Tony Conley's health fund
I’ve been sick for some time, and it’s time to talk about what is going on with my health, and how it is affecting me and my family.
I have a fairly large tumor in my abdomen, and it has progressed to the point where I must now give all of my attention to my health and healing. I have been largely bedridden since mid-May, and maintaining any sort of appearance of normalcy has become impossible.
It’s hard to say exactly where and when it began, but it’s been probably about a year since I first noticed that everything was not quite right. It all began as a series of small things that I attributed to the stress and strain of daily life, but in May it became apparent that what I was dealing with was in no way normal.
I woke up on May 21 thinking I had the flu, I was achey, sweaty and feverish. As the day progressed I became very ill, and by days end I had lost several pints of blood. I remained extremely ill, and was totally incapacitated for almost seven weeks. Caring for myself was an impossibility, and I lost 35 pounds in a few short weeks. When I finally found the strength to place myself in front of a mirror, I was shocked to see the drastic changes that had occurred. I had already lost 30 pounds in the previous few months, but I had recently quit drinking, was eating less, and exercising more, so I did not realize that my weight loss was connected to a larger issue. Now, I had lost 65 pounds in less than a year, and quite frankly I resembled a wraith.
This all happened at the worst possible time, and the ensuing series of events would almost be laughable were they not so very real and tragic.
After five hard fought years since our son Ian’s birth, in which we’ve found ourselves working harder and harder for less and less in spite of our best efforts, we were shocked to find out that due to changes in the economy (it’s not a great market for everyone who’s not a banker or broker), we lost the house we had been living in for five years and were forced to seek other accommodations. We succeeded in finding an opportunity in Las Vegas that looked very promising. However, another set of completely unforeseeable circumstances arose that made this move an impossibility just days before we were to make the move, and in the same time period I was felled by this very aggressive attack on my body. I don’t believe that my wife and I had had ten days off together in the previous five years, but now things got really crazy.
For seven weeks, Monica had to perform at a super-human level. I required twenty-four hour care and was totally immobile. I could not walk, couldn’t feed myself, I could not even make my way to the bathroom. On top of this, she still had to care for Ian (a full-time job in itself), and on top of that she had to completely pack up our home in preparation for a move. It goes without saying that neither of us could work during this period, and between neither of us being able to generate any income and the considerable costs of medications and healthcare services, and moving costs, we’ve been completely wiped out financially.
After our Las Vegas adventure had been eliminated as a possibility, another situation arose that offered what looked like a grand opportunity, so we headed off towards the midwest with an SUV full of enough clothes and necessities, and several storage containers full of our life setting in Northern California waiting to see where we would land. Unfortunately, and again due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control and in spite of many people’s best efforts, this latest opportunity has been put on hold as I’ve become too ill to segue into being functional at a job at this time. I currently am in bed for about twenty hours a day, and I can only be on my feet for perhaps five to ten minutes before I am exhausted.
You’d think a little growth in my belly couldn’t cause such a stir, but here is the score card of areas that it has effected:
I’ve lost 65 pounds and a great deal of muscle mass
Kidney pain and bleeding (several hemorrhages that occurred in May)
Intestines - constant constipation due to impingement
Circulation & lungs (greatly reduced endurance and capacity)
Constantly cold and aching extremities to the point in which typing or even strumming a guitar are impossibilities
Persistent headaches and lack of ability to concentrate
Substantial depression and suicidal ideation
On the good side, my weight has stabilized, most of my blood tests reflect strong function and systemic stability, but I have a ways to go before I will be up and running in a sustainable fashion.
On the rough side, I am having a terrible time maintaining my regimen for shrinking this damned tumor.
When we lived in California, I was having great success with both pain management and controlling the size and temperament of the tumor via THC and CBD oil. However, now we are in Ohio, where cannabis is still illegal and even if it weren’t, we can no longer afford its costs, along with the acupuncturist, the herbalist, and other health care services which fall outside of the allopathic viewpoint. I cannot state strongly enough how important and vital cannabis products have been to dealing with my illness, and not having them available has been fairly disastrous. My stress has tremendously increased and my physical condition has worsened directly as a result. I am often in such pain that I cannot sleep for 24-36 hours at a time, and I rarely take over-the-counter pain meds which are so hazardous to my already weakened kidneys and bladder, and I staunchly refuse to consider big Pharma pain meds which will render me an addict. THC and CBD have been major components of my healing and effort to control the progression of this illness, and their absence is the true crime here.
Today, I feel pretty good, relatively speaking, but the hellhounds are truly upon us.
Since leaving Sacramento in early July, we have been leading the life of refugees. We have done well, and while we have covered our costs and not acquired any new debt, but we are now totally broke. We have less than $200 left in the bank, and no sign as to when we will again see any revenue. There is no money for medicines, services, or anything else for that matter. I have applied for help from the state of Ohio, but their interest in helping people is minimal at best, though having access to a doctor will soon be available, so there is that if it becomes essential. Up to now we have been treating this very holistically and organically, but the means with which to do this have now been depleted.
To my best reckoning, if I keep doing what I am doing, I will be healthy enough to return to work in 90-120 days, and if I’m really lucky, by then some potential opportunities will come to fruition, but the questions remains both as to how we can bridge this gap, and if these opportunities do come to pass.
My family and I have been gifted with having some great relatives, friends, and acquaintances who have helped us tremendously over the last several months, and we have been able to keep our heads above water and a roof over our head, but the water continues to rise, and we are continuing to sink.
Where this leads, I cannot say, but I have been fielding a lot of questions about my health and what is going on with our family, so I thought it time to say something publicly about our situation.
Tony has not been well the past several days, and so has not been able to thank each and every one of you personally for your help. Please know that we truly appreciate all of you.
We will keep you updated on his health when we know more.
Our love and sincere gratitude to you all,
Tony, Monica, and Ian