Sitting down together with his household to eat Thanksgiving dinner in 2018, Jason Robbins took just a few bites of meals and felt full.
“I wasn’t really sick. I just didn’t want to eat, couldn’t eat and was like, ‘Eh, it is what it is,” he stated.
Between then and Christmas, he misplaced 15 to 20 kilos. At Christmas dinner, he felt the identical means because the earlier vacation.
“I used to be like, ‘All right, I’ve been coping with this for a month. There’s one thing not proper,’” he stated.
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In January 2019, after some urging from longtime good friend Tonya Joseph, he went to see a health care provider and had quite a few exams run.
“I knew one thing was flawed since you may simply inform by him one thing wasn’t proper, and I stored on him and I stored on him ‘Go to the doctor,’” she stated. “He’s one of those that will not go to the doctor. He wasn’t going to go to the doctor.”
In early March 2019, Robbins realized he had Stage four abdomen cancer.
“It was right at the opening of my esophagus and my stomach, so everything I was eating was getting stopped,” stated the 43-year-old Seymour native who now lives in Jennings County. “That’s why I couldn’t eat for a while. It just felt like I was full all the time.”
He stated it took him awhile to inform others he had cancer.
“I knew there was something bad wrong, and I didn’t get my results back until the beginning of March,” Robbins stated. “At that time, I had probably lost right around 35, 40 pounds, then also going through a divorce and all that at the same time.”
He instantly started oral chemotherapy as soon as every week at dwelling and continued through late summer season. He additionally had two spots on his lungs however stated these disappeared three months into chemo.
On Nov. 15, 2019, he had surgical procedure to take away 6 inches of his massive gut, three inches of his esophagus and two-thirds of his abdomen.
“I felt like a new person,” Robbins stated. “They informed me, ‘It’s going to take you awhile to get again to consuming the best way that you just had been since you don’t have close to what you used to have.’”
For a month and a half, he stated he ate delicate meals.
“I couldn’t eat steak because steak was such a large piece of meat that I couldn’t digest it fast enough, so I stuck with a lot of ground-up meat, chicken, hamburger and stuff like that because I’m a big meat and potatoes guy,” Robbins stated.
Second battle begins
He obtained excellent news from checkups till late April this 12 months when he stated he began feeling totally different once more and knew one thing wasn’t proper.
Tests and bloodwork revealed disappointing information.
“They got here again and stated, ‘Well, get ready for a fight again,’” Robbins stated of scans revealing two new spots of cancer in his abdomen and two on his massive gut.
He informed Joseph and members of the family he was prepared to battle once more however didn’t need to have one other surgical procedure.
“Being 43 years old, I don’t want to walk around with a colostomy bag,” Robbins stated of the considered having the remainder of his abdomen eliminated.
“Tonya and her husband have been by me through thick and skinny, and so they informed me, ‘You’re going to do what you’ve acquired to do to preserve going,’ and I’m going to,” he stated. “I’ve still got my kids. I’ve got a grandbaby that’s supposed to be born any day. I want to stick around for that kind of stuff, and I want to see my other two girls get married and all that.”
He is aware of that requires doing oral chemo once more and no matter else to keep wholesome.
This time, although, he stated it’s a special kind of chemo that’s twice as sturdy.
“My first month, I’ve been taking it every day, and it has been really rough,” Robbins stated.
Now, he’s taking the capsule each different day. On Sept. 15, he goes to the physician for a checkup.
“This time, I caught it earlier and could tell I wasn’t right. I’ve not lost all the weight like I did the other time,” Robbins stated. “I only eat once a day, but I munch a little bit more through the day.”
Like lots of people with cancer, Robbins has a mixture of good days and dangerous days.
“One day, I’ll be good, feel 110%, and then the next day, I’ll feel like somebody should just go ahead and start digging a hole because I’m done,” he stated.
He, nevertheless, is aware of he has to keep optimistic as a result of he’s not the one one in his household battling cancer. His brother has throat cancer.
They’ve had different members of the family, together with their mom and an aunt, die of cancer.
Robbins stated he’s undecided of the reason for his cancer.
