Monday, January 14, 2013

Origin of #FranksFight

When Frank was first diagnosed with cancer we decided not to tell anyone except for close family and friends. We wanted to battle this sickness and get rid of it. We started to see many things were not covered under insurance however depleted our life savings to get Frank everything he needed. Our car died upon arriving at Frank's uncle's wake however we could not afford to replace it and had to worry about Frank beating cancer so just got over it and scrapped it. On October 21, 2011 Frank had his last dose of chemotherapy and was told he had kicked cancer's ass so we were happy we made it through and even though we had no money or car he had his life and that was enough. We went on to think everything would now get better however something else happen. In February Frank started to get sick and by May we were told he had cancer back again for the second time. We were devastated and knew we could not make it again through this without help. Frank reached out to the UG with a thread that would forever change everything. The UG stepped up and started to help with donation's, support, tee-shirt creation, and other things. One tee-shirt contest would put everyone on twitter and here is where the #FranksFight hashtag was born. Since I was brand new to twitter I was able to locate everything happening with #FranksFight on twitter through this creation.

Cancer Diagnosis

On June 29, 2011 it was a normal regular day. Frank was having back pain and way more than usualso he decided to go to the ER.As we waited in the ER the doctor had a catscan done. We were getting frustrated with the wait and the fact that the ER doctor was dismissing Frank's pain as a side effect of his Chrin's disease. Frank told this doctor he was wrong and the face on the doctor when he came back with the Catscan results said it all. We knew just by looking at the doctor's face that something was very wrong. The next thing we are told is they believe it is cancer and after some tests it was confirmed that it was infact testicular cancer. Frank was then put through surgery to remove the testicle and to have a port a cathe put in his chest. Once these two surgeries were done he was put on a chemotherapy regimen called BEP. This started August 1st and was finished October 21st. At this point we were told that Frank had kicked cancer's ass but needed to keep checking for any issues. In February of 2012 Frank started to feel sick and this was brushed off until May when he was supposed to be put through a major surgery for lymphnode dissection. During his pre-op it was found out that something was very wrong and then after tests confirmed it we were told the cancer was back again. He was then put on a chemotherapy regimen called TIP. He did two cycles of this when we were told by Frank's oncologist that he could not cure Frank and Frank would need to go to Boston for 2 stem cell transplants. Frank then had to go through much testing and endure a third round of TIP to slow down the cancer so he could then have the transplant. He then had to go through harvesting so they could freeze his stem cells, he had to have multiple tests to ensure he was ok to have the transplant and something no one has been told yet is that he had to have all his teeth removed before the transplant. We are talking 21 teeth and he had no other option. He was then admitted on November 14, 2012 for the transplant. He stayed in the hospital until December 3, 2012 when he was released. This transplant included massive high dose chemo and Frank almost did not come home. We still do not know if the transplant worked however we know Frank has said no to the second transplant. We will look at his options once we are told how this first transplant did in regards to ridding Frank of the cancer. So for now he recovers and waits to find out what if anything is next.
Financially in 2011 we cleared our savings of 15 thousand dollars to nothing by November of 2011. In October as we left Franks chemo appointment to go to his uncle's wake we got there and our car died and was unable to be fixed so we lost our car. We never did any fundraising that year as we thought we could handle it all on our own. He had beat cancer so the money meant nothing. When we found out Frank had it again we knew if we did not ask for help we would end up homeless.
Frank has lost major weight from 267 in 2011 to 180 or so now. He has lost his teeth. He has been through multiple surgeries and multiple chemo treatments. He has lost all his hair multiple times and still does not have it back. His skin was horribly burned by the latest round of chemo and so he has spots all over his body that are discolored.