Help John Duke Build A Ramp

For: John & Christy Duke
Tucson, AZ
Organizer: Christy Duke
Help John Duke Build A Ramp (John & Christy Duke)
$10,455
of $10,000 goal.
Raised by 187 donors
100% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

John Duke is my husband. Some of you may “know” him from the funny stories I’ve shared on FB over the past few years. He is my soul mate, as I am his. It was love at first sight, something I’ve never believed in. I worried, a lot, that he was hitching his wagon to the wrong woman, since I’m 12 years older, and I knew I didn’t really want kids. But, he assured me that all he wanted was me. We thought the worst thing to hit us was when I was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) 2 weeks before our first wedding anniversary. Or, when my insanely crazy job made my symptoms so horrific, I had to quit working, which was the loss of, at the time, 2/3 of our income. But, never in a million years, could we have prepared ourselves for what’s happened…..and, happened SO FAST, since May 2014, and especially since December 2014.

John started having problems with pain, and discomfort, in his left hip, thigh area, back in May. At first it was very intermittent, and if he stood up and walked around, it usually went away. Since he was 33 years old, and worked at a desk all day, we assumed that he might have pinched a nerve in his groin area. Long story short, what we discovered a few days before Christmas from an X-ray was a lesion within his femur, which an MRI confirmed as an aggressive tumor.

So, here we are now, waiting for pathology reports to tell the oncologist and the surgeon, what type of cancer John has, so he can be admitted for chemotherapy. The bone scan and PET/CT scan also indicated that the top of his left femur, the part which rests inside his pelvic area, and rotates, is almost completely destroyed by this tumor. Every day we’re hoping he doesn’t slip, fall, and snap his femur bone. He is 6’6” and weighs 240 pounds…..which is 60 pounds less than he weighed in May.

We’re scared. He’s scared of going through all of this. He’s scared of dying. I’m terrified of not being able to fix it, and make him better. I feel helpless when I can’t take away the pain. The dogs don’t know what’s going on, because all of a sudden “daddy” is cranky with them, mainly because in his fear, he doesn’t want anyone knocking him over. 

We are having to have a ramp built onto the back part of our home. We are in a modular home, and there are concrete steps which are at the front and back doors. Our Uncle is a registered architect, retired, and he’s drawing up the plans, as due to the way the home, and backyard sit, plus the rate of descent which must be factored in, the ramp will need to be quite long, about 20 feet, and have a switchback in it. It will also need a concrete pad for the final portion. Hence why we are having to hire a contractor to do the work. Luckily, our uncle knows a retired general contractor, and that might help us get a “family discount”.

I’ve added photos showing what we’re dealing with so y’all can understand our issue. I’ve also included photos showing how difficult it is for John to struggle up the steps. As we anticipate him needing a wheelchair at some point in time, a ramp is imperative.

We are asking for any help, anyone might be willing to give. Our tentative estimate on getting this work done is $8,000. I am putting the amount we’re “looking” for at $10,000 as we’re just starting this terrifying journey, and we have no idea what else is around the corner.

Again - thank you for everything, especially the well wishes, healing thoughts, and prayers.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 17, 2015

Posted on March 17, 2015

Just a quick note to let everyone know that John came home from the hospital yesterday afternoon! He is tired, and still dealing with nausea, but VERY happy to be home. We've got tons of pain meds and anti-nausea meds - my house could be party central ;)

The plan is for him to be at home for 2 weeks and then re-admit to the hospital for 5 days of continuous IV chemo, then home again, until his next round begins. Right now my focus is on keeping him healthy, well fed, and up, moving around, a little. John's mom is here right now visiting, and she's a blessing to have. Two of my sisters will be here this evening for the rest of the week, plus John's aunt and uncle came over from Cali to see him. Family is AWESOME!!

Again, as always, I can't thank everyone enough for all of the love, support, and donations. My sisters and I will be painting the ramp this week, and then I'll post a FINAL pic of the work of art.

