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Tobey's Medical Emergency

$24,735 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 119 people in 7 months
Created June 23, 2018
Tobey WhiteHeart Crockett
This picture was taken on May 12, 2018 at the wedding of Loren and Joel which I was delighted to officiate. Five days later, I checked into the ER with what turned out to be a massive pelvic infection. I underwent exploratory surgery, and, in the process, they performed a hysterectomy, colostomy and a nephrostomy. To be honest, I am lucky to be alive (one of my surgeons remarked he was very glad they hadn’t waited even one more day).

I am still in the hospital, recovering in extended care and hopefully, I will go home on Friday, June 29th. This life-changing event has had a huge impact on Mark and me. We have the hope/expectation that the colostomy and nephrostomy can be reversed in the next year. In the meantime, this has been very financially disruptive for us, despite good insurance coverage.

I am unlikely to be able to resume my full-time self-employment for the remainder of 2018. So we are turning to our beloved community for financial help. We appreciate any practical assistance you can offer, as well as the numerous prayers, love, and healing thoughts with which so many of you have bolstered our spirits.

Please donate if you can, please share, and feel free to contact us with other arrangements if online donations don’t work for you.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn’t do this without you; the next six months will be critical.

xoxo, Tobey and Mark
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Update 8
Posted by Tobey WhiteHeart Crockett
2 months ago
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Go Fund Me update 11/19

Tobey writing here - first off let me thank Mark for doing such a great job keeping the lines of communication going these past six months. On so many levels, I am blessed to have him in my life. And he chauffeurs me everywhere!

Most recently Mark took me to UCLA for a consultation with the second surgeon, the colo-rectal guy who will be taking down my colostomy. At least
we hope that is how it is going to play out, but we have hit some delays and the earliest surgery date we are now looking at is February, though it may be later. There are some possible barriers, and the surgeon needs to see some better imaging before he will commit to undertaking this procedure. This imaging should happen in early December, again back at UCLA. It is possible (though perhaps not likely) that I will be stuck with this colostomy for the long haul. Let us pray that is not what happens. I am holding strong to my vision of recovering my full, radiant health.

Were UCLA to decide that they do not want to do the colostomy takedown, then we could return our attention to the City of Hope surgeon who came so highly recommended. I am sure that however it shapes up, it will be for everyone's highest and best good. I simply must continue to be very patient. It is of course much easier said than done! It has been frustrating, but hopefully now we can more accurately manage our expectations of how quickly this all will be resolved. Sigh.

The surgeon has said that the best thing I can do to minimize complications is to continue to lose weight; he'd like to see me lose another ten to fifteen pounds before the February surgery date. I think this is entirely manageable. Mark and I will be looking at doing more hikes in the area and perhaps buying some bicycles as well. We shall see. It depends on how rainy our winter is here, and of course we do pray for lots of rain as we really need it here on the central coast which depends on seasonal rainwater for so much of its water supply. Time spent in nature has been very healing and helpful to me.

My depression and anxiety has abated some; I have a new antidepressant that is working better. My tension levels are still very high and I am having a lot of back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as kidney pain from my nephrostomy tube. We were in the ER this weekend getting that replaced - hopefully that will make things better but it is too soon to tell just yet. In the meantime, thank goodness for pain meds! I would be a basket case without them (and yes, I am being cautious about not overusing them).

Due to the ongoing timeline for this surgery and the approximate four months of recovery I will need before resuming work in earnest, we will have to raise our goal one more time. We have been stunned by the generosity we have received from so many, and our gratitude is boundless. We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, not the least of which is still being alive! Every new doctor I interact with is pretty much stunned by all that has happened and how well I am doing despite still needing this reconstructive surgery.

Please share my campaign if you have not done so already. Word of mouth is key to getting more traction on the funding. And thank you - SO MUCH! - everyone who has donated so far. Happy Thanksgiving and may blessings rain down on us all as we approach 2019.

xoxoxoxo,

Tobey
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Update 7
Posted by Tobey WhiteHeart Crockett
2 months ago
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Quick update: UCLA consultation is now scheduled for Fri Nov 16th. At least now we know when we will next go to UCLA. It was like pulling teeth getting that situation straightened out, but we seem to be back on track. This probably means my surgery will happen mid-Dec - about a month later than we thought. We still don't know if they can do all the work in one session or if it will be two, but at least we're moving forward. Many deep thanks to all those who continue to support us with love and donations. Thank you for your shares and prayers <3
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Update 6
Posted by Tobey WhiteHeart Crockett
3 months ago
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Dear ones,

