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Prayers & Support for TJ

$22,925raised of $10,000 goal
100%

Organizer: Karina Santos Beneficiary: Timothy G. Santos Jr.

In April 2013, TJ was diagnosed with stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.. Because this cancer is very aggressive, we are seeking care at the world's top center for Pancreatic Cancer. Please help TJ!

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Fundraiser Details

In February 2013, during his deployment,  TJ began to experience extreme abdominal and back pain.. & in March 2013, after discovering he was also Jaundice, the Army decided to medivac TJ back to Fort Bliss, TX for medical attention. After some tests, scans, & a couple of biopsies, we were given news we never thought we would get.. TJ was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. I couldn't believe the man I have loved since I was 15 & the father of my two young children had cancer.. Once we found out the kids & I were on the first flight back to El Paso..

TJ had to have surgery to place a stint in his biliary duct to help with his Jaundice & a procedure done to place in his central line port. After this, we immediately began a very aggressive regiment of chemotherapy.. He has recieved 4 cycles so far & it really has taken a toll on him... But seeing my husband go through all this with such faith and determination amazes me everyday & takes my love for him to a whole new level!  TJ still has the same optimism & humor he has always had...  he always reassures me that God makes everything happen for a reason, & that he is going to beat this cancer!! I really married an amazing man!:)

Although we were blessed with an amazing team of doctors & a rock star oncologist, we have not been able to manage TJ's pain.. Our team of doctors have been working really hard to get us transferred to a top notch cancer center that would hopefully be able to manage the pain & eventually do surgery to remove the tumor.. After almost 3 weeks in the hospital, we got the call that Johns Hopkins accepted TJ as an inpatient transfer... The Army medivacted us within 24 hrs & we are now working with some of the best doctors in the pancreatic cancer world!!! 

Even though this situation sucks.. We know we are so lucky and we have so much to be thankful for.. God has really blessed us with the love we have for each other, with our two beautiful healthy children & with our awesome family and friends!! So many have reached out to express support and to show love & we are so humbled & grateful! 

Since we are now in Baltimore & living out of our suitcases while TJ receives treatment, we are facing an undetermined amount of out of pocket expenses.. To help alleviate that & the stress that comes with financial uncertainty, we are asking our family and friends to help us out in any way they can... Whether it's a small donation or just a prayer we would be so appreciative!! 

I know God will see us through this...  I know He doesn't give us anything we can't handle! And I know TJ is going to beat this ugly disease! Thank you all for your love & for your continued prayers!! God bless & we love you!!!


~Karina~
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Updates

Updates

07/05/2013
by Karina Santos
Hey family & friends.. 
Hope you all had a great 4th of July! Although Tim was in the hospital we made the most of it.. Luckily his room had a view of the fireworks, Timmy enjoyed them for about a minute & aria slept right through the whole show! Lol
So since my last update, Tim began his first round of chemo.. But towards the end of the first week there were some complications.. He had high fevers for 4 days and was readmitted into the hospital this past Sunday.. As T would say  "he had 5 days of freedom!" :) he tested positive for an infection & needed to be put on antibiotics.. So chemo has been put on hold yet again.. Until the fever and infection is gone... 

During this scary time, I could not get a hold of Tim's oncologist. AT ALL! ( his oncologist has been M.I.A. pretty much the whole time we have been here.. ) So after telling everyone (every doctor & nurse we saw this week) to page Tim's oncologist.. He finally showed up 6 days after I've left messages for him.!! I finally was able to sit down with him to ask him questions &tell him how I felt.. I told him (very respectfully) that "we uprooted our family to come to Johns Hopkins because they were suppose to be the best, they were the "center of excellence" & that I have been very disappointed in the care we have received from the oncology department." This doctor had the nerve to tell me that the ratings aren't always true & I should have stayed at our local hospital to get care!!!!!!! I was pissed "he should've told us that 3-4 weeks ago when we got here!" Johns Hopkins oncology.. NOT so excellent!  That was the final push to get Tim & I to agree to go back to El Paso & back to our doctors there who actually care for us & who will fight along side Tim during this battle! We have a new treatment plan (that's basically the same chemo we planned to do at Hopkins) & they should be doing some radiation at some point also... & I will begin a new search for another oncology surgeon who will be willing to do surgery on  Tim.. Hopefully we will find one & then we can travel to them when the time is right...


Praying to God this is the right decision! We can't afford to waste anymore time off chemo.. Even going through all of this, Tim still has so much faith! & even though he is the sick one, I still feel as if he is the one that is carrying me through this time.. ( him & God, of course... & all the prayers we have gotten!)    We really, really, really appreciate everyone's love, support, & most of all your prayers.. We can't say thank you enough!!  


I still ask "why is this happening?" & "why is it happening to the most genuine, sweetest, caring, & all around good person I know?" (& I'm not just saying that because he is my husband, anyone that knows Tim, knows that's true!) I don't think I'll ever understand...
I know I need to keep my faith & have patience that God will heal him & reveal his plan... 

Tim's story has already touched so many people.. It's an awesome feeling to know that we have so many people on our side.. So many prayer warriors praying on Tim's behalf.. Please keep em coming, we need all the prayers & positive thoughts we can get!
Will keep you posted!
I love you all! & thank you for being there for us!
~karina~

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06/21/2013
by Karina Santos
Hello family and friends! So we are making some progress & so much has happened since my last update!!

