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Katie Lowrie’s Treatment At Moffitt

$20,805 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 147 people in 8 months
In August 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma and underwent surgery to remove the tumor and cancerous lymph nodes. I began treatment with a local oncologist to prevent further tumors from forming. On November 20th, during a routine checkup with the surgeon, another tumor was discovered and removed in surgery November 26th. With this new development, the diagnosis has been changed to Stage IV metastatic melanoma, and my oncologist told me there were no further treatments she could offer me. However, Moffitt Cancer Center has taken an interest in my case, and would like to meet with me to see if I qualify for drug trials and more cutting edge treatments.We are looking at an exponential increase in medical bills this year, as right now Moffitt is out of my insurance network, and my choices are to pay out of pocket for treatments, or switch insurance plans and pay several hundred dollars a month more as a premium. In addition, there will likely be hotel stays, hospital stays, and expensive drugs to pay for. I likely will not be returning to work, and will only be doing a few hours of work online each week.Our family’s continuous prayer is for soundness of mind and reasonableness- I want to be with my family and friends as long as possible, and we want the best medical care available, but also recognize there’s a limit to what medicine is capable of. However, many have asked what they can do to help, and right now this is one of our biggest challenges. We appreciate everyone’s love and support so much, and we look forward to the day when all God’s promises will be fulfilled.
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The best doctor’s appointment yet! Had my 3-month CT scan today. No new growths were found, and most of the old ones have disappeared. There are a couple spots that still show up, but that haven’t grown at all in the last three months, and they were already small. The doctor was extremely happy with my progress, and we agreed I wouldn’t need the fourth and final dose of the Opdivo/Yervoy mix I’ve been on since February. The last couple months I’d experienced some scary side effects from that, including lung inflammation, liver problems, and a fifteen day fever. I’m not done with treatment, but from now on I’ll be on only one drug, Opdivo, which is much less instead. Still going to Tampa every two weeks, but hopefully fewer incidents in between! Physically, I’m feeling great, which is a nice change! Emotionally, it’s been draining to get here, but we have seen our Father’s love and support at every turn. Thank you so much to everyone for the meals, the rides, the cards, the texts, and the prayers! It’s a long, slow journey, but we couldn’t do it without each other!
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Great news today! We went up to Tampa for an MRI and follow up appointment for a one time radiation treatment I had two months ago. At the time, there were two small spots on my brain - not very large, not in difficult places, but they needed to be taken care of. So I had this lovely mask made. Today the MRI showed the spots they treated were gone, and there was nothing new! I got the all clear on my brain! We’re all thankful for some good news - things are looking up!
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I forgot to take any pictures the first time around, but now it’s time for round two! I’m getting immunotherapy every three weeks for now, and we’re already seeing some good signs! I won’t have any more scans for another 3 weeks, but the doctor is optimistic about what we’ve seen so far, and so are we.
In the meantime, we’re focused on managing symptoms. The first cycle, I was extremely fatigued the first two weeks, and developed a mild rash, which is one of the most common side effects. The last week before treatment, I started to get more energy back, went from two naps a day to one nap a day, and even rejoined the gym! Last night before treatment we visited the local Tampa congregation, and enjoyed a very warm welcome from our brothers and sisters. Several told us they wanted to do anything they could to make it like a second home for us. We continue to appreciate the love and generosity shown by our friends in bringing meals, arranging rides, and traveling to spend time with us.
Romans 15:4 - “Through the comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.” During our dark nights, optimism is like a candle that lights our surroundings, but hope is our sunrise in the morning. We love you all, and are so grateful for all the cards, letters, texts, emails and prayers!
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I’ve been waiting to update till we had an exact treatment plan down, but I’m learning there are no exacts with cancer. We think we know what direction we’re going, and do all the tests and bloodwork and paperwork, and then something changes again. Right now, I’m confident I’m getting the best care possible at Moffitt. We’re trying some targeted therapies to take care of a couple specific spots, and then hopefully I’ll be starting a more general immunotherapy in the next 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, I’ve had a port implanted, which makes all the blood draws and IVs 100x easier. It’s difficult on all of us to play the waiting game, but we appreciate the love of our friends so much. Our big need at the moment is drivers - my appointments in Tampa are usually on Fridays, and we don’t want to overburden anyone, so we’re trying to put together a list of who would be available. Thank you so much to everyone for your continued support- it means so much to us!
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$20,805 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 147 people in 8 months
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