Medical and Living Expenses

$7,791 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 15 months
Hi, I'm a single mom of a 15yr old daughter. I am experiencing a medical issue. On Oct 31, 2016 I was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was discovered during chest x-rays, Ct scan, etc because I was having extreme rib pain. I also was diagnosed with shingles due to my compromised immune system. The scan detected a large mass/tumor, some nodules and lymph node involvement. For those of you that know me well, you know I clean houses for a living. If I do not work, I do not get paid. The coming months will be filled with dr appointments, surgery and a treatment plan. I would like to try and keep things as "normal" as possible for my daughter and myself and that means staying in the apartment where we have lived for 14yrs. Any donations will be used for transportation costs, rent, utilities, medical expenses not covered, etc. I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who have sent prayers and well-wishes. That means the world to me!! Any financial assistance would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
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Well, where to start? It's been another rough month but I'm still going. Physically, I am weaker. I need frequent rests between tasks and naps throughout the day. My lungs hurt so bad - it's such a struggle for every single breath and it needs to be addressed once and for all. My oncologist keeps putting me off when it comes to oxygen so I will ask him about an inhaler or something for the nebulizer machine. It simply exhausts me trying to breathe and speaking is hard at that point. 3-4 hours of coughing fits brings about vomiting and eating is out of the question when you can't breathe. I begged my oncologist to put off my next chemo until 2 days after Easter. I couldn't stand the thought of my girl, Hattie, sitting in front of the TV with a sandwich because I would be sick in bed for the holiday. He agreed and I am happy about that!! I am still waiting for Social Security only to find out they are not the problem. I received a call from SS letting me know they have been calling Mt Sinai since March 16th trying to obtain medical records and doctor's notes!!! If I had any choice in the matter I would not be treated there, but I do not. I called and talked to them and now, again, we play the waiting game. I am still here and still grateful for every day, but it's getting harder. I am so thankful for friends and supportive comments and well-wishes!! Don't know what I would do without them.
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Chemo yesterday. What a long day! Up at 6am, left house at 7:15. I was the first person to start receiving my chemo and by the end of the day I was the last one still in the room. We started with 16 people. Had a long talk with the oncologist as my shoulder blade pain has returned 24/7. Two possible reasons for this. Either the chemo is not working on my largest tumor, 6x4x5 or (and I'm hoping for or) the chemo is working on the bone cancer and as it attacks tumors in my bones they collapse and deteriorate the bones along with it. The oncologist expressed sadness that I am sick so much out of the month with only 5-6 days a month when I'm feeling better and able to eat solid food. He said I am the sickest patient he is treating right now. He rewrote the prescriptions for anti-nausea/vomiting meds but added a bigger supply so I won't run out. He added a 3rd, but said my insurance will probably deny it as it costs $3000!!! My weight continues to drop but he is hoping if the vomiting is controlled I will be able to eat more and gain some back. I sure hope so - I feel so weak. I can't get oxygen because he said it won't help with all the tumors I have in my lungs, so I applied for my handicapped parking placard so I don't have to walk so far. That goes to Springfield so there will be a wait on that. Dr said my blood work actually looked pretty good but my potassium levels were low so he brought me 2 HUGE horse pills to take, lol!! The chemo causes severe scarring in my lungs so breathing may never get better, but I can deal with that. I installed a removable hand-held shower head so I can sit and shower as standing or sitting in the tub is getting harder. Busy taking care of legal things so no one is left to deal with that. My dr said my face looked very healthy and I no longer had the look of death in my eyes. That made me feel better as I've seen that look in others! Now I still wait for approval on SSI so I have an income - that takes 30+ days. Now I am getting very worried. My landlords of 14yrs are pretty good, but not when it comes to rent. Food assistance will not arrive until April 7th and the food pantry leaves much to be desired. They allow me 2 bags of groceries for the month - no milk, dairy, etc and a lot of expired food. Daughter is growing like a weed and out of clothes. We do Goodwill mostly but can't afford to do that right now. However, one thing I would like to say. I would not wish my condition on anyone BUT I do wish for everyone to have a wake-up call. PLEASE don't sweat the small stuff. The joy and beauty I feel when I hear a cardinal sing or see the squirrels play, see the bulbs coming up and realize I am here to see it, cloud formations and sunrises and sunsets - just beautiful. All of you with your emotional and financial support keep me going. Told the oncologist yesterday I have the best support group ever and most I have never met. Thank you so much for all you do for me!!!
