"Yep, that's cancer." Words you'd never want to hear. But we did. My husband, Ruben, has been diagnosed with bladder cancer. 9 out of 10 bladder cancer patients are older men, usually 55+, who have smoked tobacco heavily their entire life. Ruben is 31 and has never smoked tobacco. Ever.
Based on the look of the tumor, the doctor says that it appears to be in the first stages/low grade and non-aggressive. We won’t know 100% until the tumor is removed and tested. If everything goes as planned, and the tumor is exactly what the doctor believes, Ruben should only need 1 surgery and no chemo therapy. This is wonderful news to hear!
Because bladder cancer has a tendency to come back (between 50%-80% of patients have a re-occurrence in their lifetime), Ruben will have to do routine checkups for the rest of his life. Once the cancer is out his doctor told us he will need regular checkups for the first 5 years and then yearly checkups for the rest of his life in order to make sure any problems are addressed quickly.
As most of you know, medical expenses add up quickly. Very quickly! I (Regina, the wife) work from home running an ecommerce business and do freelance graphic design work on the side. I’ve been trying to take on extra work to make up for the extra bills but there are only so many hours in the day...and night. Ruben works for an employer that offers zero benefits…no health/dental, no sick pay, no vacation pay…you get the idea. His employer also recently cut hours so he no longer works a full 40 hour week. Combine that will all the extra hours he's missed and will continue to miss for his doctor appointments and the struggle gets even harder.
We have basic insurance through Covered California but our premiums and deductibles for care are still insanely high. Also, finding doctors and facilities covered in our plan is very difficult and time consuming because I've had to do most of the leg work to avoid extra fees. With all of this in mind, we decided to start this funding page to help ease the burden of the medical bills we are already paying and the ones soon to come from Ruben’s surgery and treatment. We aren’t typically the kind to ask for help in financial situations. We’ve always found a way around any problems that occurred. This one, however, has taken a huge toll on us so any donations made will help us greatly.
Thank you for your time.