Help Kim Kick Cancer in the Teeth!

Kim Niemi Davidson is a witty, talented woman with a glorious voice. She is one of my closest friends. And she is fighting uterine cancer. She is undergoing chemotherapy and is unable to work during this time. I want to help her.

Kim's story:

In late May she had a hysterectomy to treat uterine cancer. This required a 6-week recovery, during which she couldn't work. Halfway through her recuperation, it was determined that she would need chemotherapy, which would require four to six 3-week cycles, i.e., 3-4 months of treatments. She is unable to work during this time, because she is a waitress. Her job is much too physically demanding, and the effects of chemo are far too taxing to allow for this kind of work. Additionally, chemo leaves one immunocompromised, so she is at a high risk of infection during treatment.

She did her best to save for her recovery time, but her surgery was postponed twice. Her savings were depleted to cover her expenses for that period, and, as she was already on leave from work, was unable to maintain her income.

At minimum, Kim has 11 weeks of chemotherapy to go. But if they decide to give her the full six cycles of chemo, then it will be 12 weeks of chemo, plus five weeks of radiation. So she may not even be able to get back to work until December. We're looking at December before she is able to go back to work. Until then, Kim not only has to pay her mounting medical bills, but her living expenses.

It's time for us, her friends, to help her.

Kim gave me a quick snapshot of how chemo works. In her words:

The first week, which is from the day you get your infusions, through the next six days, are the crappiest. You feel woozy, and "off" and EXHAUSTED even when you're not doing anything, and you have to take all kinds of meds throughout the day to avoid the super constipating effects of the drugs, and everything tastes weird. A few days after the infusions I get bone pain which is really difficult, and makes every movement an ordeal. When I try to stand up I feel like the weight of my body is going to make my leg telescope into itself down to my foot. The ceiling fan was on high the other night and each puff of air against my body felt like a punch. That lasts for a couple days and then starts to get better each day.

The second week I feel a little better, but still exhausted even from doing NOTHING, and my white count just falls and falls until it hits its lowest point. This is when I am at the highest risk of infection. So even though I feel "okay" I can't really do much of anything.

The third week I feel "almost" normal. My counts start to come back up, though I am still at risk of infection, and I have "more" energy, but I am grading on a curve. And just when you start to feel that sense of normalcy, they hit you with another treatment.

Let's show Kim how much we support her, and help her kick cancer in the teeth!
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