Help Jill Beat Breast Cancer
A little bit about Jill:
Jill is a remarkable woman. She is a wife, a mother of three young children, and an incredible friend. She possesses a unique spunk and love for life that is felt instantly by anyone she is around. She has an awesome sense of humor, is supportive in every sense of the word, and is extremely hard-working. So hard-working that she currently works two part-time jobs at night so that she can stay home with her kiddos during the day. That will soon change as she will not be able to work as she always has so money will be incredibly tight.
The truth is there is no telling what the future holds and the fear of the unknown is very real. The one thing I do know is that Jill is tough as nails. She will BEAT this and she will do it in high spirits! ...however, there will be doctor's appointments, and surgeries, and chemo, and the recovery time will be extensive. That is why I cannot express enough how greatly this money is needed right now and how deeply APPRECIATED it is. Given the magnitude of this all, I know she will be able to find some sense of comfort in knowing that there will be a little extra in the bank for when things get really tight. The ultimate goal is for her to start this journey knowing that she has some financial cushion because the last thing she needs to exert her worried energy on is money. Please know that every penny of your donation will be helping my beautiful friend and her family financially survive this devastating time. This money will be put toward medical bills, her three beautiful kids, household needs, and any unexpected expenses that may arise. This family is so special and deserves every ounce of your generosity. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! Thank you for taking the time to read Jill's story and thank you for giving a gift to help her along in this journey.
Update #3…here we go! Jill is currently in the middle of chemotherapy and is doing quite well. Chemo is once every three weeks and her third round will be beginning this Wednesday, May 25th. After this round, she will have three more to get through before surgery. In a nutshell, Jill’s chemo experience has been as follows: week 1 – really sick, week 2 – weak & tired, week 3 – recovery week to build back her strength along with her red and white blood cell count. Getting this count back up is extremely important, as Jill is not able to start another round of chemo until these numbers are where they need to be. The one major component of getting her blood cell count back up is rest. Her doctor has instructed her that she needs 12 hours of sleep a day to recover the way her body needs her to. In fact, Jill had a doctor’s appointment last week and was scolded by her doctor because she could tell that Jill was not getting adequate rest. Now all of you that know Jill know how stubborn she can be, so asking for help so that she is able to rest is definitely something that she is learning to do. This is so difficult, of course, because she has three beautiful kids to tend to but if we all band together as friends, supporters, and caretakers, maybe asking for help won’t be as challenging and she will be able to focus on getting the rest that her body so desperately needs. Now although there was a bit of scolding at this doctor's appointment, some great news came from this visit as well . Her doctor told her that both tumors are shrinking significantly and used the word “phenomenal” to describe her progress. This could not be more amazing news! Please, please keep your prayers aimed in this very direction to keep and continue the shrinkage of these masses. Additionally, Jill underwent a minor surgery to have a port inserted in the right side of her chest near her collarbone. This port is attached to a vein in her neck and will serve as a gateway for all of the chemo and other medications that will be administered to her from this point forward. As you can imagine, this is a very foreign looking object to be in someone’s chest so Jill is feeling very much like a bionic woman these days. It definitely has a Star Trek feel to it.
Besides being sick, one of the hardest parts of this journey for Jill has been losing her hair. During week two of the first round of chemo, Jill lost about 70% of her hair in a matter of three days. On day four, she woke up, had a couple mimosas, and decided to buzz the rest off. I have to say you guys, Jill rocks the bald head! Another very hard thing for her to deal with is the fact that chemo has killed her taste buds. She described food as tasting like cardboard and metal. I know this is discouraging news, but please don’t let this deter you from continuing to help with the meal train as it has been such a blessing for her and her family. Now I am sure you all are wondering how Chris and the kids are doing during this time. Chris continues to work a hectic schedule but has undeniably been Jill’s rock. She said he is the best husband ever because he told her that she looks beautiful bald and has a great head shape ☺ As for the kids, they are doing great! Patrick (Jill’s 4 year old) has had the hardest time. He struggled with seeing mommy so sick and losing her hair. He asks her to keep her scarf on so that he doesn’t have to see her head. Although this journey is so difficult for the kids, they are learning how to cope and how to look after mom. They are realizing that after a round of chemo that she does in fact get better and knowing that gives them comfort.
