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.