We just returned from a trip to UCLA to meet with a urological surgeon regarding part of Tobey’s reconstructive surgery. Dr. Chin was smart, friendly and enthusiastic. After studying the case notes and various image CDs, he determined there are five possible options for surgery – rather than be negative or cautionary, he was upbeat and positive. One procedure that is “on the table” would involve moving Tobey’s left kidney over to the right – we didn’t even know they could do this – and this would leave more room for the bowel reconstruction. What’s more, Dr. Chin feels hopeful that both the ureter/kidney surgery and colostomy take-down could be done at the same time. And his estimate for her time in the hospital following surgery was five to seven days – a far cry from the six weeks she spent last time! Of course, she will still take months to recover from the longterm effects of major surgery – not trivial by any means, buts she is so much healthier now that she can spend less time in the hospital and more time recovering at home.

Dr. Chin was anxious for us to meet with his colleague, colorectal specialist Dr. Kazanjian. Unfortunately, Dr. Kazanjian was in surgery all the rest of Monday and Tuesday. He did have an opening Wednesday, but our insurance needed to approve that visit. They put through for an “emergency authorization” and everyone seemed confident we would be able to meet with him Wednesday at noon. Hoping to get both consultations done on the same trip (UCLA is some 200 miles away from us), we booked an additional night at our motel. Unfortunately, the authorization did not come through – we booked a second night for nothing and will have to trek down to UCLA again within (hopefully) the next couple of weeks.

I would like to stress that the news we’ve gotten so far is very encouraging. That said, I wanted you all to be aware that this time has been very stressful for Tobey – she desperately wants these procedures, but she does have considerable anxiety about further surgery. The daily challenges of both a colostomy and nephrostomy are stressful in and of themselves. She has had a tough time getting through the many appointments and the grind of dealing with her situation; lately she often finds herself in unstoppable tears and in a pretty serious depression. Her new therapist has said that Tobey’s sense of self is very strong and that she has done great work in the past, but the sheer psychosomatic pressure of this much medical intervention has been taking its toll. Her psychological outlook is good, once she gets this all behind her.

Please keep Tobey in your prayers. Your love and support mean a great deal to both of us. These additional trips to L.A., the added months of recovery for one or maybe two reconstructive surgeries, (and the expenses for food and lodging for me while she is in the hospital down south) mean we will have to increase our Go Fund Me campaign to see us through the spring of 2019. Again, you have all been so lovely and kind, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please share our campaign to the extent that you can.

Tobey is my heart, and the magic in my life – I want her well and happy more than anything.

Thanks for being with us on this journey.

Love, Mark & Tobey
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Update 5
Posted by Tobey WhiteHeart Crockett
5 months ago
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Dear ones,

A lot has been going on with Tobey’s recovery. Recently she had the stent in her intact ureter removed. This is an important step to rebuilding her other ureter. Her doctor wants to monitor her recovery with the stent no longer in place (so far she is doing great), then he will approve her consulting about getting the damaged ureter repaired.

Tobey also had her nephrostomy tube replaced – unfortunately, this was a painful process, and she may need to have it done one more time before the ureter is repaired.

On a more positive note, all three of her surgeons are encouraging about her getting both the nephrostomy and colostomy “taken down” (repaired). Dr. Lutman, the gynecological oncologist who saw to her hysterectomy has stayed on the case – even though Tobey has no signs of cancer (thank God). He has volunteered to be the “point man” for her, consulting with the other physicians and looking into a tertiary care site for her to have surgeries to repair the nephrostomy and colostomy. Dr. Lutman has put in a referral for an excellent surgeon at City of Hope in Duarte, CA. We hope to meet with him in September/October.

The big question is whether both procedures will be done at once or separately with a recovery period in between. We are hoping for the former, but won’t have any idea until we consult with the surgeons(s) at City of Hope (or wherever CenCal allows us to go).

As for me, I am going to an orientation for an In-Home Health Care Assistant – this will provide a small compensation to us for gas (a lot of driving to appointments, etc.) and medical supplies not covered by insurance. Of course, much of my time is exempt - since it is all part of being Tobey’s husband - so mileage and such aren’t covered. I look forward to the day that Tobey is fully recovered and unburdened with ostomy bags. Here’s to that day!

We wanted to take a moment to thank you all again for your kindness, love and unwavering support. We always knew we had the most wonderful friends and family, but you all have gone above and beyond, and we love you dearly.

Thanks again.

Much love, Tobey and Mark
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$24,735 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 119 people in 7 months
Created June 23, 2018
Tobey WhiteHeart Crockett
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