have & we will learn more on April 12th, 2018 when we meet with an oncologist, but it is looking to be terminal.  We will be extremely lucky and grateful if he lives beyond a year, and were afraid that it is less than 6 months. However, we are hopeful & willing to do everything in our power to prolong his time here with us.  It has been confirmed that we are starting chemo/radiation treatments.  In the mean time, I will be revamping his nutrition, getting him moving more, and seeing what altering his food & adding some different nutrients will do for him.  

Let me give you a little back story on mine and my fathers relationship.  Growing up, my father and I didn't have much of a relationship.  My dad had been in a work accident when I was seven that should have left him in the state of a "vegetable" the doctors said.  He was in a coma for weeks, and suffered severe back pain & head trauma.   He lost most of his senses but has since regained more than they thought back.  However, he has been out of work and disabled for almost 20 years.  The accident left him in a lot of pain and my dad became dependent on opiates, which altered who he was as a person.  I hated the person he became, and I grew up having really harsh feelings for him.  He overdosed several years back, and that broke my heart.  After expressing my feelings, and yearning for a relationship him, my father agreed to go to rehab for a year, and has come a long way since.  Over the last five years, we've worked towards growing a healthier relationship with each other, and my father is no longer abusing medication. 
(He had 27 staples placed after his accident when I was 7 & also had back surgery to correct some spinal damage)
(My father and I)

What I am asking of whomever is reading this:
My father is 53 years young, and this came as a complete surprise for both of us.  This isnt alcohol related, as my dad rarely picks up a drink.  This is just a very bad stroke of luck.  We don't have a large family or much financial support.  I will need to travel back and forth between Denver and Omaha frequently.  I want to be able to take him to and from most appointments, chemo, & dont want him to feel alone throughout this.  I want to make sure he can afford adequate nutrition, and I don't want him to have to stress about finances, or inability to pay for anything throughout the process.  Not only that, but I don't want his last bit of time to be only painful and uncomfortable memories.  While I know that comes with cancer, I want him to have some unforgettable experiences as well. Selfishly, I want more quality time with my father, as we've just really started connecting.   My goal is to take him on a trip.  He loves Alice Cooper (like super fan whose entire room is Alice collectibles, and he participates is Alice fan clubs and pages).  It seems as if Alice isn't touring in the states for another four months, so that may not be an option with the time we have.  If not, I want to take him on a trip to a place of his choice and spend some quality time in a beautiful place together.  

Lastly, I am very fortunate to have bosses that are so flexible & understanding of my situation and will allow me to take off all the time I need.  However, I am a student on a very tight budget & my savings will only cover so much travel back and forth, and missed time from work. Donations would also be very helpful for me because it would allow me to be able to assist my father during this time, and not have to worry about my own expenses at home. 
(I had to get a picture when I visited, because I knew how much my father loved Alice!)
(My favorite photo of my father and I at Guns N' Roses last summer)

I ask that you guys consider making even a small donation, or sharing this with your friends and family, as if would relieve some stress from my father and I.  I will provide you all updates as I have them and just ask that if you cannot provide a donation or share, that you all send positive thoughts our way.  

I cannot thank you all enough for your help, support, and thoughts!

Ashley T.
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Ashley Lynn 
Colorado, CO
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