Eric's Mel-a-NO-more Cancer Fund
Eric recently had a recurrence of Malignant Melanoma. In order to continue his cancer treatment, and add additional natural therapies that will increase his ability to fight his cancer, we are requesting your help.
No one is ever prepared for a cancer diagnosis, but the impact/burden that the disease has on a family; mentally, emotionally and financially can never be comprehended. Weathering the storm of one diagnosis was financially “doable” (with your help and a savings account), but the 2nd diagnosis is like a karate kick below the belt.
To better understand the cost of Eric’s treatment and where your donations will be going, I have listed out specific costs that are NOT covered by insurance.
Nutritional Therapy (Gerson Therapy)- Food cost for juicing, vitamins/supplements, and detoxing = $1300 a month.
High Dose Vitamin C infusions twice a week = $1000 a month.
Yearly insurance deductible of $3000.
For more information about Eric’s story, please continue reading below.
This is Eric’s cancer story, the good, the bad and the ugly. As many of you may recall, Eric was originally diagnosed with stage 3B Malignant Melanoma in April of 2013. We had just moved to Missouri, and welcomed our daughter Sloan into the world.
At the time there weren’t any good chemotherapy treatments that would extend his overall survival. The oncologist told us the only thing science has found to beat melanoma is your own immune system. We knew we had to do something. In short, we spent 2 years treating his cancer naturally by doing the Gerson Therapy; which is extreme regime of juicing, and detoxing your body of toxins while amping up your immune system. After being cancer free for over 2 years, and completing the therapy. The FAA reinstated his medical license in July of 2015 and approved him to fly again. We were extremely appreciative and grateful for this opportunity. It was a shift from fighting cancer to living our life again.
Then like a bad country song, after only 6 weeks back flying, he found a tumor on his stomach. He had surgery, and then a PET scan that showed there was no additional cancer. Due to his cancer recurrence he was “upgraded” to Stage 3C Malignant Melanoma. We received news from the FAA that because of his cancer recurrence; he was unable to fly. The irony is that the FAA will not allow him to fly until he is clear of cancer for an additional two years, and Long Term Disability will not help supplement his income lost, because they don’t believe he is “sick” enough. In short, Eric hasn’t received any income since the end of Sept. 2015. We continue to appeal the LTD decision, but have had no success to this point.
Then about 5 weeks ago he noticed another tumor on his chest. We were in shock since he had a clear PET scan just a few months prior. We immediately schedule an appointment with his surgeon and another appointment for a PET scan. The best news is that there are currently NO cancer tumors showing on his PET, but the pathology report came back and the last tumor that was removed was in the subcutaneous tissue. They have now “upgraded” Eric to terminal Stage 4 Melanoma.
As you can imagine, after receiving this news we immediately started researching new treatment options. There has been a few new FDA approved cancer treatments specific to Melanoma hit mainstream in the last year. After looking further into the new treatment options and speaking to our oncologist many of those treatments are specifically for patients that have currently havetumors that can not be removed surgically. The treatment is not to prevent the cancer from recurring or to increase a person’s overall survival rate.
I am sure your wondering what is Eric’s prognosis… well for Stage 4 Melanoma it is 10-15% to live 5 years. We have decided to leave the prognosis and percentages to the doctors. Eric is strong, feels good and is determined to WIN this fight. Our family is young (Mason 6 and Sloan 3), and we will NEVER give up!! We believe that there will be a HAPPY ending to this country song! We are trying to attack his cancer from all angles; mentally, physically, emotionally and of course from a nutritional stand point, to increase his immune system.
Thank you all in advance for your support and joining Eric’s Mel-a-NO-more team. The last 3 years have been the most challenging for Eric and our family. We will continue to learn from cancer and take whatever positive we can from it. That is how we will WIN! There are always lessons to be learned…even from cancer. We have learned to love more, live more, and embrace the life that we have.
The Ewing Family (Eric, Ilene, Mason, and Sloan)
I struggle to come up with the words to explain the last few months. There have been several holy shits, are you kidding me's, and head shaking moments. Every few weeks we have been faced with real life decisions around Eric’s next treatment options and steps. We have literally spent days, weeks, months, years researching and discussing the pros and cons of each and every treatment option and decision made.
Eric and I can’t express the importance of being your own advocate and taking an active role in your treatment! It truly is your most valuable tool!
