TeamZ: Tackling Tom's Cancer, Round 2
My amazing boyfriend Tom Ziarko is fighting a second brave battle with metastatic melanoma. His journey began 8 years ago, when a he had a suspicious looking mole on his back checked out. The tests revealed Stage III melanoma that had metastasized to his lymph nodes. Tom underwent major surgery as well as immunotherapy treatment for a year. The surgery and treatment were successful, and Tom was in remission from his cancer for almost 7 years. During those 7 years, Tom had routine check-ups with his oncologist and regular dermatologist visits, which always yielded good news. However, this past spring during Tom's annual oncology check-up, the test results showed that the cancer was back, and even more aggressively this time.
Cancer Round 2 (Current):
Tom is now fighting Stage IV metastatic melanoma that has spread to his liver, lungs, and peritoneal sac. This is an extremely difficult cancer to treat and control, as it already has overtaken major organs of his body. This time around, surgery is not an option as it is too dangerous to operate. Tom recently underwent two aggressive rounds of treatment that included 3 different kinds of chemo and 2 different kinds of immunotherapy. Unfortunately, the treatments were unsuccessful; Tom is now on a different immunotherapy treatment. Overall, Tom's treatment has included extended in-patient stays at the hospital, out-patient visits to Loyola's cancer center, numerous trips the ER, regular in-home nursing care, and a long list and daily medications taken round-the-clock for side effects. Tom is on a leave from work as he battles daily fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea, and vomiting from the cancer and chemo.
Why We Need Your Help:
We have hope and faith that this new treatment will be successful, but we need your help! Tom does have insurance, but as you know, insurance doesn't cover everything. The medical bills are growing each day, and they are beyond what Tom and his family can cover. Tom is a one-of-a-kind son, brother, boyfriend, friend, and co-worker. He always has a positive attitude and a smile on his face. Tom has remained strong, even in the face of cancer. He is a giver and is always looking out for the best for others. Tom goes out of his way to help others, and now I implore you to do the same for him. Every donation, no matter the size, will help lift Tom up and cover his medical expenses. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity!!!
Update: Tom said goodbye to us early morning on Tuesday, July 9th. There is nothing I could say here that would adequately sum up the joy he brought us nor the sorrow we feel for his loss.
I appreciate your continued generosity, as help is still needed.