Much love,
Christy & John

Posted on March 9, 2015

Posted on March 9, 2015

John is still inpatient at St. Joe’s. He had the methotrexate in a 4 hour IV infusion on Tuesday afternoon, and then they spent the rest of the time trying to ensure it didn’t overload his system, and damage his kidneys. The poor guy was getting a ton of fluids, and he was starting to look a little like the Stay-Puf Marshmallow Man. *grins* By the time his levels were down significantly, it didn’t make any sense to send him home for 1 day, and then re-admit.
Today he had another chest X-ray and head C/T scan. Tomorrow he’ll begin 48 hours of continuous IV infusion of cisplatin (http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/cisplatin.aspx#.VP4qkkLN6lJ) and as soon as that one is complete, he’ll do 24 hours of continuous IV infusion of doxorubicin (http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/doxorubicin.aspx#.VP4rA0LN6lJ). John texted me that info today and I was a little stunned, but he’ll make it. I know he will. As with the methotrexate, these drugs all can damage his kidneys, so he’ll be getting a lot of fluids, and it’ll be imperative that he gets up a few times a day and moves around.
We were pleasantly surprised that the nausea wasn’t too bad this past week. Of course, phenergan is an awesome med, although it leaves him sleepy and kind of loopy. Unfortunately, being in the hospital means he isn’t getting the greatest of sleep, so hopefully, he’ll come home mid, end of this week, and then have his 2 weeks off. His Momma is coming and we’re both excited to see her. My sisters, Wendy and Victory, will also be down, and i’m going to get them to help me paint the block wall on the ramp since I haven’t had a chance.
For those who haven’t heard, on Thursday, our dryer died. It was quite the debacle with sparks, smoke, and melty things. It was not, however, unexpected. I’d just been hoping it would last through the year. However, with all the help we’ve received (gratefully) from family and friends, I was able to go out and get a new set. I’ve not been good with the appliances this week. *grins*
Thank you, as always, for all of your love and support. We can’t make it through this without each and every one of you. 
Much love,
Christy & John

Posted on March 4, 2015

Posted on March 4, 2015

I’m sure most of you are wondering how week 1 is progressing. John admitted to St. Joe’s on Monday morning, and most of that day was taken up by scans and tests. They did a CT scan of his brain and re-ran the bone scan. He does have a 1 cm tumor in his right frontal lobe, which didn’t come as a big surprise to me, considering the frequency of his headaches these past few weeks. The bone scan revealed more tumors within his body. That’s my baby - going all out on the cancer front! *snort*
On Tuesday morning a vascular surgeon inserted a port-a-catheter. Tuesday afternoon, John was given 20 grams of methotrexate via a 4-hour IV infusion. He mostly dozed through it, as he’d slept poorly the previous night. I sat there and watched this stuff go into his system.
As of this afternoon John is doing fairly well, although many of the side effects have not shown themselves yet, and he still has 3 more high-dose chemo drugs to get within the next 4 weeks. He is nauseous and tired, and he’s tired of being pukey. For a guy who has never really been sick, this is all pretty horrible for him. They’ve given him Phenergen and that seems to be helping with his stomach. I’m more concerned about after he comes home, to be honest.
I ran to Whole Foods this afternoon and got a few things to have on-hand for when he gets home……organic soups, gravy’s, juices, etc. It’ll be a learning process for both of us as to what he can tolerate, and what he wants. I’ll need to make sure he’s getting high calories and protein so he doesn’t lose too much weight. Tomorrow, I plan on getting with a hospital nutritionist to go over some things.
So, anyway, this has been our exciting week. I think John will come home on Friday, and then it sounds like he’ll return on Tuesday for phase 2. Thank you, everyone, for all of your continued love and support. We couldn’t make it through this without you!!
Much love,
Christy & John

About the Organizer

Report Fundraiser

Report Fundraiser

Please report potential fraud and Terms of Service violations only. Personal disputes will not be reviewed.

We require this in case we need to contact you for further details.*

* YouCaring will not distribute your phone number to any third parties or use it for marketing purposes.

Comments

Supporters

Add Our Donation Widget to Your Site
Grab Our Widget

Help John Duke Build A Ramp

Grab Our Widget
Facebook Share Button