Eric is definitely still in this fight and is only getting stronger!! Of the 3 tumors (#11,#12,#13,) that remained from our last update, Eric has only ONE very SMALL tumor that barely showed up on his scan.
1st Update – Eric’s Mela-NO-more
A few weeks after learning that Eric’s tumors shrunk by 50%; he was scheduled for a Melanoma tumor-maker test (S100 blood test). The normal Melanoma marker range is 1-99, and Eric’s tumor markers normally average around 140. You could imagine the shock and fear when his Melanoma marker came back at 644.
That same week Eric’s liver enzymes were 3 times the normal range. His Oncologist denied treatment, thinking that his liver would not be able to handle the Opdivo. We left the hospital scared, not knowing if the cancer had spread to additional organs OR if his immune system started to recognize the tumors and began breaking them down into his blood stream. This would also cause his liver enzymes to be elevated due to the body detoxifying the tumors.
Those who know us… know that he is a true optimist and I am an extreme realist. So you could imagine the conversations we have had over the last few months.
Eric’s last Opdivo treatment was last week (6 months of treatment complete). He handled it so well mentally, emotionally, and physically. His strength continues to amaze me. We also made the decision to have full scans (Brain MRI and Full CT) to give us a new base line... it’s a decision that forces you to be present… to know or not to know, to believe or not to believe. It is truly maddening at times.
The Opdivo did exactly what we were praying for… it “bought” us time. Now that we have some additional time, what do we do with it… celebrate the extra time we have been given… spend time preparing for what may or may not come? These are questions that we discuss daily.
2nd Update -Utah House SOLD!!!
We closed on Dec. 31, 2016. What a HUGE relief!! Thank you again to those who donated their time, money, expertise, blood, sweat and tears to help us turn a profit on our house. Thanks to everyone’s help, we were able to pay off 10’s of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Thank you Kris Bowen and TEAM for directly impacting our family in a positive way.
3rd Update -LTD DENIED
About 6 weeks ago we learned that Eric was again denied disability. Our attorney submitted the appeal along with our MD and Oncologist sworn statements. Guess it still wasn’t enough. We will continue to pursue what we feel is right. We are now in the process of mitigation.
We continue to learn and grow from this adventure, and growing is extremely hard to do under stressful situations. We both agreed that we need to take some time and recharge!
On April 2nd, it will be 4 years since Eric was originally diagnosed. He was given a 47% chance to live 5 years then, and last Aug. was given only 3-6 months. It has now been 7 months since that last prognosis and he continues to get stronger every day.
Eric and I chat often about our personal growth through this journey. We will continue to grow and believe that we will WIN!!
Love, Peace and Strength!
For the first time, since Eric’s cancer recurrence 15 months ago, we FINALLY have been blessed with some positive news and energy. We are excited to share ALL our good news with our Mela-NO-More team!!
1st Good News -Eric’s Tumors Shrink 50%:
After only 2 months (4 Treatments of the Immunotherapy of Opdivo), and a less than 20 % chance of the treatment working... ALL three of Eric’s tumors (hip, and one in each lung) shrunk by over 50%. Both the Oncologist and Naturopath were thrilled with how quickly he responded to the treatment. His immune system has started to recognize the Melanoma and is attacking the tumors! We will continue with all of Eric’s treatments / therapy (juicing, detoxing, Opdivo, Auto Immune injections, Ozonation and supplements, until he gets additional scans in 3 months. His Gerson ND even opened up and added some meat, nuts, and root vegetables to his diet!
2nd Good News -Rehab Utah House:
Our dear friend Kris Bowen set up a Go Fund Me page for donations of time, money and expertise to rehab and sell our Utah house ASAP. Kris was able to raise almost $5,000 in monetary donations through the Go Fund Me page, along with several other donations. With the help and hard work of many people we were able to completely rehab and list our house a few weeks ago with; new windows, paint, appliances, doors, roof, carpet, etc. We had 3 offers in less than a week, and it is currently under contract and set to close before the end of the year!! For more details of this amazing undertaking please see the GFM link below. https://www.gofundme.com/2bmjed8.
3rd Good News-LTD Attorney:
After 11 months, we finally received the LTD Denial letter. We decided to have an attorney listen and review our case. After fighting for LTD, continuously for the last 3.5 years, with little success, it was worth a try. Within in a few short weeks we had two sworn statements, from Eric’s Oncologist and ND, regarding his current diagnosis, prognosis and disability. The attorney just filed the full appeal last week! The beautiful part of the story….after listening to Eric's journey she offered to take the case completely free of charge! Yippee!!! LTD has 45 days to respond, and we are extremely hopeful!!
