Tim was thriving in his creative engineering career and had plans in motion for a retirement home business to supplement his future Social Security Retirement amount. Then life changed for Tim when he found he had not 1 but 2 cancers. Tim is a single man and has the emotional support of his brothers, however he has faced many challenges on his own.
Tim had a routine physical in September 2017 with a local doctor prior to scheduling a colonoscopy. His doctors only concern was elevated PSA and he suggested a prostate biopsy for a better diagnosis. Having a slightly elevated white blood count. The doctor said it was probably and infection and put him on antibiotics.
In prep for a routine colonoscopy procedure, they found Tim had an irregular heartbeat. An EKG confirmed Atrial Fibrillation. A local cardiologist said it's not a problem, many people have this and are just fine. He said to come back and see him in 6 months.
A prostate biopsy confirmed positive stage 2 prostate cancer. The 2 options for treatment given were radiation or surgical removal. The radiation oncologist and surgeon were more concerned over "who got the job" rather than side effects and quality of life. For prostate radiation they said he would have 40 doses of external beam radiation. That was a very frightening decision for Tim to make alone.
A dear friend of Tim’s was being treated for Leukemia lymphoma and was dealing with similar communication issues to understand her treatment. She had gone to the CTCA in Atlanta and called Tim on that Wednesday and told him to call them because this is an awesome facility. He was in there the following Tuesday.
Their approach was very comforting, and they introduced him to all the supporting doctors and staff showing him how they guide patients with excellent medical professionals including nutrition and mind and body support.
Their testing confirmed prostate cancer. They were extremely concerned about his Afib and the probability of blood clotting or stroke during any cancer treatments. They also found high white blood cell count and verified its cause being Leukemia. They did further tests and found it was CML Chronic Myeloid leukemia.
The CTCA team gave Tim great comfort discussing the precision cancer treatments they utilize.1st they wanted to fix his heart (Afib), Then treat the prostate cancer and then leukemia. They told him he would not die from cancer and gave specific treatment details and options.
CTCA did a cardioversion to get his heart back in rhythm. The next procedure was internal prostate radiation. And then external beam radiation (20 treatments) for prostate cancer. Tim was terrified of radiation, but they comforted him with discussions of the precise technology and potential minimal reactions.
August 21 2018 Tim started taking the chemotherapy pill, Bosulif once a day for leukemia treatment. The immediate side effects of the chemo medication brought on intense massive migraine headaches and gastrointestinal pains (like having food poisoning every day), and extreme diarrhea and weight loss.
He suffers from emotional breakdowns and mental instability from the stress. His memory loss was getting worse with an added complication of confusion and brain fog.
Tim’s Leukemia is in remission and his doctors attribute this from his good diet and exercise. His bodies physical condition is continuing to deteriorate with muscle mass loss. He has lost 60 pounds in the last 10 months and now has deterioration of his eyesight. Similar to ocular migraines his eyes have flashing bright spots in peripheral vision and poor focus. Tim has had 2 ophthalmologist appointments and nothing has been found to cause his ocular migraines.
This physical stress is only part of his continuing side effects and drug interactions that are taking his energy. Mental stress from many issues keeps him from sleeping and thus daily fatigue is the result. The chemo medication side effects are only part of his stressful situation.
Tim’s job taken him from full time to part time status, taking away his healthcare benefits and moving him to COBRA insurance at nearly $600 per month. Recently they have tried to remove him from being employed there.
Tim's disability insurance is trying to have him go on Social Security disability to get him off their books and most recently are examining his insurance case to try to cancel it.
The goal here is to afford Tim to recover what cancer has taken from him and his career so he can get back to his retirement plan.
A big part of cancer and health care is taking care of the body physically and mentally. Healthy foods and nutritional supplements that help the body heal are expensive. When you have cancer, many of the new expenses are difficult to afford and the monthly bills don’t stop.
The cheaper processed foods with preservatives, nitrates, sodium and artificial sweeteners make him sick. If he eats any of these he gets intense GI pains with other complications.
Tim’s quality food, nutritional expenses and healthcare supplies are not covered by medical insurance and have accumulated to a sizable amount. With his reduction of income from being on disability, other household expenses are not able to be paid. Tim has had to take out loans and add to credit card debt to buy groceries, keep his utilities paid and try maintain his house.
Lower income from disability insurance and he can’t afford to pay income tax on this and survive financially.
Increase of medical insurance premium.
Quality foods like salmon omega 3, Lean meats, Un processed fresh fruits and vegetables.
Increased utility bills for heating and cooling.
Car payment, house payment.
Car repairs from driving 15,000 miles back and forth to Atlanta from Knoxville.
House and yard maintenance. He needs several trees cut down before they fall on his house.
Things that don't go way if you are sick.