I know most of the updates lately have been coming from friends and family. The short version is that a month ago today I had my first serious seizure, which put me in the DCH ICU for an entire weekend which I have no memory of. I was so heavily sedated that I was on a full ventilator, and have been dealing with throat pain and nerve damage ever since.
I had already been missing significant amounts of work. Thankfully my supervisors and HR have been very understanding, and as of March 6 when I reached a year at ACU, my FMLA has restarted. Unfortunately FMLA is unpaid, though thankfully my insurance has been covered, and will be for at least a few more weeks.
My pay has taken a big hit in recent months, though, and it has put an undeniable strain on my finances. I didn't make anything on last Friday's check, and I'm on track to have the same thing happen next week. Reopening the campaign is something I wanted to avoid, but the truth is unless I can get some extra funds, I will be in dire straights by the end of May.
Just to give you the events from my own perspective, things are taxing right now. They restarted my immunotherapy infusions thirteen weeks ago as of Wednesday in hopes of shrinking the growths in my groin. There were also over a dozen new tumors in my brain, so for the last two weeks - ending on Monday - I was doing full-brain radiation. That has caused my hair to fall out in clumps starting on Sunday. The end result is I'm going today to get my hair buzzed, which will be an entirely near experience for me.
I have also been in and out of DCH, the ER, the UAB oncology ward, and the ICU more times than I have been able to keep track of in the last four weeks. My right leg is painfully swollen, and the skin is worryingly stretched. Typing this is taking extreme effort, because the nerves in my right hand are damaged from IVs, and I cannot type or click my mouse very easily.
Day-to-day, I'm worlds better than I have been. I still have difficulty finding the right words sometimes, and exhaustion is a frequent feeling. I'm on different medicines nine times a day, which a completely new experience, even after all the other treatments.
Part of this money will also go to the people who have been supporting me. My parents and Emily have sacrificed countless hours driving me to my appoints, which has cost them quite a bit in gas alone. They've also bought me food, groceries, bigger shoes for my swollen feet, and lots of new underwear and pants while my swelling is dealt with. They haven't asked for anything in return, which is precisely why I can't just leave them in the lurch.
I cannot express to you how much the love everyone has shown me already means. Your prayers, support, visits to see me, trips to dinner, and just the times y'all message me or comment on updates keep me going. That's part of why I'm not going to feel embarrassed about reopening the campaign. I know that whatever you can do, you will. Please never forget that I don't expect anyone to do more than they are able. If $5 is what you can give, it will still mean the world.
I hope everyone has a great day! Roll Tide and God Bless!
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