It’s A LOT of GREAT news right?!! Thank you again for your continued support, prayers, love and positive energy, we truly are blessed to have such an amazing team cheering us on!!
Melanoma Update: Eric will be completing his 3rd round of immunotherapy next Tues. He will continue the infusions every 2 weeks. He will have additional scans in 6 weeks to confirm if the treatment is working and slowing down the growth of his tumors. There has been minimal side effects from the treatment thus far, which we are extremely grateful for! He is strong and more determined than ever to WIN this fight.
Thank you for celebrating our anniversary with us. It is a special day in the Ewing house!
See below for more details:
I stood outside today watching my two beautiful children Mason and Sloan, hold hands and walk across the street to play. I thought to myself how fortunate I was to have such an amazing life! For one short minute, they helped me forget the fear, anger, disbelief and sadness, I was feeling regarding the return of Eric's cancer.
The last few months have been extremely hard; we keep receiving less than optimistic news regarding Eric's Mel-a-NO-more fight. After we learned of the two tumors in his lungs (2 months ago), the oncologist informed us that Eric's Melanoma was systemic, and doing any additional surgery would be irrelevant! The first and only line of effective treatment for Melanoma is surgery. Eric has been through 9 surgeries in 3.5 years. Not having that option was incomprehensible. A week later, we learned he had another small tumor in his right hip, again inoperable. Unfortunately, last week we were informed that the tumors in his lungs were growing fairly quickly, and additional treatment options need to be determined as soon as possible before the cancer spread to his brain.
After many emotional discussions... weighing out the pros /cons, and quality versus quantity, AND after multiple conversations with his Oncologist, Surgeon, and Naturopath doctors; Eric will begin adding immunotherapy to his fight against cancer. He will receive his first injection of Opdivo tomorrow. I can't begin to tell you the fear we both have. Not only for starting this new path of treatment, but also knowing we are running out of options, and time is limited.
His cancer has mutated and his Nutritional therapy isn't working any more. The immunotherapy will not extend his overall survival.. of 6 months. It has shown some success in "pausing" and even eliminating tumors for a short period of time, but then the cancer comes back within a few months. The hope is that Opdivo will "buy" us some time, so Eric's immune system will detect the cancer and begin to fight. He is strong and more determined than ever… we will never lose hope!!
It has been almost a year since Eric's cancer recurrence, and since he last worked. Interesting enough... it took the LTD company, 11 months to DENY him Long Term Disability. We both are still in shock!! How can someone with Stage 4b Melanoma, with less than 6 months to live be denied Long Term Disability?
We find ourselves in a situation again asking for help, whether that is by sharing our story, donating, or sending prayers and positive energy.
One more thing... :)
Our dear friend Kris Bowen started a separate Go Fund Me page for us to help rehab our home in Utah. The goal is to rehab the home and sell it for as much of a profit as possible. In short, we bought the house at the peak of the market in 2007. We had hoped to keep it and rent it until the market turned. We had a property management company managing it, but the renters trashed the house, leaving us with over $10K in damages and repairs and unable to sell or rent it until fixed. In the meantime, we are out the $1300 monthly mortgage payment until sold. You can read more about that GFM at: https://www.gofundme.com/2bmjed8?ssid=735771191&pos=1
Thank you in advance for your prayers, donations, shares... we are truly blessed to have such an amazing team supporting our family and Eric’s fight against Mel-a-NO-more!!
Love and Peace - Ilene
It's 1:30 in the morning and I'm searching anything I can find on Stage IV Melanoma. My 43 year old son has it. He is being treated at KU Med Center and is now on IV Drug Therapy called Lpilimumab generic for Yervoy. Before this he was on Nivolumab generic name for Opdivo. His cancer doctor's had wanted him to take both drugs simutaneously but of course his insurance wouldn't cover it. Although Lpilimumab has shrunk his tumors on his lung over this past year, they are stubbornly persistent. His Dr.s are cautiously optomistic for our son. Have you all tried either or both of these drugs? If not, you might want to call KU. I will pray for your husband and your family. A mother's concern.
You may want to look into EBC-46. This treatment may help. Please read about it. Also look up Dr. Burzynski.