“The answer I got whenever I asked that question is everybody has cancer cells in their body and it’s a matter if the cancer cells come alive or if they stay vulnerable,” he stated. “With me having so many close family members that have had cancer, I was bound to get it sooner or later.”
After his surgical procedure, Robbins tried to return to his job driving dump vehicles for AB Transport in Brownstown however couldn’t do it.
His boss, Aaron Black, informed him he may assist with the brand new line of the corporate, putting in fiber phone strains. He had performed that a number of years earlier through one other job.
Then studying of his second cancer analysis, he wasn’t supposed to be outdoors or sweating due to the medicine he was taking, so Black took over the fiber work and Robbins switched to dispatch and payroll.
“It’s part time, but it keeps me busy enough to keep my mind off (cancer),” Robbins stated. “That’s the biggest thing is I’ve still got a little bit of something to be able to keep going.”
Moving from working for the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department to AB Transport initially of 2019, Robbins now not had medical insurance through an employer, after which he came upon he had cancer, so he has had to use most of his financial savings and earnings to pay medical payments and bills.
There additionally had been some days he didn’t really feel like driving or he wanted to take off work, and Black and his spouse, Brandy, had been understanding.
“They are the greatest people in the world to work for because they have worked with me through the whole thing and been there to help me,” Robbins stated. “They’ve been an absolute blessing to work for.”
Robbins has utilized for incapacity, however the course of takes time and is being drawn out much more due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a nightmare,” he stated. “I filled out for disability the first of July and I still haven’t even gotten a paper back saying they’ve received anything from me.”
Benefit journey Saturday
Joseph has organized the Cancer Sucks Benefit Ride for Robbins to increase cash for her good friend of 20-plus years.
The journey for bikes, side-by-sides and another kind of car will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at AB Transport, 285 E. State Road 250, Brownstown, throughout from the Jackson County Fairgrounds.
The value is $20 per automobile. The journey will journey scenic county roads through Tampico, Reddington, Cortland and Vallonia earlier than returning to the beginning location.
Afterwards, a meal that includes pulled pork, a sizzling canine or a burger with baked beans and macaroni and cheese might be bought for $5. Beer, cupcakes and do-it-yourself apple dumplings additionally can be obtainable for buy.
There additionally can be reside music by Adam Crabtree, bounce homes for teenagers and a 50/50 raffle. Attendees ought to deliver their very own face masks and garden chair.
Joseph stated she has greater than 80 sponsors for the occasion.
“Myself and my husband wanted to do something to help him to relieve all of that stress and worry because that’s the last thing he needs when he is trying to fight this. You couldn’t find a more honest, trustful person than that man there,” she stated whereas Robbins.
A GoFundMe account (gf.me/u/yfskuf) additionally has been established to assist Robbins. His medicine prices practically $800 a month, and he’ll proceed chemo through the start of 2021.
The fundraisers imply so much to Robbins.
“I’m a private person, I don’t want it, but then I know in the back of my mind and in my heart I need it, and it’s hard to give that up. Being the type of person I am, I’ve never been a person to ask for help. I guess it’s the way I was raised. My dad’s the same way,” he stated.
“As far as (Joseph) stepping out and her husband and Aaron, all of them, there are no words to explain the gratitude I have for them,” he stated. “Even the people that have donated stuff for this benefit, I really thought it would be a couple people, a few friends to get around. It’s crazy how many people really step out to help. I’ll never be able to repay what everybody has done for me.”
If you go
What: Cancer Sucks Benefit Ride for Jason Robbins, who’s combating abdomen cancer for the second time
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: AB Transport, 285 E. State Road 250, Brownstown
Who: Anyone with bikes, side-by-sides or another kind of car
Cost: $20 per automobile and $5 per plate for the meal following the journey; beer, cupcakes and do-it-yourself apple dumplings additionally can be obtainable for buy
Other options: Live music by Adam Crabtree, bounce homes for teenagers and a 50/50 raffle; attendees ought to deliver their very own face masks and garden chair
Information: Call or textual content Tonya Joseph at 812-216-8507 or Aaron Black at 812-216-0122
On the Web
To make a donation to assist Jason Robbins through his second battle with abdomen cancer, go to gf.me/u/yfskuf.