Mary Jean – Medical Expenses

Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Nov 15, 2017

Dear All - I wanted to update you all to say to let you know that MJ passed away on the 14th November. We received the most beautiful letter from her children thanking everyone for their kindness and generosity. The money raised for MJ enabled her to fight the cancer for as long as possible but just as importantly gave her the opportunity to spend 11 months directly with her children. She had worked away for home for so many years to give her children the best start in life, so being able to be with them in her final months has meant so much to them. Thank you to each & everyone of you for your thoughts, prayers & generosity to MJ & her family.

I do want to make a special mention to Caryn Moseley who did an amazing job of arranging a fundraising evening for MJ's cause, gathering many people to come and support us.

Thank you once again, best wishes to each and everyone of you.

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Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Oct 22, 2016

When I came back from walking our dog this evening there were some visitors at our door.

These visitors were dropping off some funds raised from a baking sale they did in our condo today.

The idea to do it was by a friend of Aaron's (our six year old son). He got together with some other children in the condo and with some help from parents and their helpers they raised $477, yes you read that right 😍

MJ is truly thankful to the children and for the money raised. All somewhat emotional, but very thankful.

Feeling so blessed. We know we will need at least $5k for the operation, but we need to have a buffer on that in case of complications.

We still have until mid December to keep raising, we are hopeful we will reach our goal.

Thank you once again.

Victoria

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Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Oct 19, 2016

Oh dear - I am so sorry. I said that I would update after the scan, but I wanted to update you on how the second round of chemo has gone.

This time MJ chose to have the chemo as an outpatient and whilst the experience was SO much better for her, as we expected she is feeling more ill and it has happened sooner. She will have the choice on the 9th Nov as to whether she would like in patient or outpatient.

The one downside of the outpatient is the daily trying to find a vein in her hands - this is something that has been very painful for MJ. Also on both occasions she has put on 5kg in weight in three days (12.5lbs) yes you read that correctly. One of the side effects that MJ is having is terrible swelling of the gut from the chemo and the feeling of being so full she is fit to burst and yet she must eat little and often and drink water. Hard work and something she is more prepared for this time but it has not made it easier.

There is still laughter and smiles and a great deal of humour,but I can see the toll of the chemo on her now.

She has been lucky enough to have her friend & cousin Geraldine (Their mother's were sisters) stay with her this time, they have been like two young girls in the evening chatting and giggling away - best medicine EVER.

She has the MRI scan on the 1st Nov and we will get the results on the 7th. I will provide an update of the results on that date - hoping beyond hope that the growth is being reduced. She will then have 2 more lots of chemo and then we will plan for the hysterectomy.

THANK YOU all once again for your donations and kind words, it means so much to MJ during this time, as it will be soon that we will need to plan for her operation.

Best wishes to you all.

Victoria

xxx

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Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Oct 15, 2016

Before I write this update - have you or the women in your lives had their smear test? If they are not up to date - this is a nag from me - No excuse - GO AND DO IT.

Dear All

I am so sorry that I have not provided an update sooner. Days are flying by at the moment.

Monday 26th September, MJ was admitted for her first round of chemo. All went as well as it can when you have chemo.

We are still finding it hugely challenging that the hospital is all about making money and not what is best for MJ. It is a constant battle to remind them that every time they spend something on a nice to have versus a necessity they are increasing unnecessary costs.

As we are foreigners they charge us a huge amount of money (3 x the amount) in case the final cost will be that much. When we then leave the hospital we get a final bill and then wait 3 weeks for a cheque with the difference. I have told them this time not to send me the cheque but to keep it as a credit on our account!

On that final bill they charged us things that MJ had not even had - once I went through it with a fine tooth comb they removed them ($800 worth of costs!!!)

MJ was very tired when she came home but thankfully no vomiting or feeling sick. Quite a lot of gut pain due to constipation, but we changed her diet and removed rice from it to prevent that 'full up' feeling. After about 8 days MJ started feeling herself again. She is in great spirits and wants to keep active when she has the energy to do things. She needs to avoid people who are ill (which has been tough as we have all been ill at home!) and get fresh air.

Something that has been very new to MJ is drinking water. This has not ever been part of her diet and she is starting to see the benefits of it.

Just under 18 days after the chemo and the hair has started to fall out. This is the piece that MJ really does not like, not because of vanity but because it means other people will realise that she is ill. MJ is a VERY private person, does not want pity and does not want people knowing her business - having no hair is a pretty big call out that she is sick. Out comes a scarf and a hat and less time outside. I will be encouraging her to at least try and take some walks as it will be good for her health. Day at a time mantra is still our plan.

So here we are a couple of days before round 2 of chemo.

She will have a scan after this round and before the next chemo to give us an idea of how successful the chemo is being. At the moment the plan is still to have the chemo here and then return to Manila for the Hysterectomy.

THANK YOU all for your find words and support, she is so thankful to have this.

Best wishes to you all, I will update after the scan with the results.

Victoria

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Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Sep 24, 2016

Good morning all.

It is 2 days before MJ starts her first round of Chemo (she will start Monday 26th).

Whilst she has given amazing support from the hospital with explaining what will happen and why, we must remember that this was all delivered in English and not her mother tongue. She sat through it, didn't ask questions and nodded when we asked her if she understood.

This morning I asked her what she was getting ready to pack in her bag on Monday.........

Blank face. So we went through everything again bit by bit. She had heard somethings but had mis understood them.

She said that she had heard no alcohol on her skin so she will get rid of the hand sanitiser - no that was not what he said - he said that we should get a mouth wash with no alcohol in, in case she gets mouth ulcers.

