TEAM 4 TANYA
TEAM 4 TANYA
This page was started by Sean Marshall and Marilyn Zimmerwoman to bring family, friends and allies together to
support Tanya Britt through her health crisis into healing. (and to enable her to adjust to a new life after winning her battle with cancer.)
This site provides an opportunity for updates, comments, inspiration, healing, information and assistance.
ABOUT TANYA BRITT
Tanya Britt is a graduate of the Wayne State University Department of Art and Art History with a BFA in photography and a minor in media studies.
How Can I Help?
Prayers, positive energy and thoughts; general prayers and prayer chains.
Prayers to an ALL POWERFUL GOD who heals!
but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks."
We humbly offer a chance for your support. Any funds received will only be used to bring down medical costs and for means for healing. Tanya needs funds for being able to eat correctly, purchasing healthy whole and organic food that will facilitate her fight for her health and life.
Happy Memorial day! 2014- 2017 cancer-free! And I give God the glory! In Jesus' name, Amen! God has blessed me and continues to bless me daily! Every day is a blessing! Every day is a miracle! ¸.•*✿*•.¸¸.•*✿
In 2013 during this time I was preparing to begin my cancer treatments! Boy, how time flies!
For those of you who had not followed my infrequent updates, or missed an update; I was diagnosed with advanced throat cancer in May 2013. I was treated with chemotherapy and radiation concurrently from June 2013 thru Nov 2013; I had to undergo radiation to my face and throat for 20 minutes 5 days a week during this entire period. It's important to note that I was never a smoker or drinker- throat cancer can happen to you without indulging in the known throat cancer- causing habits; and it is not related to (Human papillomavirus) HPV either.
*I've been cancer free since January 2014, but since my treatments for advanced throat cancer I remain memory challenged, hearing impaired in both ears. as well as suffer from other ailments. And yes, of course my disabilities affect my life and my relationships with others. Surviving cancer is an ongoing process and you are forever changed. Believe it. Everyone's journey is their own and no one's experience is the same; I stay strong by developing a stronger relationship with the Lord.
*Anyway, It has been awhile since I posted an update and I want to share some important information to anyone who has undergone radiation for throat cancer...or any cancer for that matter. I learned this info by chance by researching long term side effects of radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma; nasopharyngeal carcinoma was the rare throat cancer that I had. (only 7 out of 1 million people are diagnosed with this throat cancer each year.) No one advised me of a lot of things and this is one of those things! People who undergo radiation for any cancer (especially the throat cancer that I was treated for) are subject to ¬Carotid stenosis - progressive blockage of the carotid artery with plaque.
*Carotid stenosis is pretty serious and it's best if it is discovered early. The painless way to do that is to have an ultra-sound on either side of your neck to see if the blood flow is being blocked. This blockage of blood flow to the brain is progressive! When more than 70 % blockage occurs then risky surgery is purposed because of Increased risk of ischemic stroke, and or dementia, etc.. etc... Please look it up, The title of the article was ,"Carotid stenosis after radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma." It was published in 2014 online article by the government website ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Look it up and do additional search on the condition; surprisingly there is a lot of information on the topic. Unfortunately, physicians don't feel it is important to share long term affects of cancer treatments.
*When I asked one of my doctors for a ultra-sound test since the article was in reference to my treatment, his response was, "Why do you want to know when there's nothing you can do about it?" My reply was that, "Well, the article said early detection was important to avoid a stroke." That being said, this is why you have to put your trust in God. You ask for discernment, he will give it to you. You ask for wisdom, and he will give it to you. The most important factors when you are diagnosed with early stages of this disease is to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Anyway, I had my test to find out my numbers (percentage of blockage); as I try to be proactive and not reactive. I believe there's always something you can do about anything in your life. You can pray to the most high God ; there's nothing impossible for HIM! You know God is amazing! You can always count on him to get you through every crisis and when it's time for you to leave this world you know you are going home to be with the Lord. How sad for those who have no belief for they have nothing to look forward to at the end of their lives.
Happy Memorial Day!
Blessings to all!
Thanks TEAM4TANYA for this outlet to share my journey. ¸.•*✿*•.¸¸.•*✿
p.s. excuse any typos!
