Shocking news….I have lymphoma cancer…
I STILL CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT, BUT IT’S TRUE.
Outwardly, I am the picture of health, but within my upper abdomen lurks a tumor the size and shape of a softball. Its formal name is “Aggressive B-Cell Lymphoma." It is a common cancer that is amenable to treatment, but that treatment must be as aggressive as the tumor or death will occur in months.
It is also inoperable because it encompasses several important veins that connect to my stomach and small intestine. Radiation is impossible due to collateral damage to the vital organs that tightly surround it. It comes down to chemotherapy and/or alternative modalities to stop it—or it will stop me.
What does this catastrophic news mean to US? To the relationship we have forged here during my 14 years with the Starchild Project? The simple answer is this: “Things have to change—bigtime!" I am obviously in a fight for my life, and I intend to do my best to win it. To do that, I will need massive amounts of help from YOU, from each of you to the degree you can manage.
I want to treat my cancer by alternative means, not the standard “one-size-fits-all" approach of chemotherapy and/or radiation applied with elephant-gun impact on one and all. That’s not how I want to undertake this critical battle. Instead, I want to go to an alternative clinic in Europe that treats cancers like mine using a holistic approach in conjunction with conventional chemotherapy (albeit at lower dosages than are routine in the U.S.)
As with all cancer treatments, this is expensive, in the low tens of thousands of dollars. Here in the U.S. it would be in the high tens of thousands. Either way, I have to pay, and I simply do not have the money to handle those bills. To do so, I will need a very significant infusion of money, both for the initial treatment, followed by subsequent treatments two or three or more times, depending on the kind of follow-up I will require.
The bottom line is that I need an enormous amount of help to undertake this fight for my life, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have friends and supporters who can put themselves in my shoes and feel empathy for me. This is a challenge and an ordeal of the highest magnitude, as you all understand full well. If you can help me with this, and are willing to do so, in this special instance.
That one is for donating to the Starchild Project. I am asking for donations FOR ME, so I can take care of this critical piece of personal business, and to do that you will have to go to my personal webpage at the link below.
HOW DID THIS DISASTER UNFOLD?
The following information is for those who want to know more about how it happened, how I came to find out about it. If you’re pressed for time, this is not necessary information. It is my recounting of how my learning unfolded. Some will want to know this, many will not. Make your own choice.
On June 15th, I had a celebratory dinner in an Ethiopian restaurant. I drank cardamom tea, which is common in such places. An hour later I was in the throes of a serious gallbladder attack, the first time such a thing had ever happened to me. I always have excellent health checkups, which kept me from believing I was having a heart attack, but the pain was quite severe in and around my upper abdomen, and it did not let up for four hours! In that time, though, I found out that cardamom tea could induce such attacks on those with “problem" gallbladders, which turned out to be true with me.
After a few more bouts with my gallbladder, I went to my doctor on July 9th. He palpated my abdomen, then informed me that in addition to a gallbladder problem, I had a rather large mass that didn’t belong in my upper abdomen. He was very concerned and suggested an ultrasound. Fortunately, I am now old enough to be enrolled in Medicare, so I was able to afford my 20% co-pay for this, and for the CAT scan that followed. There could be no doubt about it—I had a softball-sized tumor growing inside me. What was it?
A biopsy was scheduled for July 12, followed by a meeting with an oncologist on July 17 to discuss the results. In the meantime, my family and I convinced ourselves it had to be a nonmalignant fatty tumor because those run in one branch of my family (I never had one). However, those were just under the skin, not large and internal. Strongly on the upside was that I have always taken care of myself, I take vitamins every day, watch my weight, never smoked, drink lightly, intermittently exercise, and always have “excellent" reports for my yearly physical since I turned 60 (I’ll turn 67 in September).
I did not strike anyone who knows me well as someone who would be a likely candidate for a malignancy, much less one the size of the tumor I so clearly had. So I went to the oncologist thinking I could dodge the bullet, but the bullet got me. He told me it was an “unfortunate" report, aggressive B-cell lymphoma, and I had to act and act fast to stop the tumor’s growth and save my life. Now that is what I’m determined to do…..with your help.
I can’t begin to handle this alone. If you’ve followed me at all in these Bytes of Pye over the past few years, you know I live on a shoestring, very low to the ground to avoid charges by skeptics and trolls that I’m “just in it for the money." It’s their classic criticism of people like me because it works. If they can show instances where we try to provide for ourselves in any way other than how they provide for themselves (writing and lecturing), they pounce. Thus, I’ve always tried to keep my own efforts to writing and lecturing (no T-shirts, posters, bumper stickers, caps, etc.), because so many in our field are compelled to “hustle" their way along by continually asking for money.
Now my attitude is, “Screw ‘em!" They can criticize me all they like. I have lived by their strictures as long as I could. Now I have to live by whatever means are available, and asking for your help to bail me out of this terrible jam is the most viable method for me to accumulate the large amount of money I need to gather in the shortest possible time. Please donate NOW.
WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS?
In only a few days, on July 29, I am scheduled to leave for England for two months, during which I intended to lecture around the country. Now I have no idea how many of those dates I will be able to make because I desperately need to get myself into a cancer clinic that can do for me what needs to be done, and everything needs to go at the fastest pace possible.
Right now my tumor is softball sized. In only a few weeks it will be the size of a honeydew melon, and it will be squeezing the life out of the vital organs it is already pressing against, including my liver, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder (which kicked off my initial problem), and then my heart and lungs.
If enough of you respond with serious help for me, which I have to believe you’ll do, then I hope to enroll for treatment by the middle of August. I also intend to create a blog on Facebook to recount my experiences, in the hope that it will help others diagnosed with cancer who might want to explore the alternative options I’ve been exploring, and now intend to follow.
I firmly believe I can win this if I get enough support. Other than the tumor and gallbladder, I am in good health. The CAT scan showed that each of my other major organs were topnotch. I have a strong constitution and a positive frame of mind. I have always been a scrappy type, willing and able to take on difficult challenges. This is, of course, one of any life’s greatest challenges, a fight with Death. They don’t come more decisive than that.
My old life is over now, forever, and I have to forge a new one as “a cancer survivor." With enough help from my extensive Starchild and Byte of Pye family, I can and will do it. And please follow along on my journey every step of the way at LloydPye.com, and on Facebook and Twitter and Youtube. I think it will be quite a learning experience!
My heartfelt thanks to you all for reading this exceptionally long missive, and I know all of you wish me the very best outcome. I’m sure I can achieve it.
July 19th, 2013