No going out in crowds, no going in a lift if too many people, no going near sick people. She had not really understood this either so we talked about what could happen and the impact to her. I knew it had suck in as she immediately went to our first aid box and pulled out a couple of masks to keep with her at all times.

Anyhow - we have got things all set and she is ready for Monday.

Interestingly it then lead to a question of truly understanding where the cancer was - she explained that her family were as confused as she was. So out came a piece of paper and a pencil and o'level biology drawing started to happen (with lots of giggles from MJ). I did the paper & pencil method as we had already shown the online diagrams and they were obviously too confusing.

MJ had had an ectopic pregnancy some years back and her family were suggesting that she had cancer of her ovaries because of that.

I was able to show her the difference between ectopic pregnancy and cervical cancer.

Then the big question - WHY and HOW? This became a little dangerous as I used the word virus and she said OMG my husband gave me a sexually transmitted disease - the anger is her face towards him. So onto the next answering of those questions and the reassurance that she was not to be angry towards him and that whilst it would have been highly unlikely to get cervical cancer if you became a nun from a young age (and therefore abstain from sex (more giggles from MJ)) this really could happen to any women and therefore how important it is to have a pap smear.

Lesson here - whilst she will sit and nod it does not mean that she understands everything. Thankfully after being in Asia for 4 years I was fully aware that this could be the case.

A funny outcome from this was that our son, Aaron, finds the picture and asks me - what is this mummy? And so here starts another biology lesson with a different spin on it lol

Thank you all once again for your support to MJ, both financial and emotional, I read her every messaged that people post and she has a little cry and hugs herself and thanks God for how lucky she is.

Love & Best wishes to you all.

I will provide an update once she is home Wednesday night after her first round of Chemo.

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Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Sep 22, 2016

I am delighted to let you know that we were given the good news today that thankfully MJ’s cancer is only at stage one.

It is a peculiar day to write the words – ‘delighted’ when referring to cancer, the feeling of excitement in the hospital with everyone we then went to meet was so much better than the last few weeks. They had all truly believed that it was greater than stage 1. It is a bizarre sensation to be pleased with a diagnosis, when it is still cancer.

Why did they think this? – Because of the size of the growth on the cervix. The Dr last week said when she has seen something this size previously it had spread to the rest of the body. She was as delighted as we were today. The atmosphere around the Dr’s and nurses today was of pure elation.

From the moment we went to the hospital I kept being told, send MJ home, terminate her employment and send her home. This is typical and acceptable behavior for families to do in Asia, it is just the way it is.

We said NO – we want to do all we can with the insurance we have and only then send her home and even then we will do what we can to raise funds for living expenses and treatment in the Philippines.

So - what next?

The serious stuff. The insurance will cover her chemotherapy here in Singapore and then we will continue to raise funds for the operation that she will require once chemo is completed. More than likely this will take place in the Philippines. PhilHealth will pay for a % of the operation but she will need to pay the rest and have living expenses (plus her children’s educational costs) whilst she is not working.

She will have 4 rounds of chemo starting on Monday 26th Sep. Each round will be a 3 week cycle. After 2 lots of chemo she will have an MRI scan and after round 4 she will have another MRI scan.

What we hope for is that it reduces enough for them to go in and remove it. The insurance money left will not cover that operation. Therefore she will go to Manila for it.

They are optimistic that the chemo will treat the cancer, what they have warned us though is that this type of chemo has a 50% chance of returning.

Our focus now is that we get treatment and keep MJ well enough so she can still work and provide for her children’s education.

MJ wants to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their thoughts, prayers and kind donations. It makes her very tearful every time I show her the updates and the messages that she gets. She is truly thankful.

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Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Sep 22, 2016

Good morning to you all.

Keeping you updated.

MJ and I are off to see her Dr this morning to get the results of the scans. This will tell us what stage it is at and what our options are for treatment. I will update you all once MJ has made decisions on what she wants to do.

Love & Best wishes to you all.

Vx

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Update posted by Victoria Murphy On Sep 20, 2016

Dear all - first of all a HUGE thank you to you all for your kind donations. It means so much to us and MJ.

On Friday MJ had an MRI and CT scan and we will get the results on Thursday 22nd September. The results will show us what stage the cancer is at.

MJ is coping as well as anyone can. We have been working with her to plan ahead regardless of the results. We are doing our best to ensure her three children stay in education and of course have a roof over their heads for as long as possible.

MJ's eldest is only 9 months away from finishing her education, it would be a shame for her to have got this far and then for her to drop out so as to get a job to support the family. If she can complete her education then she can earn more money and then support MJ and her other 2 siblings education depending on what the next few years look like for MJ.

I will update you all of the results on Thursday and then let you know what options she has been given and what she has chosen to do.

Best wishes to each and everyone one of you.

Victoria XXX

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Anonymous

Backed with $300.00 On Dec 10, 2016

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Anonymous

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Anonymous

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Good luck with your treatment MJ - thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tara Knobel

Backed with $100.00 On Oct 18, 2016

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Thinking of you all and especially MJ and her family, take care all xoxo

Nicola Etheredge

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Lou Ellis

Backed with $20.00 On Sep 27, 2016

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Wishing MJ all the best, keep up the good work Vix.

Jeremy Spolander

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Deuteronomy 31:6 “ …Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Karen Loo

Backed with $80.00 On Sep 22, 2016

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MJ, a beautiful woman who deserves a positive outcome. You are in our thoughts. Sending healing hugs. Xx

Elizabeth Rowland

Backed with $100.00 On Sep 22, 2016

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Anonymous

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