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7/12/24

We are on the last day of treatment for this cycle!! We have been here since Monday (July 8) afternoon, and treatment started that night at 9pm. Treatments have been following that same schedule every night. Evan has had very minimal side effects. Just a couple of bouts of mild nausea first thing in the morning, and one of his 3 chemo drugs makes his blood pressure lower dramatically. But so far, so good. We are looking forward to going home on Sunday. While we have been here, Evan’s grandfather, (Mark’s dad) Papa G, passed away unexpectedly, so we are mourning his loss. Being away from family during this time has been difficult, but we are ok. The staff here has been amazing and we have had a couple of visits with the chaplains that have helped. 

Thank you to everyone back home who has been praying for Evan’s treatments. We definitely feel them and the minimal side effects have been a testimony to the power of prayer!! Your generous donations have allowed me to do what I need to do to take care of him (and myself) while we’ve been here, and will be helpful in the coming weeks as well. We thank you all so very much. God Bless!!!

 

7/3/24

We’ve had a little bump in the road today. We were all packed last night and ready to head to Dallas today, but I (Mom) woke up with a fever, Mark and Evan both feeling pretty cruddy as well. So a phone call to Dallas was made, we all went to urgent care and tested positive for Covid. 1st time since it reared its ugly head. Why we’ve avoided it all this time only to come down with it now, I will never know. We know God has a plan. So we will continue to lean on Him. Our next targeted date for going to Dallas is Monday, July 8th. Thank you to those who brought us medication and food today!! 

6/28/2024

It’s been 7 months since Evan’s last chemo treatment. He opted to not do the 4th cycle of treatments back in November and after today’s visit with Dr. Berryman @ Baylor Oncology in Dallas, it sounds like it was a good choice.

Dr. Berryman said that the cancer was not responsive enough to the chemo to put Evan into remission, so it would not have mattered. Back in March, he got bloodwork and images, and things were not looking good. So here is where we are today….

On Wednesday, July 3rd, we will be taking him back to Dallas to be admitted to the Oncology hospital where he will undergo high dose chemo (VIP) for 6 days, going home for 2 1/2 weeks, returning to Dallas for another round of the same treatment, home for another 2 1/2 weeks, and hopefully at that point, they will take a bone marrow sample after checking bloodwork to see if he is responding to the chemo. If all is good, they will harvest stem cells, freeze them, he will be admitted for 14 days where he will have 3 days of high dose chemo and then have 1/2 of the stem cells infused back into his body. He will return home for about 6 weeks and then return for another 14 days for the 3 day chemo and the rest of the stem cells. 

It’s a lot to take in and process, but all three of us were surprisingly calm and felt it will be the right thing to do. Obviously, it is going to be rough and we will have a lot of traveling between now and mid-October, as we are determined Evan will never be there alone. We are once again asking for any assistance anyone can provide. We still have a small amount of funds in an account from all the donations from the first fight. 

Again, we thank you the most for your prayers. We could not do this without them. We love and appreciate you all!

11/29/23

Yesterday was supposed to be his last day of chemo, but due to a stomach virus, it was postponed to today. We also saw the oncologist since PET scan was done on Monday. Doc was pleased with progress but since PET still shows nodules (not entirely gone), and AFP tumor marker is at 21 (not zero), he is recommending one more cycle of BEP.☹️ Evan is not happy with this, and is not entirely sold on the idea. This would put him at hopefully being completely done by 12/20 with follow-up PET scan on lungs and MRI on brain to make sure nothing has spread. We are encouraged by the decrease in size of the current lung nodules, but not very encouraged by one more cycle. 

We have been so blessed by friends and family with meals these last few weeks. It has taken the pressure off Mark and I so that we can finish up this last push with our business (Medicare Annual Enrollment). Thank you to everyone who has prayed, cooked a meal, driven Evan to appointments, donated, and checked in with us. You are our family and we couldn’t do this without you!!

11/9/23

Two cycles are done!! Had a bout of nausea for a few days, but finished out this last week strong. Had a bit of a set-back last Tuesday. After treatment, he was complaining of neck pain around the port site. We should have called it in, but I thought nothing of it. When he went this Tuesday, they examined it and were worried it might be a blood clot in his port line. After an ultrasound yesterday, it was confirmed. So he was given a prescription for Eliquis and started his first dose this morning. This evening he is already feeling some relief!! 

We want to thank again the volunteers who have driven him to treatment, the many many prayers and concerns, and the support we have been given. We cannot ever express our gratitude enough.

We are unsure of what will come next. We don’t know if his last cycle will commence on this coming Monday or if things will be postponed. Evan has expressed that hopes for a week break like last time, just to recoup some weight and strength he has lost this round. Will update when we have more!!!

10/27/23

First week of Cycle #2 is done!! Evan has had a rough week with nausea and mouth sores rearing their ugly heads. I am happy to say that as of today, both are much better! The mouth sores are all but gone, and he has been able to eat today. He was able to drive himself to treatment on Monday & Tuesday, and we have been blessed to have precious volunteers that have offered and taken him this week. The prayers, texts, and donations have been a blessing. We could not ask for a better support system from friends, family, and church members. He has 2 more Tuesday treatments left in this cycle. This next Tuesday is a visit with the doctor and probably more blood draws and another pulmonary function test. We thank you all for your continued support! 

