I have a good friend, Melissa, who was diagnosed in May of 2011 with lung cancer. She had surgery to remove the tumor but when the surgeon went in, she realized it was stage 4 and decided to do chemo instead of taking anything out at that time. She went through an aggressive chemo, then had surgery again. This time to remove her left lung and half of her diaphragm. She had surgery then went to radiation for a few months, driving to Madison everyday for it. After all of that, she stayed on a chemo pill to keep the cancer away. While on that drug, she was proclaimed cancer free on November 19th, 2011. She went 19 months cancer free! While cancer free, she played basketball, coached basketball, worked, went snorkeling in Cancun, ran a 5K and turned 30 years old! In August of 2013, the news came that the cancer came back. This time it was in her omentum (the "fatpad" that lays over the stomach and intestines). She went through another round of aggressive chemo, but that backfired and the cancer grew. After that chemo was over with, Melissa made the decision to go on a clinical trial based out of MD Anderson in Houston, TX. This consisted of taking 12 pills a day along with flying to TX every 3 weeks for 3-5 days. While she wasn't in TX, she was in and out of the hospital for months due to pain. Melissa has not been able to eat whole/solid food since Feb. 14th. She gets 'calorie fed' on a nightly basis. She also got a G-tude surgically placed in her stomach (a drain from the stomach so she can take pills and be able to drink). On this clinical trial, the cancer diminished significantly for the first few months. After that, the bad news began again. The cancer was growing and Melissa was getting sicker by the day. In August 2014, she was kicked off the clinical trial because the drug was not working and she was too unhealthy. Another decision had to be made. She had 1 round of another aggressive chemo but decided not to continue with it. Because of that 1 round, she began to lose her hair. She decided to go a different route, another chemo pill. This time it is 1 pill a day which started a month ago. The last 3 weeks, Melissa began to work as much as possible and coach as often as she possibly can. She is living day by day and doing her best to keep her spirits up!
We will be surprising her and her family on Christmas Eve. She will be treated to a day at the spa, plus the Re family is being treated to dinner thanks to generous donations. We would like to help this family out financially because the expenses of traveling for treatments have been so great, not to mention the out of pocket medical expenses. Melissa is a very brave and special young woman fighting for her life. Thank you for helping her and her family in this unimaginably difficult time.
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