Help spread the word
About this fundraiser:
First thing's first PLEASE do NOT post any of this on public areas of Social Media just yet (private message or group is ok). One of the reasons I strongly believe I have survived this long (9 years so far) is because I tend to focus on the positive and go to my "happy place"...and Social Media is one of my happiest places (except at election time, of course). I love all the pics and am inspired by all the stories you all post~
Though the campaign is over you can still be a part it by:
donating directly via Venmo and PayPal setup for direct payments. Venmo=AliGilmore-12 or PayPalemail@example.com
Ok, this one is a hard one to write (as anyone who knows me can attest to), because I'm too proud for my own good. That's why I've only done fundraisers for the fun stuff like publishing books or going on and filming bucket list adventures, but it's time I reached out because after 9 years of this, my cc's are maxed out, my credit score is too low to score another loan (how do you think I was paying for all those inspiring adventures...?) and my head is reeling from medical expenses, but I'm proud to say I've paid every cc on time and more than the minimum, so the only reason for the bad score is high usage. I could've put a down payment on a really nice house with all the co-insurance, co-pays and supplemental services, Oy.
And if you are reading this for the first time today, you are a close friend, but don't be offended that I waited until after the campaign closed to reach out. Some of you are just harder to inform than others. If you do choose to contribute, I only ask that you share it with 1 like-minded person. Though every dollar makes a difference, I realize there are hundreds of fundraisers out there, so I don't want anyone here going broke or feeling obligated, just one of the first to be informed and to help if you can.
"Can I visit you?" For now the answer is No, Not Yet. I need to reserve all my energy (and scratchy throat) for the fight, but I promise that if/when I hear the "H" word I'll send out notices to all the peeps on my list and we'll organize visits, but don't feel obligated. I think it's better to remember the vibrant person than the shell they've become.
Current diagnosis and treatment: Metastatic Colon cancer that spread to both lungs, then brain and now it's in more of the right lung, the liver and the bones, which is never a good thing.
Prognosis? There is none yet as this is a new drug, but we'll scan after the last (6th cycle) and see where we go from there.
Treatment: 6 rounds of chemo and at the same time 12 radiation sessions on the whole brain (completed on 6.26.19). Here is a list of side effects if you want to see re: brain/head radiation: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/radiation/effects-on-different-parts-of-body.html
I've just started round 3 of chemo with a new drug called Irinotecan (http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/irinotecan.aspx) so far and they had to cancel June 17th's because my white blood cell (WBC) dropped from 14 to 4 in one go (usually it's more like 3-4). I consider that a good thing in the respect that my body has been so wiped and two treatments at the same time as radiation was too much.
UPDATE FOR JULY: Met with Dr H and the WBC levels were good. Higher than the last ones, so basically before they were 14 and dropped to 4. This time they were 12.9 and dropped to 5.6 and then to 3.4 this morning (because 10 days after chemo is your lowest point.) P.T. is a hard driver but he got me to walk down to the fences (a block down and back up) yesterday and it was a little wobbly but at least it's progress~ Next update will be around the same time in August, so I'll find a way to post it if we can't do it here.
UPDATE FOR JUNE: Recently, I have acquired 2 at home nurses who comes Mon-Fri checking my vitals and are bringing in a wound care person to treat the ones on the front of my feet (where they swelled so much, they cracked) and a P.T. Specialist came out to evaluate me, my place, to make sure it's safe and will help me to rebuild my quads and glutes which are the two main areas that need improving upon if I want to walk up the stairs with any confidence and wound care specialist is coming 'round on Friday, June 5th to address the open wounds on the tops of my feet (split from edema).
- I'm worn out (like I can only handle one step at a time going up the 15 steps to my apt) and then bring on the inhaler~
- Really swollen legs/feet and what I like to lovingly refer to as a "Decadron baby" - belly is huuuuge.
- Dizziness and instability (yes, I am now the proud new owner of a cane and a fancy schmancy walker)
- My throat is thrashed from the radiation treatments so even salad mix is like sandpaper, so learning to love Jello and cottage cheese again.
