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Supporting Tom AND Tommy
12/20/2016 Latest post:
On behalf of Tom & Tommy, welcome to our CaringBridge website providing support to Tom & Tommy Leth. It is being used to keep family and friends updated in one place. This has all progressed so quickly as cancer often does. In August of 2016, Tom was diagnosed with Diabetes. He did a great job collecting info and learning about what he needed to do to get on top of managing it, and he did a remarkable job. Still, something wasn't right. He was experiencing a variety of pain and eating became uncomfortable. One thing after another brought him back to his doc at Kaiser as his symptoms persisted and worsened. In just ONE week he went from looking fine on the outside to obvious and outward signs of illness. A liver biopsy on just a few weeks ago confirmed a neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer with metastasis to several areas of the liver. This cancer is incurable and inoperable. Options for treatment were discussed during an in depth conversation with the oncologist on Tuesday Dec 13th. Tom and his doctor decided to proceed with chemo treatment with the goals of 1. improving his quality of life by lessening his daily symptoms and 2. extending his life. Two days later he went to the chemo class, and on Dec 16th, he started his first round of chemo. A "round" of chemo in this instance means he receives IV chemo on Day 1, doses of chemo in pill form on days 2 and 3, and days 4 to 8 he uses injections to keep his white blood cell count up to prevent infection. The next round starts 3 weeks after the last injection so his 2nd round starts on Jan 6th, 2017. There is a 60% response rate with this regimen so we are hoping Tom will be relieved of his symptoms enough that he will feel better to be able to have an improved quality of life and time with Tommy, family, and friends. Much help is needed and this site will provide a calendar view of how people can help. Providing meals is huge and Tom is asking that people sign up for every OTHER day dinners. As we move along, I think that assistance with errands, such as groceries, rides to Kaiser, and help with Tommy may be needed. Tom has found a cleaner to come on a weekly basis. As days go by I'm sure we will see what kinds of specific help may be needed so please stay tuned. Lastly, this treatment is very expensive. Even with insurance, the first round of just the chemo meds totaled nearly $3000 out of pocket. Yes, out of pocket. SIX rounds of chemo are recommended which means $18,000 out of pocket - and this is only the chemo regimen. There are other costs that I won't list here. Please simply know that these costs add up quickly and any financial assistance you are able to provide will be very much appreciated and is certainly very needed. I will be starting a GoFund me site through this Caring Bridge site very soon so watch for the link. Please forward to anyone you know who may be able to help out. A sincere Thank You for helping in this way. I am reaching out to those of you who know Tom and I ask that if you know of a resource or person who may be able to help with something, please forward the idea/info. It truly does take a village. This site is not yet complete, but I want to send out the email as a heads up. We will post updates as appropriate.
GoFundMe link is here: //www.gofundme.com/toms-rx-support-fund
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful contributions of energy, spirit, and being. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.