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I did not think I would ever have to ask for help.  Cancer, however, changed things.

On December 5, 2021, I went to the emergency room via ambulance.  I had been suffering from fatigue for several months.  It continually got worse.  The last couple of weeks I was so weak that I could hardly walk across my apartment.

I was admitted to the hospital with acute anemia.  I received four units of blood and spent approximately 36 hours in intensive care.  I was released from the hospital on December 11.  During my stay I was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  The urologist who performed a cystoscopy on me said that my bladder was 90-95% filled with tumors.  The prognosis was that I would need to have my bladder removed.

I was referred to the Sylvester Cancer Center which is part of the University of Miami Health Care System.  In 2022 I underwent three surgeries to remove the tumors from my bladder.  These surgeries are called Trans-Urethral Recision of Bladder Tumor (TURBT).

The surgeries were successful.  All the tumors were successfully removed.  Even better, the post-surgical biopsies were all positive.  The tumors had been contained within my bladder; they had not spread into the muscles of my bladder or beyond, so I will keep my bladder.  After the surgical procedures were completed and after some healing time, I started a maintenance program of immunotherapy.  This program will continue for several years.

The good news is that I have recovered my health.  I am excercising and getting stronger, and I feel better than I have in a long time.  I appreciate this every day, and I feel enormous gratitude and admiration for the doctors, nurses, and staff at UM.  I appreciate every day that I am well, that I am still breathing and walking around, and that I will keep my own plumbing.

Two moments stand out.  The first was when I was released from intensive care.  When you leave intensive care, it’s either alive or in a box.  I was alive.  I was so happy that I was giddy.  No matter what was coming, I could deal with it.

The second moment was the instant I first regained consciousness after my first operation.  My body was still coming around, but I was aware.  I knew who I was, where I was, and what had happened. I knew that I was in the recovery room after surgery. I could sense that, even though some healing was needed, much of the tumor mass was gone.  The cloud was dissipating.  The future was bright.

All that good news is truly good.  The bad news is that my finances have been dramatically damaged.

I am now 75 years old.  Before I got sick, I was semi-retired.  I was collecting social security, and I made some sideline income from two online stores.  My savings were modest.  After the last two years, even though Medicare covered much of the costs, I am deeply in debt.  My businesses have essentially been wiped out.  Currently my main source of income is social security.  This is not enough to cover my expenses, let alone pay off my mountain of debts.

So I am asking for some help.  I have started this campaign.  I am hoping to pay off the debt and cover my expenses until I can establish an income.  Thanks for your attention.  Any contribution will truly be appreciated.


Oct 11, 2023

Here’s an update on my situation.

Last week I completed another round of treatments.  The treatments started with a cystoscopy on Aug 30.  The results of this were positive – no reoccurence of cancer was found in my bladder.

Then on Sept 20, Sept 27, and Oct 4 I was given BCG treatments.  BCG is an acronym for Bacillus Calmette-Guerin.   Calmette and Guerin were the scientists who developed a vaccine for tuberculosis from a bacteria or bacillus called myobacterium bovis, a bacillus similar to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.  It was discovered in the 1970’s that this bacillus could also be used as immunotherapy for bladder cancer.

On each of those three days 200 milliliters of BCG were injected into my bladder via catheter.  Simple and easy and so far effective.  It has now been over a year since my third and last surgery and the cancer has not reoccurred.  Hooray!

My health is good; unfortunately, my finances are still not so good.  This campaign started out nicely but stalled after the first couple of weeks.  I am still a long way from meeting my target, and of course the bills keep coming.   Please consider helping me with a donation, and please pass my information along to your friends and followers on social media.  Thanks for your help.


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