Jill’s beautiful mom was able to come out and help for about five weeks but has since returned home. She will be gone for another month or so before returning back to CA. With that being said, the help that Jill will need to get through this round of chemo and the weeks to follow will be substantial. I encourage any of you that have some extra time to please reach out to me if you would like to help. Whether it’s helping with the kids, taking dinner over, or running an errand, every bit of assistance counts!
From the bottom of my heart, I have to extend one more great big THANK YOU to all that have donated, assisted with meals, and stepped in to help during the last few months. Jill is beyond grateful for each and every one of you. Lastly, I'd like to leave you with a comment that she said to me just a few days ago…“When I start sinking into the darkness, I remind myself of all of the love that has been bestowed upon me and I pull myself back up and I fight with every fiber in my being.”
We love you guys!!
I have an update to share with all of you. This is something that I will do as Jill permits, so please keep an eye on your inbox. Jill had her first appointment with her breast surgeon last week and was told that she is in stage two of this aggressive type of breast cancer. Over the next three weeks, she will be having multiple different tests done to include an MRI, a biopsy on her right breast to ensure that it is cancer free, an echocardiogram to ensure that her heart is strong enough to withstand treatment, and a PET scan to ensure that the cancer has not spread to any other parts of her body. After that, because of the type of cancer she has, she will be doing things backwards. She will be having chemo first and a port will be put in. That port will be the pathway for not only her chemo meds but for two other types of medication. This type of cancer requires all three of these medications so, for Jill, chemo will be a triple whammy. Additionally, these medications are very powerful so we are told that she will be very sick during this time. Chemo will be for four months then Jill will be given one month to regain her strength. She will then have surgery which will require a ten week recovery time and then will begin radiation. All in all, this is a one year process. That is just for the chemo, surgery, and radiation treatments. This one year does not include the additional year that she will need to regain her strength after completing this grueling process and the TEN years of medication that she will require to keep cancer away.
This journey will be long, tiresome, and life altering and Jill needs all of you! Jill has expressed numerous times how uplifting and comforting your messages have been to her. Please keep them coming! Many of you have asked if this page will expire and the answer is no. This page will remain up and you will continue to have full access to it. You can donate next week, next month, or in a few months...whatever works best for your own personal finances. As you can see, I have raised the dollar amount to $30k because not only will this be an incredibly costly journey but soon Jill will be unable to work and she has a beautiful family at home that needs all of our help.
As soon as Jill begins chemo (in about two weeks), I will be starting a meal train for her and her family. This meal train will allow individuals to be able to sign up to drop off dinners to them on designated nights. I think this is another wonderful way for us to be of assistance in this time of need. If you are interested in being a part of this opportunity or would just like to learn more, please click on the "contact organizer" button and send me an email.
Lastly, I have attached a photo of Jill's gorgeous kids to this update. Emma (9), Patrick (4.5), and William (22 months). These sweet kids right here are who Jill is fighting for. Really puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?Please keep them in the forefront of your mind as you pray. Again, we cannot express to you how grateful, thankful, appreciative, and joy-filled we are to have all of you here to lean on. Let's band together and help Jill fight the fight of her life!!
For all of you who didn't get a chance to see this on FB, here is a personal message from Jill that she would love for you to read:
Hello family and friends,
As most of you know by now, I have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. It has been the hardest week of my life. I have just felt shocked, broken, devastated, weak, angry, and a ghost of a human being. I have cried and cried and cried and then cried some more. Why me? Then throughout this week something wonderful has happened. You. All of you. Your thoughts, messages, prayers, shares, phone calls, texts, donations, and kind words have just meant the world to me. You have lifted me up. You have reminded me that I am strong. I am a fighter. I am a warrior. So, from the depths of my heart, I want to thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my friend, Thank you for standing behind me. I feel you walking next to me with a hand on my shoulder. I really do. I am truly honored to know each and everyone of you. And now, because of you, this mommy of three is gonna stand up and fight!
With complete gratitude,
The following "motto" is from my father Sid. He has beaten prostate cancer twice (yes twice) and he is currently finishing up his last few treatments for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia which he has been told is now in 100% remission. He wanted Jill to have his motto and of course both my parents send there best: "You can't change what has already happened, but you can impact what is going to happen. STAY STRONG, STAY POSITIVE AND STAY MOTIVATED TO BEAT THIS."