Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A little over 10 years ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer two weeks to the date after the birth of our first daughter. I had a surgery to remove the tumor and then went out to Indianapolis to have a lymph node dissection by Dr. Foster at Indiana University. I have a pretty scar to show for my painful surgery. After a few months off work and lots of staples, I was declared cancer free and stayed that way for three years. In the meantime, we moved to South Carolina and had another little girl.

I had an oncology check up in June of 2007 and was declared healthy for the third year. Three months later in September, I learned that my company, would be closing its office in Greenville and I would be losing my job. Unfortunately and fortunately I injured my back two days after learning my company was closing. My injury became increasingly painful, so much so I ended up with my wife in the ER in the middle of the night. They did a CT scan expecting to find a kidney stone and instead found a mass. They sent me home with some good pain meds and told me to go to my oncologist first thing Monday morning. 

On Tuesday morning we were able to get in to see my doc. He immediately said, this is probably cancer. yay.  Good news is that we were able to get on short term disability before my local office closed down.  We made plans to anticipate what would come, and after CT scans showing no spread beyond the mass, and a biopsy to confirm it was malignant, I was scheduled to begin chemo treatments for nine weeks beginning Sept. 2007 through the end of November 2007. It was three rounds of three weeks of chemo. The first week of each round being five days a week, 4-6 hours a day. The second and third week was Tuesdays only for a shorter treatment. The chemotherapy experience was long, exhausting and difficult. It was difficult for me, my wife and those who helped support us through it. I had difficulties with IVs, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dehydration, fatigue (that doesn't even begin to describe it), weight gain, joint pain among other things. Nonetheless, I came out on the other side, healthy and ready to get back in the game.

This treatment though it saved my life put a hurtin' on us financially.  Six years or so after the last treatment we finally paid the last of the bills due to the oncologist.  Six years is a long time to owe someone for anything, and being this was not an anticipated expense it stung more than one you plan on.  Chemo Ninja was a inspired by a doodle I drew and a desire to help others not have the struggles that my family has endured.  Those financial struggle are also the reason it's taken so long to get Chemo Ninja to a point where we're actually doing something for other people. 

Help us help others!

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