63
63
10

Davis Family Fighting Ovarian Cancer

$16,980 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 63 people in 8 months
Created September 27, 2018
On September 24th, we received some devastating news. My Mother, Melissa, was diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer at the young age of 54. Four short weeks ago she developed what seemed to be a harmless cough, and doctors began treating for seasonal allergies. When the cough did not go away, further testing showed fluid in her lung. Doctors then diagnosed what they thought was pneumonia and treated her with 2 different antibiotics. When my Mike and Melissa returned from their 30th wedding anniversary trip in France, she went back for more testing as the symptoms seemed to only worsen - cough, pain, bloating. Upon removal and testing of 1.1 liters of fluid off her lung, the pulmonologist found malignant cells in the fluid. A full abdominal CT scan and ultrasound revealed 2 ovarian cysts - 18 cm and 10 cm. Fast forward a couple of days and she was diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian cancer. The game plan - 9 weeks of chemo, surgery to remove the two cysts, then 9 more weeks of chemo. 

Melissa is a first-time Grandmother (“Gram”) to our daughter, Charlotte Grace Heineke. She is a wife of 30 years, a mother of 27 years, and a loving friend to many. She is a shoulder to cry on, a warrior, a helping hand, and a smile when you need it. It would be an understatement to say my Mom is the greatest person I have ever known. She is the rock of our family, and is selfless and kind. She never complains and always puts others first. She touches every person that meets her, and has spent hours upon hours filling God’s Inbox with prayers for other people (and animals too). My parents are humble people, and would never ask for help. But we need your help. With upcoming medical bills combined with the time away from work, they could use financial grace (while they would never ask for it). With my Dad’s physical instability, he is unable to work. And my Mom will have to take a minimum of 6 months to a year off of work. All donations will help with medical bills, groceries, mortgage, and all living expenses while she is fighting cancer and subsequently healing. 

No no donation is too small. Thank you for your continued love and prayers

For questions, reach out to Amanda Heineke.
+ Read More
Update - March 5th, 2019.

It's week 24 since we received the intial diagnosis of Stage IV Ovarian Cancer. She has completed 18 weeks of chemotherapy and had surgery to remove all evidence of cancer. We are ecstatic to announce that today she received her "NED - No Evidence of Disease" diganosis. Although this news is long-awaited and prayed-for, it has been a very heavy day.

Stage IV Cancer comes with a lot of caveats. Nothing is cut-and-dry. We are fortunate that her doctor is very straightforward and frank. Her situation is complex and uncertain. We are so thankful to the Lord above that she responded to her surgery and therapy as she has, but the future is still very uncertain - that is the reality of Stage IV cancer. Ovarian cancer, particularly Stage IV, is notorious for "hiding" from detection and returning - it's an earth-shattering and unfair reality for these women who are undiagnosed, recently diagnosed, fighting, and recovering. Stage IV Ovarian Cancer is a life change, and all we can do now is celebrate and live life to the absolute fullest. And that means moving our big and much-awaited Disney trip up to May, per her Doctor’s advice - you don’t have to ask us twice!

CT Scan Results - Her CT scan showed no evidence of disease. That is FANTASTIC! It did show a small pocket of fluid still remaining around her right lung. The fluid amount is much too small to extract and test for cancer, so this will be part of the monitoring process.

Recall her doctor ordered her tumors to be tested for the BRCA mutation as her initial blood testing came back inconclusive. The result from the genetic testing conducted on the tumors also came back inconclusive. She has a very rare genetic mutation underlying the cause of her specific Ovarian Cancer that has yet to be fully understood by researchers and medical professionals. However, her doctor said that his gut-feeling based on all evidence presented is that she does in fact have a BRCA mutation.

Moving forward... There are a lot of moving parts. The focus now is monitoring and maintenance.

Monitoring - She returns in 3 months for another CT scan and CA-125 blood work. This will allow us to see if (1) the fluid around her lung has changed (increased or decreased) and (2) if her CA-125 levels have changed (increased or decreased). Also part of the monitoring process is a recommendation provided by her doctor to see a breast surgeon to discuss whether a mastectomy would be an ideal choice considering her type of Ovarian Cancer. More to come.