First off, Tim's pain has finally been somewhat managed.. So managed enough to give our doctors confidence to give him a pass to get out of the hospital for a few hours!! Since the whole Santos Sr. Clan was in town naturally we would go spend his pass watching the Red Sox & Orioles play at Camden Yards in Baltimore.. Tim was so excited! He tried to play cool, but I could see how happy he was to be out... And for the first time since he was diagnosed on April 5, 2013, we were able to spend 4 hours pretending like nothing was wrong & our lives were back to normal. It ended too soon, but I know it reminded him of the life he is fighting to have with his family...

This past weekend was pretty special, T was surprised with visits from his Godparents, Nino Roland & Nina Nette, & one of his best friends who he played college baseball with, JP Dailey & his wifey Michelle.. JP & Michelle will be celebrating their one year wedding anniversary in a few weeks.. Tim & I were reminiscing about their wedding and how much our lives have changed in one short year..

So on to the update.. They did a procedure to begin a trail to see if an intrathecal pain pump would be a good option to help with Tim's pain.. And it was a SUCCESS!!??Basically there is a small pump reservoir connected to a catheter which is  in his spine continuously dispensing pain meds to his pain receptors. Since the meds are going straight to his receptors it is taking 300x less medicine than if he was just taking pain meds orally! The trial which was just the catheter connected to PCA pumps lasted for about 3-4 days where they tweaked the dosage to Tim's comfort.. Now, since it was a success, they will place a pump inside Tim's body so he can be mobile and not be lugging machines around! The surgery is pretty invasive and should take 3-4 hrs.. He is in surgery for the pump as I type this update. I counted, he has had   9 surgeries since he has been diagnosed..?? My poor husband, but  man did I marry one strong guy!!  Praying that typing this update will help calm my nerves and make the hours in the waiting room fly by! So far it's been a good distraction.. 

Now that his pain has been managed they will be discharging Tim from the hospital in 3 days, if all goes well!!!!!!! It has been 41 consecutive days since Tim was admitted into the hospital and in 3 days we will be able to bring him to our temporary home here in Baltimore.. The kids are gonna be so excited when they realize "daddy gets to come with us"! And now since Tim will be getting discharged they finally have him on the chemo schedule!!!!!!! He begins the day they discharge him! He will be taking an oral chemo everyday and IV chemo once a week.. Our oncologist said this regimen of chemo they will be putting Tim on is pretty intense.. Which is good cause it's that much stronger to kick this cancer's butt!! But my heart breaks when I think of Tim having to deal with the "suckiness"of chemo and its side effects.. I seriously have never hated anything more than I hate this cancer! Please God give him the strength mind, body, & soul to fight through this...

I'll leave you all with that... We are so blessed with such supportive friends and family! We can't thank you all enough for your donations and continued prayers!!! We love you!!!! God bless you all!!!!

~?karina~


Sent from my iPad

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06/09/2013
by Karina Santos
We are still so amazed by all the love and support we have received! God is great & we truly feel his presence in all the prayers, positive words & well wishes we have gotten from family, friends, friends of friends, & complete strangers! I can't say thank you enough!

Since being at Johns Hopkins TJ has had to have a couple procedures done.. Unfortunately they have not been able to manage his pain yet.. They won't start his new chemo treatments until his pain is managed.. That's driving me crazy, cause I know we need to get chemo rolling so it can kick this cancer's butt!!  I absolutely hate seeing my husband in the pain he is in! I wish this was just a bad dream that I can wake up from.. But for some reason this is the card we have been dealt &  everything happens for a reason..right!? It's so easy to get so angry at this situation, but I know if I go down that road it would be pointless.. What is best for us right now is being positive and having faith God will restore TJ's body and mind to good health.

Even with the little energy he has TJ still manages to get out of bed and play with our babies.. He is an amazing father.. These kids are so lucky to have him! I am so lucky to have him!! when it's time for us to leave the hospital, aria always tells T "bye dad, you stay here and the doctors will make you feel better". It has been 28 days since he was able to sleep with us at home... 

This week TJ's dad & siblings arrived, as well as my mom & sister.. I know seeing his whole family has given him a new dose of "fight" & seeing my family has been great too.. Friday night was the very first night I had away from our one year old son.. & the first night in over 3 yrs that we were completely kid free.. It was a nice hospital slumber date.. I'm still trying to find the balance in making sure I spend enough time with the kids & being there for my husband.. Thank God we have so much family here right now to help!! The hospital staff freaks out at how many people are here for T.. They should see all the support we have for him all over world!


I still beg everyone to keep TJ in their prayers... We need Tim to beat this disease, I need him to beat this disease!! & with our prayers along with everyone else's prayers I know God will heal him!

God bless you all!

~Karina~




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06/01/2013
by Karina Santos
I am amazed at the love, support , and gernorosity that we have received our family, friends, & even strangers! We are so blessed!! I can't even say thank you enough!!! 

Tim had to have a procedure done last night so he was pretty out of it when I launched the fundraiser.. He didn't even know I was planning on doing so.. So when he woke up this morning and checked his fb he saw the fundraiser & was overwhelmed... This was exactly the motivation he needed! He is so grateful to all of you! & anyone who knows my husband, knows he hates to ask for anything but would give the shirt on his back to someone who needed it!  Thank you for your words of encouragement and prayers!! Thank you for your donations! We love you all!
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