Help Michelle Beat Cybil the Tumor

$470 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 5 people in 12 months
Created August 16, 2018
32195362_1534437536844844_r.jpegMy friend Michelle has been one of my best friends for the last seven  years. Right now she is hospitalized with a tumor so large so large that all of her insides are being compressed. It measures 42 cm x 28 cm x 45 cm which is beyond extremely large on her 5'3" stature!

Up until this point Michelle has NO health insurance because she owns her own business, and hasn't been able to afford the crazy health insurance costs for a single small business owner. 

She's one of the most kind and generous people that I've ever met, and she will not only be facing a very complicated 4-8 hour surgery, but has already been hit with over $7000 in medical bills. Not including the money she will lose for the 6-8 weeks of recovery she won't be able to work.

We aren't sure if the growth Michelle is fighting is just a humongous cyst or if it might be cancer. If it's cancer, she will have an even longer treatment and recovery period.

Please help Michelle kick Cybill the Cyst in the butt, and focus on taking care of herself rather than worrying about the money she won't be able to provide for her family. Or the medical bills that are already mounting up.

EVERY donation helps, and will be sent directly to Michelle to help her during this awful time.
+ Read More
Here's another CT image of my 82-pound giant ovarian cyst. The view is as if I were lying on my back. The gray area is the mass and the white ghost-looking thing at the bottom is my spine. It still amazes me every time I see these that I was able to even walk with such a large mass. It's definitely no wonder that my back hurt so much even just sitting up.

After the results of the CT came back they had also wanted me to get an MRI. I knew I would be okay in the machine itself as I can tune out loud sounds and am okay in small spaces. However, I was shaking so badly and had tears in my eyes because the pain was so bad. I tried to stick it out as long as I could but unfortunately, the MRI imaging didn't work out. It's the worst pain I've ever been in my whole life, including anything I've had post surgery.

After that I also had a pap smear nightmares are made of. Let's just say that bloody fluids even ended up on the wall.

I was discharged later that day and didn't have an appointment to see the surgeon until more than a week later. It was a rather somber moment when I had a few minutes to myself to look through my lab and scan results and saw that my Cancer Antigen 125 test was a lot higher than normal, that some of my arteries were compressed, and that the mass was so large they couldn't tell where exactly it was coming from. I had no idea if I had cancer at that time or what exactly the future would hold. You can read more about my whole experience at SmartSavvyLiving.com as I don't want to turn this into a novel. Thank you again to everyone for the continued well wishes, thoughts, and prayers.
+ Read More
In August I went to the ER for the first time because I had really bad bloating, indigestion/vomiting, back pain, and I couldn't walk very far without feeling like my legs wanted to give out. The symptoms kept getting worse before better so I went to get checked out and discovered I had what was estimated to be a 40-some cm (or 1.4 feet) long mass coming from what was assumed to be one of my ovaries or uterus. It was so big they couldn't even tell from the CT image.

It was hard for me to put centimeters into context when the doctor told me how big it was but they shortly after showed me the CT images and this is what I saw. I was in shock and all I could say was Oh My God. The large gray area you see from my pelvis up into my abdomen is the mass. It was literally pushing up my organs, like my liver and stomach, and smooshing them all together, as you can see. That's the reason I was constantly having indigestion so bad that I was having to pop multiple acid-reducers a day and even started vomiting more and more. The contents of my stomach literally started having nowhere else to go other than up and out.
+ Read More
Hey everyone – Michelle here. Thank you to everyone that has donated, shared, and/or sent positive thoughts my way. If you didn’t see, my mass ended up being an 82-pound (yes, that’s 82 pounds) giant ovarian cyst, thankfully not cancerous, and to remove it I have an almost foot-long incision from just under my left breast down. It’s crazy to me that since I’m just under 5’3” that’s almost a fifth of my body and it’s still hard for me to believe I was carrying that around.

I’ve been out of the hospital for just over a month now and have been “busy” getting a lot of rest to heal and physical therapy to get my strength back. It feels good to finally be able to move around for more than a couple minutes at a time and not have constant back and leg pain. Before the surgery, I struggled to even have the strength to stand in the shower for just 5 to 10 minutes. This was my wish for my 33rd birthday, which is this Sunday 10/7, and I feel so thankful and blessed that it’s come true.

As Ashely posted, I’m a self-employed small business owner, running the site SmartSavvyLiving.com. I’ll be posting about my experience dealing with the giant ovarian cyst there if you’re interested in reading about it.