In 2017, I am still adjusting to my short-term memory issues and hearing loss from radiation/ chemotherapy concurrently in 2013. I have nerve, bone, and back issues, but not complaining. I take one day at a time. Everyone heals at different paces and so I patiently wait for my own complete healing.
I will be starting physical therapy on my back this year, as well as watching my weight! :) I have fewer doctor appointments, so that's a plus. No changes are expecting with my hearing, but my short term memory loss can correct itself in time. I continuously remind myself that all things are possible with God and you can't limit him! He is the God that heals and He is the God that makes away out of no way!
*Thanks again to Team4Tanya for providing this platform. Boy am I glad to see 2017, despite my continued challenges I won't let myself become discouraged. Blessings to all and a reminder to keep looking up! That's where your help comes from. The Lord! <3
Doing my happy dance!
p.s. excuse any typos!
*This is an unplanned update, but I thought the message was relevant and important to share over this Thanksgiving Weekend. I came across this fb memory of a video I did of my appearance on Cynthia A. Johnson's show on Radio 1440AM-WMKMA. It was done to celebrate being thankful in 2014. It makes me smile thinking back on sharing my joy at being cancer free and giving God the glory for my winning my battle with advanced throat cancer.
*You would think it was a simple enough project to record the live radio broadcast, but it was far from it! 1. The tripod broke, so I had to sit the camera on an upside down trash can, and I never put on my headset! 2. My laptop with my update on it would not connect to the internet! :)) So I had to borrowed Cynthia's computer. 3. Once the show was over I found that the camera had stopped recording! 4. So I had all the audio but no images! To compensate for that Cynthia and I took lots of photos to use as fillers and I had to keep repeating them to go along with the audio! In the end I think everything came out pretty good and the message was not lost.
* My point in sharing this is that the Devil will try to stop your message. He will try to discourage you with delays, setbacks, obstacles, and unexpected mishaps! For instances my gofundme donations being refunded because I didn't check my email being the latest mishap! I tell you these occurrences can send anyone into a downward spiral, but I encourage you to remain strong despite it all. God makes away out of no way! You can't allow yourself to give up or loose hope, no matter what you are going through. When you can't do it alone remember God has got your back!
*Yes, at times I get depressed, frustrated and discouraged that I, after 3 years, am still not free of side-affects, doctors, tests, and the threat of reoccurring cancer or secondary cancers. I am only human, but my God is a mighty God! And through Him I can do all things. What Is impossible for man is not impossible for God.
*This week I see my Ears, Nose, and Throat Specialist, and my Chemotherapy Doctor. Last Week I had a bone density test and a MRI on my middle back( both to investigate the possibility of Osteoporosis). I appreciate your continued prayers that any reports I receive are positive in a good way! Prayer makes the impossible possible. <3
Despite the odds, with one would be catastrophe after another, I put a video message together with my good friend Cynthia A. Johnson! Thanks Cynthia for making it happen! And thanks to those who continue to follow and support me with donations on my journey! Happy Thanksgiving Weekend 2016, and I am still cancer-free!
p.s. excuse any typos!
October 25, 2016
"Ring, ring..". my cell phone.
"Hello?" I'm a little nervous because I see it is my doctor's number.
"Hello, Tanya. This is the doctor's office. "I'm just calling to let you know your recent scans came back and they are beautiful. No sign of cancer."
*Cancer-free Amen!! So now I can do 'the happy dance'!! Cancer free - since January 2014, my recent MRI scans on head and neck, upper and lower spine results showed no cancer. My recent CAT scans on chest, abdomen, and pelvis results showed no cancer (those were the results the doctor's call reported on yesterday.)
*I give thanks to all my doctors and ultimately I give the glory to God for my good reports! Now, at this time I can start my physical therapy for my neck and back without the stress of worrying about the re-occurrence of a secondary cancer. (FYI: The spine issues I attribute to weaken bones from my cancer treatments, but my chemo doctor has refuted this as the cause. When I've complained about aches and pains I've been told repeatedly that it was just my age, where as one of my other doctors said it would be normal aging if I were 90 years old! Well, I have no complaints because the Lord blessed me to remain cancer-free.
