Please help Lisa get her life back!

$10,088 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 92 people in 44 months
Lisa is a beautiful wife, mother, daughter, and friend. She has a kind soul, a great sense of humor, and always welcomes others with open arms. In 2007, Lisa was diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, or MGUS. This disease totally changed her life and caused her to resign from her job due to frequent infections, bone pain, neuropathy, and fatigue. There was always a small chance (1%) that the disease could progress to cancer, and in 2015, the dreaded words we never wanted to hear were spoken by her doctor: “Your numbers have increased significantly, and you have multiple myeloma.” This type of cancer forms in plasma cells and affects the bone marrow. Where antibodies should be helping the body fight infection, these cancer cells attack the organs, starting with the kidneys. There is no cure for this cancer, only treatments with the hope of getting to remission. Lisa’s cancer is aggressive, though, so unfortunately remission may not come as easily or last as long as a non-aggressive cancer patient. On September 4, 2015, she began her first treatment of chemotherapy. Her regimen consisted of an injection once a week, five pills once a week, and another pill every day, along with other medications given to prevent infections and lessen side effects. On January 27, 2016, she began a bone marrow (also called stem cell) transplant to try and replace the bad cells with healthy ones. For about two weeks she was an inpatient in the hospital receiving treatment, and after that followed with outpatient treatment daily for four months. The side effects, fear, anxiety, and stress from having cancer are more than enough for a person to have to handle, so adding the cost of treatment to that mix is unthinkable. For example, just one of her medications costs about $12,000 a month, and the transplant cost over $200,000! Insurance will help, but there will be a significant amount billed to us. Our family is trying to do everything we can to be supportive, but covering the costs is an impossible feat. Any donation from you will help tremendously and be greatly appreciated. Lisa is staying positive and strong, and she WILL beat this disease.   -Her daughter, Hayley
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NOTE FROM LISA
I find having a gofundme to be a bit embarrassing and humiliating. However, while I fight these feelings, the gofundme has proven to be a Godsend. I just want to thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart, for all the help you've given my family over the past couple of years. The life ending cancer diagnosis I received in August of 2015, not only turned our lives upside down, both emotionally and financially, it has also been a learning and truly humbling experience.
Since Hayley's last update only a few days ago, I will be able to catch up on my chemo payments, along with one of my oncologists. I am overwhelmed with your caring and generosity. I can never thank you enough. Love you all so very much.
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It has been a while since my last update. Mom has issues with losing her balance and falling, due to the severity of her neuropathy which was caused by the cancer and worsened by the chemo. She has many days when she must stay at home and rest, as the chemo makes her ill, dehydrated, and very tired. All of this makes her spirits low, and she isn’t up to socializing very often, which she normally LOVES to do. It is difficult seeing my mom like this, as before her illness, she was full of energy. She recently hurt her lower back and hip, due to being prone to injuries, and was dependent on a wheelchair for a while any time she left the house. She received injections twice from a pain management doctor and is now feeling much better.

Dad is still working two jobs to try to make ends meet, which is hard on him physically, as he has his own health problems. His working also affects Mom’s post-traumatic stress disorder, since a huge part of it relates to separation anxiety from Dad. Over the last two years, we had qualified for co-pay assistance through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We received a letter a couple months ago though, saying that the program had run out of funds, so we were not going to be receiving any more financial help.

We can't pay our medical bills, and are months behind on chemo payments and oncology co-pays. We were very thankful for friends, Linda and Elton, who brought over some Thanksgiving dinner and visited with us that evening. They also had us over for a great Christmas dinner. Over the holidays, we weren’t able to give gifts, but it really wasn’t a big deal.

Mom needs to continue her counseling for her depression and PTSD. She has also been supposed to begin her post-transplant physical therapy. All of these things require co-pays and gas money, though, as well as her depression to be lowered enough to be able to take on these tasks.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that never dies, and Mom will remain on chemo indefinitely. All she wants is to live her life to the fullest. Every day is a challenge for her and for all of us. We try to stay positive through everything though, and appreciate what we DO have and CAN do.

-Hayley
Mom after hurting her back and hip.
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It has been a long time since I've written an update, and a lot has happened since then!