It’s honestly hard to not overly stress about finances and getting bills paid since I can’t go on something like disability leave and my income has taken a big hit on top of a year that has already eaten away our savings. But, I’m trying to focus on continuing to rest, heal, and do what I can. Most of my income comes from creating, preparing, and then photographing recipes which is obviously not something I can do a whole lot of right now.

Some of the extra unexpected expenses we’ve incurred due to the mass include (not to mention the added stress of right before going to the ER finding one of our cats unresponsive whom we, unfortunately, had to decide to be euthanized because she was suffering too much to the tune of $350):

· A $4,000+ bill from my ER visit without health insurance

· $200 less income a month for now having insurance along with a $2000 increase in deductible and $5000 increase in max out of pocket limit since being added to Tommy’s insurance plan

· Lost income from before surgery due to being bed bound and only comfortable on my side

· Lost income from being in the hospital for about 2 weeks and being too exhausted to work once getting home as a lot of my energy has been spent on physical therapy visits, home health nurse visits, and doctors appointments

· Purchasing a bed for downstairs as I physically couldn’t go upstairs for a week before surgery and for a couple of weeks after getting home

· $100 walker to get around with at the hospital and first couple weeks at home

· Having to resort to takeout, quick freezer meals, etc. for food since I can’t do much cooking and Tommy has a demanding job where he often must work late hours on top of taking care of the house, cats, and me

· Medication and medical supplies costs – Prescription pain medication, acid reducers, anti-nausea, and antibiotics twice so far. I also have a few areas of my incision that scabbed over and weep around a seroma that must be cleaned twice a day with peroxide, oddly enough blown with a hair dryer, and covered with gauze

· Having to slowly update my wardrobe as I’ve lost about 120 pounds between the cyst removal, hysterectomy, etc. so my old clothes literally fall off of me

Now that I’m finally getting some mental clarity back I’ll update with how things have been going more often. I’m waiting to get a copy of my crazy CT scans to share and in the meantime here’s a before (day before second ER visit) and after (a few days after I got home) to show just how big the cyst was. Pardon the big watermark but I don’t trust someone to not steal the photos and try to use them to sell weight loss products. And also the latest statement from my first ER visit, not even including what we'll owe for my hospital stay, etc.

I’ve had some complications along the way but I’m still alive, able to get around, and am slowly getting my life back to what it used to be so I’m very thankful. And thank you all again!
+ Read More
From Michelle's FB Page
Update: Sorry for the lack of updates but recovery has been majorly kicking my ass. I was doing pretty good Saturday morning. The surgery had lasted until about 7 PM Friday night
I barely remember anything. Just them taking me to the OR and very little prep. Then I remember waking up as I was probably recovering and asking for Tommy then immediately being out of it again.

Then I woke up in my room. They were putting warming blankets on me which I didn't understand because I wasn't cold at all. I was really out of it.

They said to press the button for pain meds when I needed it which I think I only did 3 times total because I felt like I was still rather under the effects of the procedure itself.

They took it away just over 12 hours after I got out which I still dont remember much of. Just in time for PT to come and want me to roll from my right side on the far end of the bed to the left, over my large length of staples, and then get up out of bed.

I rather regret doing this, as soon after I felt like I could barely breathe deeply enough and I started having digestive issues again. By Monday morning I was vomiting such painful stomach acid that I has to get an ng tube put in

So, after everything I now couldn't eat or drink anything and have a painful tube sitting on my irritated throat and nose, pulling gunk out of my stomach and making it increasingly difficult to breathe. And everytime they need more blood they usually have to send 3+ people because my veins are so tiny.

Thankfully, this morning (Thursday), I am feeling much better. They are letting me have small sips of clear liquids like apple juice. And, I got the fantastic news yesterday that the more thorough pathology at the lab was also negative for any cancer.

Still no real idea of when I may be able to go home but I'm honestly rather over this tube and not being able to breathe well. Especially since it hinders me being able to move around more. I also look forward to a good night's sleep. I feel rather delirious between all the meds and lack of sleep.

Thank you all again for the thoughts, prayers and donations. They mean so much to me right now. Also I can never say thank you enough to tommy. I really dont know what I would have done/would do without you.

+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$470 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 5 people in 12 months
Created August 16, 2018
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
11 months ago
Theresa Turner
12 months ago
Carl Hayden
12 months ago
12 months ago
Ashley Sears
12 months ago
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.