Family & friends of A.J. Catone are raising money to help with his battle against carcinoid cancer. Please show your support.
Three years ago, the love of my life got a job transfer so we moved away from all we knew, down to the Jersey shore and we bought our first home and now we're going to lose it, and we don't know where we'll go when that happens. Cancer has taken nearly everything from us. In the summer of 2011, my healthy non-smoker/non-drinker husband, who was always full of energy, started complaining of extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. We blamed it on the stress of being sole breadwinner & working hard to fix up our house. When he finally went to the e.r., he'd lost half his blood due to a bleeding ulcer which we later found out was caused by a gastric carcinoid tumor. He had surgery to remove most of his stomach (!) & we were told our worries were over. They weren't.
In Feb 2012, we took a fellow carcinoid patient's advice & traveled far from home to see a specialist who found that the cancer had spread to his liver. We learned that carcinoid cancer---AJ's type is known as neuroendocrine cancer-- has no cure & tumors almost always return, and is more aggressive than other kinds of carcinoid. The surgeon found and removed many more tumors during surgery. A 3 day trip had ended up lasting a whole month away from home in a hospital. The rest of 2012 for us was a blur of potent chemotherapy & the horrific effects that go with it, numerous medications,, and exhaustion, along with tests, scans, and doctor visits. A.J. was a corporate pilot & was grounded per the FAA upon diagnosis and was heartbroken when he realized his illness could keep him out of the cockpit permanently. Our lives are unrecognizable compared to what they were 3 years ago. Up until 2012 in that far-away doctor's office, I'd never seen fear in my husband's eyes. I'd never been so terrified. His treatments will always be changing as each one works for a limited time, and one of the most promising treatments requires an overseas trip to either Sweden or Switzerland for special radiation therapy which is not covered by insurance, Treatments are about 20k each not including travel costs and we'll need to return several times. Amidst our 24/7 fear and exhaustion, we have to decipher our medical bills, schedule tests, appts with specialists,and deal with everyday living costs with only what SSD provides. With mounting bills, no income, and the high likelihood this disease will return, we find ourselves in need of financial help to save AJ's life.