Help Sonya get through cancer
It is with great sadness, yet great optimism, that I write to inform you that my sister, Sonya Conner, has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Those of you who know Sonya know how much of a fighter she is; this upcoming battle will be no exception. As you can imagine, there are so many uncertainties ahead: the effects of chemo/radiation (long term and short term), our complicated health care system, the cancer itself, and many other more anxieties that arise given the situation. We are very blessed to have the support of everyone around us. Just in these few weeks, many of you have already extended your compassion and generosity in a variety of ways, one of which was the suggestion of setting up this fundraising page.
Sonya's recovery process
The upcoming months will consist of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. The cancer has been diagnosed at stage 3 and doctors are anticipating anywhere between 4-5 months of treatment and recovery. Fortunately, Sonya has a compassionate team of female doctors and family and friends who are organizing logistics. I am so grateful (as is Sonya) to have the solid support system that surrounds her. We thank you all with all our might.
The money raised here will be applied to the slew of medical bills headed Sonya's way. With every exam, comes a large co-pay; with every medicine prescribed, more co-pays. Additionally, treatment and follow-ups will cost an excessive amount of money that go well beyond even the most expansive insurance coverage.
A quick update and mailing issue to address:
The hospice team here in Louisiana has been extremely caring and helpful with Sonya over the last month. Unfortunately, her health is declining rapidly and we are operating on a day-by-day basis. This is difficult for our family our family to accept, but we understand that the inevitable is approaching. We are using this time for family nights on the front porch as well as eating as many home cooked meals as possible.
Sonya has asked me to communicate that she is grateful for all of the calls, messages, visits, and care packages that have been sent. Additionally, she would like to acknowledge that she hasn't been able to return some calls/messages, but is thankful for the outpouring of love and support.
On that note, a few packages were returned to the sender due to a mailing error. I just wanted to update the correct mailing address:
Sonya Conner or Joss Bracero
c/o Cheryl Melancon
520-F North Wilderness Trail
Carencro, LA 70520
Thank you to everyone who has reached out and sent positive energy this way.
Thank you to everyone who organized and helped our family quickly settle into our new home. From the meals, to the visits, the movers and painters, and everything in between; community is extremely important in times like these. We are grateful for the community (near and far) that has supported us and continues to lift us up, even during the final stages of something as heartbreaking as cancer.
As my sister has been yearning for home and our family down South, the plan moving forward is to get Sonya to Lafayette, Louisiana ASAP. Her health is declining rapidly, and our goal is to fly Sonya home before she is unable to travel. She will be leaving Worcester within the next couple of weeks. I will drive down some equipment from Massachusetts to Louisiana in order to set up her childhood room as a comfortable resting space. Our hospice team has coordinated with a team in Lafayette, and we will be ensuring that Sonya is as comfortable as possible at this extremely difficult stage of the process.
While Sonya has known for a while that she wanted to be with family, she did not anticipate that she would need to travel so soon. As such, she is now in a position of not only trying to complete important tasks before departing, but also trying to visit with friends. Unfortunately, with so little time, it will be difficult to see everyone she desires to see. This part is one of the most emotionally distressing things she is dealing with.
Once settled in at home in Louisiana, she welcomes visits, FaceTime chats or telephone calls, and/or mail. With this said, it will remain challenging to respond to everyone, so she is hopeful that people continue to be patient and understanding. Indeed, there are still texts/emails/phone calls she has yet to return.
Here is an address for anyone wanting to send wishes, letters, travel there to visit, or do whatever the heart desires at a time like this:
520 N. Wilderness Trail, Carencro, Louisiana 70520.
We continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the support we have received, and welcome continued assistance during this difficult time. The emotional and monetary contributions have truly made us feel loved beyond words. Thanks again.
It has been 4 months since our last update on Gofundme. Sonya's immunotherapy trial, unfortunately, was unsuccessful. We have since learned that the cancer has indeed spread to her lungs as well as to some of the lymph nodes around the lungs. We are devastated by this news and are disappointed that Sonya will not be able to return to work for the upcoming academic semester; especially because Sonya had been feeling fewer side effects with the immunotherapy treatment. Two days ago, she began the final attempt at a curative medical option. Simply put, this is a terrifying time for our family and everyone who loves Sonya. Despite the fear, we remain hopeful that this other form of immunotherapy will be the one that Sonya's body responds well to. We love you all for the support and love you have shown Sonya and our family during this time.
Yesterday we learned that Sonya's body is not responding to the current chemotherapy treatment. Unfortunately, the cancer in the two lymph nodes has actually grown and the team of doctors suspect that it has spread to one of her lungs. Because they believe the lung has been affected by the cancer, the doctors are not willing to continue with radiation or chemo. What this means is that Sonya will begin the immunotherapy treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute asap. Please keep her in your thoughts. We need all of the collective positive energy we can get.
I hate cancer so much! Sonya, you are in my thoughts often. Cancer is so, so unfair.
Love you: Paul & PP
Much love and prayers for you. Let us know how we can be supportive!
Keeping you in my Prayers Always! Love You!! Miss You!!
We got your back Sonya! You can do this, fight on Warrior woman!!We love you!!!