10/19/23

One cycle down! Evan was supposed to start his 2nd cycle on 10/16, but due to low neutrophils and white cell count, they postponed until this coming Monday. There is good news though!! While he was in the hospital 2 weeks ago with “chemo fever” they did a repeat CT scan and it showed all 3 lung nodules have decreased in size!! Hallelujah! On Monday, when they took blood, they also checked his AFP tumor marker and it has decreased more than 90% from 6659 to 692! That is almost to where he was this time last year. This is fantastic news. It means that while we have had some set-backs, he is improving!! This last Wednesday, he was starting to pull clumps of hair out and so he allowed me to use the clippers and buzz him. 😫 We continue to thank everyone who has called, texted, given hugs, donations, and sent prayers and cards. We love each and every one of you and pray for you all. God Bless!

10/5/23

What a difference a day makes!!! We made a trip to the ER per Evan’s oncologist for a fever of 101.1 and very troubling blood pressure. After almost 12 hours in the ER, 2 separate antibacterial medications, nausea meds, pain meds, blood cultures, CT scans, x-rays, and blood pressure meds, we were transferred to Christus in Tyler. Five hours later, more antibacterial meds, more testing, and a lot of praying people, he was finally moved to a room. Taking last dose of antibacterial and waiting for blood cultures to come back before we will know what is happening. So many different opinions and suppositions. This is all new territory for us. They are pretty much going with the assumption that he has “chemo fever”….can’t be predicted, can’t be prevented, and can’t really be treated.☹️ Evan is so ready to get out of here!! 

10/4/23

Had the first really bad day today. Yesterday was Evan’s 1 hour Bleomycin day. Last night, he had a slight fever, but this morning when I checked on him at 7:30, his fever had spiked to 100.5, he was nauseous, and had suffered with a bad headache all night. His oncologist said any fever over 100.5 had to be reported, so I called it in. Doc said we could give 1 Tylenol pill for the headache, but he was calling in an antibiotic. Doc thinks he is also dehydrated, so we are pushing the liquids. All other symptoms have eased up this evening, except for the headache. Pray that the nausea stays away, because we have been advised not to give either one of the 2 nausea meds we have while he is on the antibiotic. Sheesh….this is a roller coaster!! Still praising God through it all!🙌

9/27/23

We are on Day 3 of treatments, and things are going smoothly! Evan has had no side effects so far thanks to everyone’s prayers!! He is actually driving himself to treatment tomorrow! He has tomorrow and Friday left for this week and then he will return on Tuesday for about an hour. Praying that he continues to feel good. He’s eating good…probably better than he has in a while! LOL! Thank you to everyone who has donated, called, texted, prayed, volunteered in any way, shape, or form. We love you guys so much!!

9/21/23

We are so blessed by your donations! Evan will be starting his chemo treatments on Monday, September 25 in Palestine, Texas. We have been told to expect him to be there for 6 hours Monday-Friday, then returning for the next 2 Tuesdays, before starting all over again the next Monday. If we continue with their schedule as planned, he should be finished with chemo the day before Thanksgiving. What a Thanksgiving that will be, as I am sure we will all be very grateful to be done!! I will update again after his first treatment on Monday.  God bless!

9/18/23

Evan is getting his chemo port placed today. Prayers for the doctor and nurses present and for peace for Evan and us (his parents). We cannot say thank you enough to those who have donated either privately or here. 

Evan, our 21 year-old son, woke up on August 19, 2022 complaining of pain that he had been having for approximately 2 weeks. A trip to urgent care resulted in the doctor doing an ultrasound and being concerned enough to refer him to a Urologist immediately. Fast forward 7 days later, and the ultrasound says his right testicle has to be removed as it was completely necrotic and swollen the size of an avocado. Pre-testing, scans, x-rays, and surgery followed within the next 3 days. The surgeon came out to let us know that our next stop would be “MD Anderson.” He assured us that he would send it off for pathology, but between what he saw and the CT scan results, they were pretty sure it was malignant and had spread to his retroperitoneal lymph nodes (in the abdomen) and his lungs. On September 30, Evan had a PET scan that showed the 3 nodes in the chest area (2 in the lungs and one in the thoracic region), but nothing was affected in the abdomen. This made him STAGE 1S, which is very low risk. With his tumor markers so low, we decided to not do high-dose chemotherapy immediately, and instead try to research and do alternative treatments that were not so aggressive. Up until this point, we had been cash pay for everything we had done. Thankfully we were able to get an insurance plan for him to handle some of the cost, however, we are still having out-of-pocket costs for travel, lodging, losing work time, and still doing alternative treatments. On his last check-up, on August 14, the scans showed that the 3 nodes had TRIPLED in size, so with much prayer Evan has made the decision to go forward with the chemotherapy treatments. He is now considered STAGE 3B (there is only one more stage). These treatments will be 3 rounds of 21 day treatments. They will be done in Palestine, a 30 minute drive. He should be starting sometime in September. We will be having continuing out-of-pocket costs during this treatment. We have always felt like we were in a good place financially until this happened. We are only sharing this for those who have asked how they can help. Prayers are always our 1st answer. We serve a God who has this whole situation in the palm of His hand, and so we have assurance that things will work according to His plan. Secondly on our list of things we could use help with, is the extra expenses. I hated even putting an amount as a goal, but they would not let me continue without a number. We do not expect to reach that, but every cent will go to Evan’s care. Thank you so much and God Bless!

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