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Josh and Jess' Cancer Fight

$10,479 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 93 people in 9 months
There are no words to describe the gut wrenching feeling of a doctor telling you that your husband needs to come into the hospital right now because what they found on the MRI of his brain that he had earlier that morning is concerning. That’s how it all started... and then we went on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

After a short two days in the hospital we went from it being fluid in his brain... to it being a brain tumor and he was scheduled for brain surgery the next day. 

The tumor was tested and was recurrent osteosarcoma.  The surgeon was able to remove all of the tumor with no evidence of disease left... great news! Josh will still need to undergo chemotherapy and radiation. 

For each chemotherapy treatment Josh and I will have to go into the hopsital for 5 days. The infusion will be administered continuously for those 5 days and then we will go home for a week and go back in the next week for another round. Josh will have 8 treatments of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation. 

We would be very appreciative of any donation that you can give. It will go towards our hospital and medical bills.
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The Final Update:

Hello again from Josh and Jess! We are happy to say that we are officially done with chemotherapy treatments. I was supposed to go in for one more infusion, but due to my kidneys Dr. Kalmadi has made the decision that it will be best for me to stop treatment at this time. I can say I was very happy to hear that from him. I was getting to the point that I really wasn’t sure if my body/mind could even handle one more round. According to the doctors, the issues with my kidneys should go away a little while after treatment, so fingers crossed!

It really feels like color has come back to my world since the treatments have stopped. This time around was really rough on my body and soul. I still have a long road ahead of scans, blood work and other appointments but I am glad to finally be done with chemotherapy for good, no matter the outcome. I heard a quote once that it is hard to really live while you are trying to survive, and that couldn’t be closer to the truth. I am so excited to get back to normal life! My strength is the thing I am waiting most anxiously for. My body has been depleted for quite some time, so it will feel great to be able to keep up with people my age again. I hope my story will be able to help others down the road and give encouragement to others going through similar circumstances. Money, jobs, and possessions are never guaranteed; live for what really makes you happy in life.

I want to thank you all for sticking with us through this incredibly tough journey. It has tested every ounce of our being. We are very excited to move on to bigger and better things for our lives. While it was easy to slip back into regular life after the first fight with cancer, I think this second time has really taught us a lesson about life, love and how precious each day is.

We love you!

Signing off for the last time,
Josh and Jess
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Hello again!

Sorry again for the long delay in updates. Things have been going somewhat smooth here for us in the last few months we have of this journey. It sure has been harder this time around. I know I didn’t reach my rock bottom the first time around of cancer, but this second go-round is proving to have its difficulties.

I just got out of the hospital on Sunday from my five-day chemo stay. Doctor Kalmadi lowered my dose another 20% to try to keep me out of the hospital in between chemo. I have been having problems with my white/red blood cells and potassium staying up in the normal range. They say your body starts to feel the affects of and react more to the chemo the more you take in, and my body has had about enough. Luckily this time I felt less sick overall, which was nice. Now we will see if it keeps me out of an extra hospital stay or two.

I have 2 more rounds of chemo to do and I should be done in about September or October at the latest. I am very excited for it to be over and finally get back to work. One of the hardest things for me is to have to sit around, do nothing and just rest because my body needs it but my brain want to go go go. It gets pretty old, but then I remember this is only temporary.

I want to thank everyone for the continued prayers and support. It helps more than you could ever know. You may have noticed that we raised our goal a bit and here is why…

We have been working with my insurance and Medicare (which I have through disability). When they had me sign up for Medicare, I was given the option for Part B but did not think that I would need to pay for that since I already had insurance that I was paying for. Apparently that is not the case… Part B of Medicare covers anything not in the hospital and since I did not get Part B, we now have to pay out of pocket for those expenses. I was never made aware of this, and so now we are looking down at a BUNCH of new bills we were not expecting. I have been on the phone with more doctors and hospitals than I ever have before trying to straighten everything out. NOT FUN!

Again, thank you all so much for your love and support. We really could not endure all of this with out you.

Love,
Josh and Jess
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Well, finally some good news!! Some of you may have already heard, but we received our first batch of good news since the start of this journey...

I had some scans this past week (an MRI and CT scans) and all of them came back looking good!!