* I want to apologize for the recent confusion with this gofundme page on refusing and refunding donations made to this account. It's partially because of chemo-brain on my part. Anyway this brought to light (to me) that there are approximately 5 people who have shown me financial support since this page was started in 2013! To these special people, and Team4Tanya, I send my love and blessings to you! God sees your heart and he will repay you for your generosity! There are many gofundme pages, many with real needs, many fraudulent manipulators, which makes it pretty uncertain who deserves your charitable donations.
*I want everyone to know that because of my dear friends, Marilyn and Sean, who started this page on my behalf, and because of those who made contributions, it has made a difference in my recovery. Because of these special people I was encouraged through some really dark times. Months when I couldn't eat! Days when I was so sick that I couldn't rest. Nights when I couldn't find escape through sleep! It was a living nightmare where there was no joy in being alive. It was a time that brought to light that death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person. In 2013 I was a truly humbled woman who had become as helpless as a sickly toddler. Since recovering from that time in my life, I tell you I will never take another days blessing for granted.
* In conclusion, I want you all to know that my smiling photographs during treatment belie how emotionally and physically devastating my battle was. I thank God every day for giving me the strength to keep fighting and to keep smiling as I continue to fight. I cannot stress enough how truly grateful I am to Team4Tanya for giving me this platform when at first I wanted to keep my failing health private. They convinced me that it was more important to enlighten others; that you don't have to be a smoker or drinker to get throat cancer. As well as, community should come together to help one another! Thanks to everyone who followed my updates!
p.s. excuse any typos!
P.S. If I have anything of value to share I will post another update in the future. Remember with any cancer early detection saves lives!
Hello Tanya, I'm so glad to hear that you are cancer free and doing better. You are a remarkable person, you are strong, and have strong faith which has served you well. I'm so very happy that you have made it through a very tough period in your life. I think of you often and keep you in my prayers. Bob
December 27, 2013 We her friends, family and Team for Tanya are creating a circle of love around her and asking you to join us. We would appreciate your presence and help, whatever that may be. We wish for her to be able to sleep peacefully and wake up encouraged to fight for ones life and health and healing another day. And with your support she may be less stressed to be able to continue to forge ahead heartened into her future. The original definition of the word courage when it first came into the English language was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. The etymology is from the Latin word "cor," meaning heart. There is a saying, There is nobody that cannot be loved once you know their story. Tanya has great heart in telling her story, and she also strives to tell the stories of creative events and enterprise of Detroit in her NewArtExaminer.com reportage. We love Tanya and we all totally dig living in Detroit, for this is where the rubber meets the road. We are creating a city exploring new paradigms of creativity, community, economy, education and more. And this starts by taking care of one another, expanding the concept and boundaries of family. We are striving to take the helm and heal ourselves and this city. This is just one story of the multitude of stories of amazing participatory citizens. Thank you and happy holidays, peace on earth and good will towards all.