Mom had neck surgery on December 28th, and it was rough, to put it lightly. The neurosurgeon fixed 4 disks with the use of 2 plates, 3 spacers, and 16 screws. Normally this surgery would be done with one incision in the front, but with mom's weakened immune system, the doctor felt that healing was more likely to be successful if he made an incision in the front and the back of the neck for more stability. Mom has little memory of her 3-day hospital stay, as she was kept on constant pain meds due to such intense pain from the surgery. Fortunately, she has healed very well, and most of her previous symptoms have subsided, although she continues to have numbness in her hands. Unfortunately, there are new symptoms that have arisen, but she cannot afford the recommended physical therapy or another MRI.

Mom had a restaging with her transplant oncologist at the end of January to determine the success of last year’s transplant. She had to endure another painful bone marrow biopsy, lots of bloodwork, a 24 hour urinalysis, and about 20 x-rays. We received wonderful results from these tests: no detectable cancer! Mom's life expectancy has gone from being told 5 years, to many years. This news is amazing! She has started to receive her vaccinations, or "baby shots," to build up her immunity. She has already had two rounds of 5 which included 3 in one arm and 2 in the other. Unfortunately, these are quite painful. After the 2nd set, mom became ill, starting with fever, aches, and chills. This turned into bronchitis, and then pneumonia. She is just getting back on her feet from that.

Mom is still on several medications, including chemo, and these make her tired and ill. Going places is often difficult because of the gastro side effects from the chemo. She's also having some significant dizzy spells, and we're trying to find out the source of these. It's hard to explain to people why Mom is still on these medications, when no detectable cancer was found at her last work up. The doctors say the reason for this is because there is no "cure" for multiple myeloma, so these drugs are needed to hold the cancer back, along with medications to counteract chemo side effects, as well as protect her immune system.

Mom has severe neuropathy in her legs, feet, and the gums of her mouth. This began after her MGUS diagnosis back in 2007, but has been made tremendously worse from chemo. She is having to take medications for the pain, as walking and sleeping can be difficult. Because of the nerve issues in her gums, she has difficulty eating salads, fresh fruits, and vegetables. She endures the pain though, to enjoy her favorite turtle sundae from Braum's.

If you've ever been around anyone who suffers from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), you know how this can affect every aspect of their life. Mom has been dealing with this since last summer, having flashbacks to the transplant, as well as tremendous anxiety and depression. She started seeing a therapist who specializes in cancer patients last year, but has had to put this on hold because of finances.

My dad's job position changed last year when the company he worked for was bought out. Fortunately, Dad was able to keep a job and his benefits, but took a huge pay cut. Mom has had to stop therapies, and the chemo cost, doctor visits, and tests are quickly adding up. It's impossible to pay for everything, as there isn't even enough money to pay the regular household bills or buy groceries. We are applying for any assistance we can find.

Mom's therapist urged her to apply for disability, but the first attempt was denied because the information they collected was incomplete. She is in the process of collecting more medical documents to apply for a reconsideration.

Lastly, a big thank you to all those who were able to send cards, flowers, messages, and stopped by to visit Mom on her 1 year post-transplant birthday. She had a WONDERFUL day!

-Hayley
Mom's neck surgery was rough.
The back of Mom's neck after surgery.
Mom's "first birthday!"
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Not too much to update you all on. Mom has been continuing to slowly recover from her transplant, and has visited her doctor several times for routine follow-ups. On April 27, she will undergo a "re-staging" process, which will consist of another lung function test, bone marrow aspiration, and special blood tests. The results of all of these will determine how well the transplant worked in killing or at least reducing the myeloma. We are still praying for a miracle and believing in total healing!

-Hayley
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Read a Previous Update
TJ Cox
39 months ago
2
2

You all are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers. Miss and love you. Stay God strong. Twila and Jerry

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$10,088 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 92 people in 44 months
Created September 13, 2015
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$50
Cassandra Randon
14 months ago
2
2

God Bless You and your family.

$50
Claudie Borel
14 months ago
2
2

i am trying to give some help

$50
Anonymous
14 months ago
1
1
SR
$20
Stephanie Rodriguez
14 months ago
1
1
GE
$1,000
Gary Estes
14 months ago
2
2

Love to you all.

CB
$10
Courtney Beacham
14 months ago
1
1
CK
$50
Cathy Kinkade
14 months ago
1
1

Hayley, please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!

$500
Anonymous
14 months ago
1
1
SR
$20
Stephanie Rodriguez
14 months ago
1
1

My prayers for your mom

LB
$500
Lelo Bailey
14 months ago
2
2
TJ Cox
39 months ago
2
2

You all are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers. Miss and love you. Stay God strong. Twila and Jerry

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