Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An update from Tom...

Here's a letter Tom sent a few weeks ago to the staff members at his school, during their United Way campaign.  Some of you might want to be updated with regards to Tom's health.

Cancer Update
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September of 2011. I guess this means that I now have had cancer for three years. My cancer did not stay in my prostate. It metastasized to my right hip. I had no cartilage there. On April 4 of that year I could not get out of bed. Obviously I was not going to work. I was off work for one year and 3 months. I walked with a cane. I took a lot of pain killers. On November 21, 2011, I received a titanium hip. Cost-$50,000.00. It works great.

I live a life with cancer. I have stage four cancer. I will not be cured. I will just be able to maintain my cancer at the level it is now. Yesterday, my daughter Nicole asked me; “Dad, when will you be cured from cancer?” For her, everything is black and white without any subtleties. The answer for her is that I won’t be cured.

The Cancer Care building is the nicest, brightest, sunniest building that you would never want to enter.

I am there twice a week, sometimes three times a week.
I went there for chemotherapy, which I was dreading. They put you in a big blue lazyboy chair and drip chemicals into your arm. This is two and a half hours of my life I will never get back. I did this 10 times, every 21 days, since last May.
There is always a twenty minute wait for a chair. The chairs never get cold, as there is someone else waiting. They only shut down on Christmas day. They do not have enough chairs to handle all the cancer patients.
Once a month I go to the hematology lab for a blood test. It is on the main floor. You take a number. The previous time I was there, the nurse couldn’t find a vein, and just stuck the needle in and swung it around until he could find something. Really painful. I will not have him again. On Monday, I was there again. There was a small boy ahead of me. He cried and cried when they stuck the needle in. This was tough to take.
I am on prednisone. I have gained thirty pounds. I have a “moon face.” Please don’t call me moon boy when you see me.
My feet are swollen and my joints hurt. I can’t fit my winter boots. I can’t fit my clothes.
I can’t grow a mustache to save my life-no pun intended.
It costs $50,000.00 a year to treat one cancer patient.
One in seven people will get cancer.
Please donate to the United Way Campaign.
Thanks for reading.
Tom Roberts

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