The P.A. once said to me and it stuck, "Always stay on top of the symptoms" and he was right. It really worked, but now I've gone from 2 docs on my care team to 6 and they all have their own prescriptions that aren't playing nice together, which is frustrating.
This fall made it nearly impossible to keep on top of that.
- October - discovery and targeted radiation treatment of the two grape sized tumors in my brain in the cerebellum (balance) and frontal lobe (vision).
- November/Thanksgiving week - Pneumonia
- December/January - Recovery but with dizziness and instability
- April 27th - DVT that turned into P.E. when it shot into my lung and I did a nose plant at SAN airport (did that stop me from getting on the plane...? Of course not~)
- May - surgery to remove cyst (metastatic) from left lobe on top of brain (turned out to be metastatic from colon).
- June - Discovered the small dot in my right lung that we've been monitoring (plan was to do robotic surgery, but discovery of brain tumors took precedence) had spread to bones and liver and more in the right lung. Here's my care team, each come with their own prescriptions and opinions of course.
Dr. Jaramillo = GP
Dr. Helton = Oncologist
Dr. Urbanic = Targeted Radiation
Dr. Fernandez = DVT/PE Specialist
Dr. Mark Onatis = Robotic Surgery on right lung (if it comes to that)
Dr. Sunil Jeswani = Brain surgeon (had initial, scan and follow up) if it comes to that, but I think we're crossing our fingers the targeted radiation will fix this. Will have a clue in about 2 moths when we re-do the MRI/Brain scan.
Though I get that the chance to help and share your love and appreciation is key for you, I want to offer something as well for your contribution (oy, my pride).
For every donation of:
A = $25 or more -you'll get a thank you posted here and a packet of daisies (my favorite) delivered to you to plant and remember me by (nice, huh?).
B = A+ a hand written (possibly typed main part, my hand writing is pretty bad these days) "Thank You" card with words of why you are one of my favorite people on the planet.
C = $100 or more - A + B + a private msg on FB (or social media of your choosing) with an image of what I purchased with your donation (e.g. look...doesn't my wig make me look so sexshay~).
I would say bucket list adventures if I make it and a celebration of life in Everett and Oceanside if I don't.
If you have a preference, you can post in your contribution where you want your money to go to on the contribution form or you can send an online gift card to firstname.lastname@example.org from either:
FRAZIER FARMS = https://frazierfarmsmarket.com/giftcards
SPROUTS = https://www.sprouts.com/gift-cards/
AMAZON = https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-eGift-Card-Conga-Animated/dp/B07MB4HN9X/ref=sr_1_7?crid=2XS5DRWWXUV36&keywords=amazon+gift+cards&qid=1560708669&s=gift-cards&sprefix=a%2Cgift-cards%2C188&sr=1-7
And if you really want to make me happy? Do 2 things:
1. Get your colon checked (no excuses). Did you know it can take up to 10 years for a simple polyp in the colon to grow into a dangerous tumor? There are over 100 types of cancer and this one is pretty easy to nip in the bud comparitively, so get 'er done peeps, get 'er done: https://www.cologuardtest.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2dnmkJSA4wIVgv5kCh19iQp_EAAYASAAEgIJY_D_BwE
2. Start planning that bucket list adventure you've been saying "maybe next year" to. Y'know how good for the body/soul and inspiring they can be and don't forget to share it on social media so that others can be inspired too~
Your donations will help pay for:
- Home delivery of organic groceries (Frazier Farms, Sprouts)
- Home delivery of cancer aids (edema clothes, comforts, etc)
- Supplemental services (chiro, housekeeping, m-edibles, etc)
- At home massage (to help combat swollen belly, legs, feet)
- Wigs (Got 2, thanks to Tony and Anonymous~)
- Finish recording my songs and submit more to shops etc.
- Finish the 2nd of 12 films, "AYE - Road Trip Scotland"
- Finish & publish my new book (humorous story of my parents)
- Funeral Costs (cremation) and memorial services in SEA & SAN
- Final "Bucket List" adventures (aligilmore.com/bucketlist)
I’d go for the wig and massage, but whatever you want. 💋
Sending much love from Osni and me. (Did a famous Brazilian photographer take that photo?)
You continue to inspire us all💕