Jason's Bucket List! We need your help!
Jason has terminal cancer with a few months to a year to live. We want to make his bucket list come true and we need your help!
I am Jason's wife Jodi. I'm 28 years old; we have 3 cats and live in Canterbury. Jason is a co-owner of a small startup brewery called Fiasco Brewing Company. He is also a co-host on Cold Cuts on Pulzar fm 105.7 and I sing as Harmonixx MC. We will be doing some music fundraising to help spread this cause far and wide.
This is his Story.
In June last year Jason started to get a sore throat. We were told that it was potentially tonsillitis and after 3 rounds of antibiotics the tonsil in his throat wasn't budging. We were booked into ENT at the Christchurch Hospital to have his tonsils removed. By this time he'd had a sore throat for two months and the removal was booked for September.
When we got to the surgeon for the pre-surgery consultation, the surgeon thought it wasn't tonsillitis at all and had a senior surgeon look at his throat. They both told us then that they thought it could be cancer.
The tonsillectomy turned into a biopsy and I can tell you, those two weeks waiting for a diagnosis seemed at the time to be the worst wait of our lives.
They confirmed to us on the phone that the pre-conclusive results showed it was lymphoma cancer and that we had to have an appointment set up with haematology straight away. By this point the tumour in Jason's tonsil was covering 85% of his airways and he was having trouble breathing, swallowing and eating.
We went to his haematology appointment and were told that he had a rare double hit B cell high grade Lymphoma, which is an aggressive form of blood cancer. We had two hours to go home and head straight into the bone marrow transplant unit at Christchurch hospital.
Two days later on his 33rd birthday he started intensive chemotherapy treatment. He was scheduled in for 8 rounds of chemotherapy as an inpatient. Every 21 days Jason would spend 5 days in hospital for chemotherapy, and then twice weekly blood tests in between.
He was handling the treatment well. Before he started the chemotherapy we decided that instead of letting the chemo take his hair, we would shave it off. This way it was his decision. Jason had been growing his dreads for 11 years. It was definitely weird for me, his partner of ten years, to see him without them! (I weighed them after, it was 550gms of hair!!)
He required post chemotherapy injections at home. The rest of his hair fell out after the first round and we were feeling like we were getting through this horrible journey called cancer. He felt a pain in the side of his neck roughly 2 months into chemo. After the half way CT scan was completed they said they had found a tumour in his thyroid and a suspicious activity in the lymph node on the right side of his neck. They did biopsies on his thyroid that came back inconclusive. The Doctors explained this would be a wait and see approach.
Fast forward to 23rd December, he received his first blood transfusion. That night I rushed in back into A&E where he was hospitalised for 5 days with a neutropenic fever. I managed to break him out for a couple of hours on Christmas day and we handled the side effects over new years until he was due back in chemo on the 3rd of January.
They carried out a CT scan to confirm progress and a further biopsy taken from the swollen lymph node in his neck. The CT scan was put on hold after he was hospitalised again with a severe mouth infection and another neutropenic fever.
Just before admission for the 7th round of chemo, we had news that the chemotherapy was going to stop. The chemo was not working for the growth in his neck lymph node and the next strategy is that he needs radiation therapy. We have taken this as a huge blow, but we want to fight and get through whatever is going to be thrown at us together. He is so positive and honest about his treatment and how he’s feeling. Jason has been my rock through this entire journey.
A week after we were told this, the conclusive results came back from the core biopsies. We went to an appointment with Jason's consultant who told us that his cancer is terminal. This put us in a tailspin as we were told only 6 days prior that he would be starting radiation. Not that he is terminally ill with an incurable cancer! The radiation may minimize the growth/tumour in the lymph node in the side of his neck, but it will most likely come back again somewhere else twice as fast and aggressive.
This is still a shock to us. We have been given a timeline of maybe a few months to a year, dependent on what the radiation does to the tumour. Jason will experience further side effects from the radiation therapy. This will include mouth ulcers and infections, as well as the radiation killing his salvia glands. The only thing we can hope for is that it works and we get some more time together. We have been together for ten years this year, and we would love to at least get another Christmas together with our families, if not ten more years! Heck if we could have a miracle we would rather it eradicated the cancer altogether! Unfortunately the likelihood of this happening is very low and we've been told to prepare for the worst.
We need your help to get Jason's bucket list completed before he's too sick to travel. Some things he has mentioned are to see more of NZ to spend time with family and friends, and to travel abroad to see and do the things he has always dreamed of.
I never thought we would never be put in this situation. But here we are. Cancer does not discriminate, he is 33 years young and apart from the hair loss and swelling in his neck, you would never pick that he is terminally ill. I think this makes it even harder to deal with.
So we are selflessly asking you for some help, by donating or by organising your own fundraiser to generate donations.
Your help means you are giving us something that can't be bought over the counter.
You're giving us the ability to make some priceless memories together, with his friends and family before he leaves this world.
Anything left over would go towards paying for funeral costs and then go towards paying off any remaining debt. This is the hardest thing we have ever been through, and I know it’s going to get harder. But hopefully with a little help and some money, maybe we can put a little bit of light back into our lives.
Please share this with your friends, family, workplace, ANYONE who you think could donate towards making our life's special while we travel this journey.
UPDATE# Thank you all so much!! We are still keeping positive and putting all our good vibes and love into getting him into the stem cell transplant. If the radiation works they have said he will do the auto stem cell transplant straight away. They don't know if thats guaranteed to work but anything is better than feeling defeat!
We will update everyone as much as possible through this page so keep coming back to see how we are going x You are all amazing. Bless.
I would also just like to make a quick thank you to all the people we have met and dealt with during this journey. Like I said earlier, cancer does not discriminate. We've met older people, younger people, people fighting towards remission and even those who are on the same road as us. It takes a special kind of strength to realise what you can cope with. We know we are blessed to have support and people that really care about us.
Thank you all. It means so, so much to us both.
We will use these funds for:
Use of funds
Tick off a few things on Jason's bucket list so we can enjoy this time together with friends and family and make some priceless memories. Anything left over would go towards paying for funeral costs and then go towards paying off our debt. If money was one less thing for me to worry about it would make a huge difference to our lives over the next few months or year.
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I am Jason's wife Jodi. I'm going to fight for his life and put some happiness back into our lives, I'll fill the darn bucket before he kicks it!
All funds raised benefit
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