I had an appointment last Friday with Dr. Kalmadi and he told me he was a little worried about the MRI that I had coming up that same day. I'm not gonna lie, I was not expecting to get good news. I had the scan, and was going to wait until my next appointment to hear the outcome. The next morning Jess and I went out to get breakfast and I got a call from an unknown number. Every time this happens, it is always bad news (doctors calling with their untraceable numbers lol). My stomach dropped and I answered the phone. It was Dr. Kalmadi with the good news!! He said the scan looks to be clean and he had a few people review it. I started crying right there in the restaurant. I couldn't believe it. We both cried and called/texted a lot of our close family and friends. to tell them. It was such a great day; and we really needed one.

I waited to update everyone until now because I was still waiting on the CT scan I had of my body. I didn't want to jump the gun. So, today I had an appointment again and the CT scan also came back clean! We are now hoping this trend of good news keeps coming down the pipe!

So now I am back in the hospital today for my fifth round of chemo. We are hoping for no more Sepsis scares from here on out. Dr. Kalmadi lowered my chemo dose slightly to hopefully keep that from happening again.

It was great to finally share some good news with you all. Thank you so much for everything you have done for us. We can't begin to thank you all enough for the support and kindness you have shown us.

Signing off for now. More updates to come later.

Love,
Josh and Jess
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Hello again! Sorry for the drought in updates lately. Lets get started back where I left off...

I was going through radiation on my last update and had chemo on hold while going through it. I finished 6.5 weeks of radiation back on April 26th. It was a nice break, although going in to treatment everyday did get old and was a daily reminder of being sick. It wasn't too bad though. I had to wait about 1 month before I could get a brain scan to avoid a false-positive result. But I actually haven't had a scan quite yet.... I'll explain.

I started back up on chemo about 3 weeks after finishing radiation (got out of the hospital last Wednesday). I was originally going to start chemo again after 2 weeks, but I picked up a bit of a cold, so my doctor had me wait an extra week. I was basically over the cold, and just had some residual phlegm and a slight runny nose so we figured I was good to go for chemo. I received chemo and everything went like normal. I was in the hospital for another 5 days, got out and had 3 days of recovery, then started feeling good again. This past Sunday and Monday though I started feeling crappy again. I was extremely fatigued, to the point which Monday I couldn't even get out of bed I was so exhausted. I didn't think too much of it, and definitely did not want to go back into the hospital, so I just rested. Around 5pm Monday I decided to take my temperature after Jessica was telling me I needed to go to the E.R. the whole day. My temperature was 103.6. My heart kind of dropped, because I remembered the chemo nurses told me a long time ago I needed to come in for anything over 100.5, so I was freaking out a bit. I texted Jess and we were off to the hospital.

I was in the E.R. for a few hours, and then they got me up to a room. They gave me a dose of some Antibiotic, and right after getting to my room I started shaking uncontrollably. It was actually pretty intense, and very uncomfortable. By this time, the alarms had sounded in the hospital and every nurse on the floor was in my room (still not quite sure why there were so many lol). But I could see worry in their eyes. I got on some oxygen, but that did not help. I was getting frustrated at this point that no one was getting me some type of drug to control this shaking (I have the best nurses and they took very good care of me just to be clear!). After a few doses of IV Benadryl and another drug I forgot the name of, I finally stopped shaking. At this point they were worried I had Sepsis (which I should not have googled). I was sent down to ICU for a day for close monitoring, and to get multiple doses of different broad spectrum antibiotics. I had a ton of blood tests, and cultures taken to be extra cautious. After 24 hours in the ICU, they decided I could be downgraded back to the regular floor, but still had to be closely monitored, because Sepsis was not out of the picture yet. It was a tense few days, and I was actually pretty scared for a few of the days. Luckily I started getting better and the last 2 days I was fever free, so I was able to go home this morning (Saturday).

It was a crazy week filled with fear, discomfort and then quite a bit of boredom. I am so glad all of that is over now. It is amazing to be back home. Jessica was by my side every night like always and I couldn't be luckier to have her in my life. She is the most amazing person in the world and I am blown away each day how lucky I am to have her in my life. I love you Jessica!!!!

So now this week I will be following up and getting more blood tests to make sure my levels don't start dropping again. I will be scheduling my scans for this week, or next depending on when they have available. Once I get the scans I will send out another update with any news we receive!

I hope this wasn't too long winded, but that is a bit of what has been going on with my treatment. I look forward to 2 weeks off to recover and enjoy time with family and friends.

Thanks to everyone for the continued love and support! Every little thing helps!! We love you all!!

-Josh and Jess
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