Still too damn many fighting this horrible monster. This one is a friend of some dear friends of mine, so here’s hoping folks can help mitigate the cost of this battle.
My friend Ron just found out he has cancer which as you all know sucks and is expensive which makes it suck even more. It would be nice if cancer would only affect horrible people. If that were the case Ron and his wife Stacey would be unaffected. It is amazing how you can just be living life, and then something like this happens and yanks the rug out from under you.
Honestly though, money is one of the biggest concerns. They do have really good insurance, but they also have a lot of medical expenses already, and now they are looking at a lot more medical bills, prescription costs, and fuel to Pittsburgh for who knows how many sessions, additionally any day that Stacey wants to be with Ron in his time of need is a day she doesn’t get paid.
For now we are estimating conservatively that they will need $5k to get through this if all goes well. That number could grow much larger very quickly under the wrong circumstances. Let’s pray that it doesn’t.
Any donation you make will be a huge help and greatly appreciated!
Here is a word from Ron from his Facebook:
“After trying to think of several different ways to start this post, I realized that there is no easy way to tell the world that you have cancer. Maybe that is dramatic. I don’t know. Some of you know that I have been having some problems, and I recently had my back scanned. A cyst appeared on the scan, and that lead to CT. The CT showed a cyst and a mass about the size of a ping pong ball on the top half of the back of my left kidney. All signs point to Renal Cell Carcinoma. I saw my local urologist today, and they have already scheduled me for what looks like a pre-op appointment in Pittsburgh the day after Memorial Day. There are some points that come up frequently with the few people who know about this.
• Why wasn’t this caught sooner? I have a liver disease, but all scans for that occur on the right side, never the left. The indicator on the blood tests that give an early warning for cancer is CBC. NASH causes my CBC to always be abnormal. In short, my “Check Engine” light is always on.
• Maybe it isn’t cancer? Unlikely. Kidney cancer is one of the easiest cancers to diagnose. A simple CT is all that is necessary. If the words “SUSPICION OF RENAL CELL CARCINOMA” appears on the report, then there is only a 5% chance that it is incorrect.
• What is the treatment from here? Surgery. I am scheduled with a surgeon who specializes in saving as much renal tissue as possible. If he can, he will remove the top part of my kidney. If it doesn’t remain contained, more cutting will need to be done. Chemotherapy and radiation are not very effective for RCC.
• What is the biggest concern? If it escapes my kidney. Even if it stays in the kidney, a radical nephrectomy (removal of whole kidney) would work). RCC is the fastest cancer a human can get so it can infect other organs quickly. Those organs would be removed too. Those include some or all of the bladder, the adrenal gland, lymph nodes, or other tissues. Lungs, bones, or the lymphatic system is worst case scenario.
• What are the odds? Let’s keep it small. Let’s say stays where it is and it can be removed. My five year outlook is 90% survival. Until I talk to the surgeon (or you want to be depressed), as my mom says, let’s not borrow trouble.
I will keep everyone updated. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I have done nothing but research this down to the genetic marker level, but that’s what I do when I get nervous. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty rough around here. Things like this make you reexamine your life. I can tell you this: don’t waste any time. You never know how much you have.
Thanks for giving this a read.