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CANCER UPDATE - I return for round 3 of chemotherapy next Tuesday. I'd be lying if I said I'm not dreading it!! Every 21 days. I've gone from 140lbs to 115lbs and I am always so weak. I know the chemo has shrunk the tumor on my trachea because when I am not sick from the chemo I am able to eat solid food again for 5-7 days - HURRAY!! I won't know about shrinkage of the largest tumor and smaller ones scattered throughout until the end of May/early June when oncologist repeats scans. Spent all morning arguing with insurance company and got nowhere, unfortunately. I am on 2 medications to lessen the nausea and vomiting but I only get 30 for a month. Supposed to take them every 6-8 hours to help. Therefore, I am out of them before 30 days and insurance will not refill them before that!! I am really dreading the chemo because I will have 8 days of nausea and vomiting. Also, bummed because I will be too sick to cook for Easter for Hattie because of the chemo schedule. Applied this week for SSI so I have some income but that takes 30+ days for a decision. I still have much to be thankful for. Oncologist was truly not confident that I would be alive in 6 months, but next month is the 6 month mark!! I'm fighting like hell, but it is difficult. Not sure if I'm living or just existing at this point. Really can't wait to sit outside and feel that warm sun on me and hear the birds singing. Thank you for all your continued support - you all really mean everything to me!!
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Starting to feel human again after 3-4 days of being so sick. I was in the bathroom so much I put a blanket in there. Poor Hattie - I feel so bad for her when there is nothing she can do to make me feel better. She's good at walking me back and forth to my bed, though. It's times like these when I wonder if 5-6 good days a month is worth it. I honestly don't know yet. When I'm feeling okay I can still drive - not far, just local. But now the car is rapidly falling apart. I can't really complain because it's a 1997 and rusty now, too, The exhaust is going and so are the brakes. Worst timing ever!! I still miss my Jeep Grand Cherokee - really loved that car but I have no choice now - I have to keep the 1997 Mercury Sable going. I am unaware how I must look and behave on mostly bad days. Now, when I go to the store or bank, etc., total strangers ask if I'm okay or if I would like a chair to sit down. I use the grocery cart as my walker in the store and that helps but I move like a snail. I see my body becoming like my mother's - so weak and frail, although I look like my Dad. Going from 140lbs to 118lbs is very hard on me. My strength is gone. Do I try to buy new clothes? What for?? I only go to the dr and the grocery store. I'd like to go to other places but the walking from the parking lot to the door is too far. Oncologist won't give me oxygen because he says until the big tumor shrinks, it won't help me. I'm nervous, rightfully so, about the appointment for SSI. They turned me down once already!! I am considered a "compassionate allowance" case because of the type of quick growing cancer I have and they still take forever. I have such a short window of time when I feel well enough to take care of some business. As usual, it's my daughter and all of you that keep me going. The wonderful words of hope and encouragement keep me going! I hope you are all blessed with health, happiness and peace.
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Read a Previous Update
Jonathan Knowles
10 months ago

Hey Rhonda not sure if you remember me at all haha, my mom just told me what has been going on and I'm so sorry to hear, I hope everything goes well for you and if get a chance tell Hattie I said hi. I always saw you as a strong person and the fact your going through this makes you even stronger

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Pat Smurawski
10 months ago

Rhonda, I hate that you are going through so much physically and have a delay for SSI due to the hospital and doctors lack of response. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I wish you and your daughter a very Happy Easter.

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$7,791 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 15 months
Created November 5, 2016
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WS
$25
William Schmidt
10 months ago

My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family!

$100
Anonymous
11 months ago
1
1
NF
$500
Nancy Fraveletti
12 months ago
1
1

Hoping this will help on the daily life. Hugs and prayers to you.

Jonathan Knowles
10 months ago

Hey Rhonda not sure if you remember me at all haha, my mom just told me what has been going on and I'm so sorry to hear, I hope everything goes well for you and if get a chance tell Hattie I said hi. I always saw you as a strong person and the fact your going through this makes you even stronger

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Pat Smurawski
10 months ago

Rhonda, I hate that you are going through so much physically and have a delay for SSI due to the hospital and doctors lack of response. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I wish you and your daughter a very Happy Easter.

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