Maintenance - There is a potential option for a drug that can help prevent the recurrence of cancer. This drug is specific for - and approved by the FDA for - women who possess a proven BRCA mutation. Her doctor is looking into possibly getting her approved to take this drug. More to come.

Please keep praying. Her prayer warriors have helped get her through this, and we need you now more than ever. Thank you for your continued support and love. It has meant so much!

Amanda
+ Read More
Chemo, Week 16 - Taxol and Carboplatin. Today is supposed to be the last dual-drug treatment in what should be her final cycle of chemo. Her cancer markers are still declining, but the decline is drastically slowing down. This last cycle, her CA-125 reduced from 98 to 78. The “normal” range at which point she is able to stop chemo is less than 35. When she first started chemo, these were falling by the hundreds.

So, she spoke with her Oncologist/Surgeon this morning before chemo. He performed an exam and determined that she is still healing from surgery - it takes longer to heal when you are going through chemo, and she started chemo about 2-3 weeks after major surgery. That can affect the markers. And these markers can be influenced by inflammation.

Update on genetic testing - Results came back negative for all genes tested except the BRCA genes, which came back inconclusive. The doctor is going to test the tumors he removed to see if they test positive for BRCA gene. If it comes back positive for the BRCA gene, he can put her on a pill to help keep the cancer from returning.

CT scan is scheduled for 3 weeks from now.

Please continue to pray and send words of encouragement. It’s needed now more than ever.

Love,
Amanda
+ Read More
Chemo, Week 13 update - It was a dual drug week, carboplatin and taxol. It’s also been a very rough week. While we received great news that her mammogram came back normal and her CA125 (Cancer marker) levels continue to drop, she’s been very sick this week. She told the nurse on Tuesday about the neuropathy that she’s been experiencing (typically a normal side effect of chemo) so they put her on Cymbalta to help. We aren’t sure if it’s the Cymbalta or dual-drug chemo week, but she’s been very nauseous and unable to eat this week. Today is the second day she went to the hospital to get fluids in hopes it would help with the nausea and weakness. Please continue to pray for healing and send her uplifting words of encouragement as she still has 5 more weeks of chemotherapy. And pray that the end is in sight. She’s very tired.

We are still waiting for the genetic testing results.

With love.
+ Read More
Chemo, Week 12 update - This week she met with a geneticist to understand how this disease can propagate and be passed down. Blood results are due back in 2-4 weeks, and one of the main factors they are testing for is a mutation in one of the BRCA genes. It’s important to understand if she carries this gene as it increases her risk of developing breast cancer by 70-80%. Below is a snippet from the National Cancer Institute:

“Specific inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 most notably increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers, but they have also been associated with increased risks of several additional types of cancer. People who have inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 tend to develop breast and ovarian cancers at younger ages than people who do not have these mutations.

A harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can be inherited from a person’s mother or father. Each child of a parent who carries a mutation in one of these genes has a 50% chance (or 1 chance in 2) of inheriting the mutation. The effects of mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are seen even when a person’s second copy of the gene is normal.”

Based on her type and decree of cancer as well as how she is responding to treatment, the geneticist feels confident that she in fact carries this gene, but only bloodwork will be able to confirm. She will also be getting a mammogram in the coming week as a preventative now that we know this information. Continued prayers are needed and appreciated. Information will be shared as it becomes available.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$16,980 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 63 people in 8 months
Created September 27, 2018
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
CB
$100
Chris & Greg Bedel
1 month ago
$100
Anonymous
2 months ago
$100
Anonymous
2 months ago
$100
Anonymous
3 months ago
RS
$25
Roberto Santiago
3 months ago
EM
$100
Emily Mason
3 months ago
$100
Anonymous
4 months ago
$5,000
Anonymous
4 months ago
DR
$50
Debbie Robertson
4 months ago
AD
$100
Amy Docherty
5 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.