When I announced that I had Metastatic Breast Cancer at the beginning of March, I received many suggestions on different alternatives right away from so many people. It started to overwhelm me so I wrote them all down and put them in my back pocket. As you all know from reading my blog, I was given a drug that was proven to prolong life, with little side effects and good quality of life.
Unfortunately, on the long weekend in May, I went to emergency because I wasn’t feeling well at all. There, we found out that the current treatment was not working, and that my liver was going into failure. I was given only one option. Start systematic chemotherapy weekly, at a low dose, to try and pulse my liver back to a less dangerous state. I was so thankful that there was still an option for me. At this point I started pulling out those other options from my back pocket. I remember a girlfriend of mine sending me a story about a girl in Ontario who travelled to Germany to seek treatment, after given 1 month to live. This was Narda. I reached out to her while I was in the hospital, and she quickly replied back. She said if your Bilirubin is that high and you are jaundice, you need to go NOW! She quickly got Matt in contact with the clinic in Germany. We decided to wait a little, knowing how much this was going to cost. We wanted to see if the IV chemo would show improvement. It did at first, but not where we wanted to be. My quality of life was declining and my day to day involved me sitting on a zero gravity chair in my living room for most of the day. I dreaded the days I had to get ready for hospital appointments because it was so much work. Im just over 100lbs and had gained about 20lbs of fluid since being in the hospital, so needless to say walking wasn’t easy for me.
On Monday, June 11th, Matt had FB messenger conversation with Narda about the clinic and her experience. He also had been in contact with Dr. Aigner and the secretary at the clinic. I was sleeping at the time so I had no Idea this was going on. Tuesday morning I had my chemo appointment in Ottawa at 8:45 am. So I woke up that morning and looked over at Matt, he looked over at me and said you aren’t going to chemo today. I said what why? “We need to get to Germany now. Dr. Aigner said if we were going to come it would have to be now.” For whatever reason, late Monday night, Matt wrote Dr. Aigner to inform him I was to have chemo Tuesday morning. Thankfully he did, because the doctor responded saying that if she does this treatment in Canada, he will not be able to treat her for 2-3 weeks, and by then, it would too far progressed. “The clock is 5 minutes to midnight” Dr. Aigner told Matt.
Me, being so stubborn, argued with Matt saying “there’s no way we can afford to go to Germany for treatment, I’m not going.” The thought of going to Germany seemed impossible. I could barely move! A lot of back and forth happened before 8:45 and eventually I just gave up and we didn’t go to chemo. I wasn’t feeling well anyways.. Matt then had a difficult conversation with my parents stressing the need to get to Germany ASAP and we would think about money at a later time. Before I knew it we had a flight booked on Wednesday afternoon going to Munich, Germany. My dad later informed us that his companies foundation would pay for our first, very expensive, flight to Germany. We flew first class so I could lay down and be as comfortable as possible. I was terrified to fly as I am not mobile. We informed Air Canada we needed a wheelchair and I must say they really came through for us.
Before we could leave Dr Aigner suggested I get some fluid drained from my stomach to help with the long flight there. So, we ended up going to the Ottawa hospital Tuesday afternoon so I could have the procedure done. Thanks to my parent’s and Matt’s parent’s who scrambled to help us out that afternoon getting ready to leave, while I was at the hospital.
Before I knew it Matt had set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for my treatment. We have received an overwhelming amount of donations in a few short days! We were all shocked and now have confidence with everyone’s support and fundraising we can get through this. We are asking you from the bottom of our hearts to keep sharing our page with your networks, social media, work place, whatever it may be! We have raised so much but still have a long ways to go.
This team of doctors here at Medias Klinikum, lead by Dr. Aigner are truly remarkable! Matt and I have full confidence in their expertise.