December 26, 2013 There is much to celebrate for Tanya, as she is alive and strives to be the embodiment of joy to the world. The blessing is that her particular type of cancer is treatable and she has undergone radiation and chemo treatment from June through early December. The tumor was the size of a banana from her eye down to her throat, and the radiation keyed into that area. The radius of attack of the laser encompasses healthy cells as it does the unhealthy, and in this case striking the ear and throat. In the process of this harsh treatment, Tanya has lost her much of her two senses of taste and hearing, her memory, and most of her hair. Tanya needs to eat healthy and recover, and she is learning much about what healthy foods to eat. What is challenging for her is that she does not enjoy eating, and struggles to eat daily, as it is a chore. Imagine eating food that does not provide the appealing taste, smell and pleasure one assumes in daily consumption of food. She has lost her taste buds. As a consequence of her physical trials and subsequent chore eating is for her, she has lost weight going from 149 lbs to 106 lbs. Tanya needs to eat healthy and recover, and she is learning much about what healthy foods to eat. What is challenging for her is that she does not enjoy eating, and struggles to eat daily, as it is a chore. Imagine eating food that does not provide the appealing taste, smell and pleasure of food one assumes in daily life. She has lost weight going from 149 lbs to 106 lbs. She has to force herself to eat. She has lost her hearing. She has lost her short term memory. Memory loss from chemo-brain may perhaps improve slowly in 2-5 years. In a study conducted at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and published in 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, research substantiated that chemo brain does exist and can continue long-term, said Karen L. Syrjala, PhD, co-director of the Survivorship Program at Fred Hutchinson and the studys lead author. Tanya struggles daily to remember how one actions threads to the next. And in the last 7 months she has lost much of her hair, yet knows how to style a wig. So she presents herself to the world in a glamorous way. She has created her own avatar. Her courage in moving forward on a day to day battle for in the face of all these challenges is to be admired. She strives to stay positive, and crochet warm scarves for her family and friends, and continues to write her articles of what the creative class is doing in Detroit through the NewArtExaminer.com when she has the energy. She has gained much appreciation for life itself and the simple pleasures; her family, her sister and brother-in-law with whom she lives with in Detroit, in a west side neighborhood in one of the remaining homes that is intact and cared for, lived in and loved. The neighborhood was once a functioning working class neighborhood and now is sadly devastated and mostly abandoned. One cannot sit on the porch to take in the sun, nor walk around the neighborhood as it is too dangerous. There is great loss all around, personally and environmentally. To persevere is to be a spiritual warrior. She is amazingly positive, and lovely. She is a visual artist who knows how to create an illusion. From majoring in photography and film studies, she has created a character of perfection for the camera. What lies underneath is a story of much struggle, loneliness and discomfort. It is the scenario of our time that the avatar on the internet is not the real person living the day to day life behind the technology. Tanya has an ongong vigilance ahead of her for treatment. She has an appointment for a CAT SCAN on the 10th of Jan. She sees her radiation doctor on the 7th, then another follow-up with a chemo doctor on the 20th. She is being referred to an ears, nose and throat doctor in January who will do more extensive tests. She will be going to the doctor regularly approximately every 4 weeks to be monitored for hidden cancer cells. As mentioned, her tumor was the size of a banana when it was confirmed medically with that first visit at the Wayne State University free clinic in April of 2013. It has diminished so that it no longer bypasses her regular passages, however it has yet to be determined if she is cancer free. We started this page to assist in getting her lifestyle back on track. Being diagnosed just upon graduation, she has medical costs on top of student loans with no job prospects due to the demands of reclaiming and recovering her health, not to mention the paucity of jobs available regarding our economy and stresses on our city of Detroit with bankruptcy and other challenges--much as we do love our city and see its potential. We her friends and family are pitching in as much as she can. We need your help, whatever that may be, to assist in buying healthy food for those smoothies to facilitate her healing. To allow Tanya to sleep peacefully and wake up encouraged to fig
Hey sweetie! You are looking so good! A year, wow amazing. One day I hope to actually be in your presence and give you the hug that I am giving to you virtually. You are in my thoughts and prayers . I flood the universe with positivity and healthy energy just for you. Loving you from Texas! Merry Christmas!
December 9, 2013 Last night I dropped off some organic ingredients for smoothies for Tanya at her home and we enjoyed such a drink together. We have known one another for some years now and I have seen her through joyful celebrations such as her graduation just last May through her long summer of treatment for cancer. She showed me the large mask that is remarkable as an object; almost medieval looking, that she wore daily from June to most recently during her radiation treatments. It has been remarkable to share Tanya's journey and become a witness to what current medical evolutions of chemo and radiation does to eliminate a banana size tumor, taking a simultaneous toll on the healthy body tissues; effecting memory, hearing, depleted energy and weight-loss which are primary challenges for her now. As she summons the energy, focus and resources to nurture herself into continued healing, your assistance would be also transformative. She has been a warrior staying positive and continuing to support the Detroit art community in her New Art Examiner articles when she can. Please join our team and may we provide a beloved community to nurture her and provide further--even possible sustainable resources for her to continue to heal. Together may we illuminate a future path of continued connectedness, service, community and celebration of the values we share.
Tanya! We are in your corner. Staying positive potentiates and I so respect how you strive to do that. Talk with you soon.