US$1,495.00Donated So Far
In February of 2022, after months of medical probing, I was diagnosed with cancer. Two days after my 23rd birthday. This only follows my diagnosis of depression, & anxiety in May 2021, my emergency appendectomy in August 2021, and countless doctors appointments, ER visits, phone calls, blood draws, urinalyses, and other procedures.
I started seeing a doctor in May 2021 for terrible acid reflux, bleeding, vomiting, and intermittent infections. He was ignoring my symptoms for months assuring me nothing was wrong despite treatment not working (in the meantime, he thankfully got me treatment for my depression). Then, I was feeling terribly I’ll at work one day in August 2021, and I was denied leave to go home. That night, when I went to the ER after work, I needed my appendix removed.
Eventually, as my symptoms worsened, I couldn’t even make it through the day without passing out (I would wake up vomiting, shaking, cold all the time, blood on my pillow with no explanation, constant leg and back pain. My inguinal lymph nodes have been swollen for as long as I can remember and no doctor seemed alarmed).
I unintentionally went from 135lbs to 115lbs in mere months. I now weigh 110lbs. Despite all of this, my doctor continued to ignore my symptoms, so in October 2021, I found a doctor who would take me seriously. Sadly, referrals and tests were slow due to COVID. For one test, I’d have to wait two weeks to a month between referral/order and test results.
Come November, I couldn’t make it through two hours of work. I went on FMLA, but only got paid for 6 weeks. Since then, I have not gotten a dime. (I applied for short term disability, but the insurance company denied me without explanation, never told me, and took two weeks to return my voicemails, so hopefully I can iron that out.)
Finally, after two CT scans of my abdomen, three ER visits, a chest x-ray, a colonoscopy, two nodule biopsies, and much waiting, I was diagnosed.
Sadly, this has been a long road, and I’m in a financial crisis. I’m in danger of losing my insurance (since I haven’t been paid by my job since January), of losing my car, my apartment.
If I lose my insurance, I can’t continue treatment, as I can’t even afford the doctors appointments now (I was billed $20,000 for one biopsy, one of which was inconclusive, and the second of which found cancer, but the sample was taken improperly, so they need to go BACK in to see how bad the cancer actually is).
The photos will hopefully help you get to know me, illustrate my weight loss in my face and torso (I was already skinny before - 5’ 8’’ 135, so it may be hard to see the difference), and possibly serve as evidence of my circumstance.
I really hate to make one of these. As someone who has been completely independent since I left home at 18, I hate begging for money. I feel so much shame doing so, but I feel like I don’t have much of a choice right now. Any amount to help me survive day by day is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
(I could also go on and on about the barriers I faced on this journey - my two doctors had me tested for HIV thrice over a year despite getting regular STD/STI checkups at Planned Parenthood + being on PreP, the same doctors kept ordering the same tests over and over again. My doctors - for some reason - continue asking me what test and referrals I want, rather than suggesting action with their professional opinion. I’ve been asked by nurses and surgeons about why I haven’t been referred to a GI doctor, why I haven’t gotten an endoscopy, why my lymph nodes haven’t been biopsied (which was supposed to have been done alongside my most recent test, but that surgeon failed to do so, and also incorrectly excised the cancerous tissue), and I really have no answers, because how am I supposed to know what tests to order, what doctors to see, who to be referred to? I’m 23 and before this, I’ve hardly ever used my work’s health insurance I signed up for, outside of urgent care visits. I never expected to have this happen to me, especially so young, and its all so unnerving. Just making it through any day, mentally, is a struggle now).
9/22/22 updateUpdate posted by Nathaniel Trent at 05:05 pm
Hey all! Been a few months since I’ve updated, but progress has been slow.My GI doctor believes I have a mild case of Gastroparesis, despite my emptying test being normal. After that, I was ordered a slew of MRI’s to check on my spine and brain health. Those all came. . . . .
Small Update 6/30/22Update posted by Nathaniel Trent at 04:54 pm
As for my physical health, doctors are sure that I’m having some “motility” issues in my digestive system. Docs wanna do more testing but dont know why! Of course.In the meantime ive started seeing a psychiatrist - $170 a session… because American healthcare sucks. After the new patient appointment he
Update 6/22Update posted by Nathaniel Trent at 02:08 pm
Hello! Thank you all for your continued love and support. Found out on Monday 6/20 that my stomach is paralyzed/not emptying! Doc couldn’t tell why - he said the most likely case is usually diabetes but I have already been tested for that multiple times - so they are doing. . . . .
Update 6/15/22Update posted by Nathaniel Trent at 03:55 pm
Hope you all are doing well! Ive been practicing a lot of self care this week, and i hope you all have too.I’ve been back at work since the beginning of May, so thats how I’ve been getting by, financially, with great thanks to my awesome dad. Again, I thank. . . . .
Thank You, EveryoneUpdate posted by Nathaniel Trent at 04:02 pm
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has donated - I truly don’t think anyone knows how much it means that I even got so much as a single dollar donated to help me. Truly, you all are so kind, and I love you.Sadly I am. . . . .