Our family would like to talk to you about Michelle Myers. Michelle is an amazing mother, sister, aunt, daughter and dear friend; the favorite friend and family member everyone wishes they had.
In life sometimes you come across those truly special people who are put on this earth for an extraordinary purpose and we are convinced Michelle Myers is one of them. Michelle is someone that will teach you a lot about strength on the hardest of days, laughter in the roughest of situations and perseverance when you think you really can't go on for another day. She is one of the most genuine, loving, funny and generous people with an enormous heart of gold. Her spirit gets you through the toughest of days. Although you would never know on the exterior, she stays strong for everyone else. Michelle has been through a lot, more than anyone should ever have to deal with in a lifetime. She is a survivor, on so many levels. She is our Hero.
Over ten years ago, in July 2003, Michelle's husband Porky passed away. She and Porky were very best friends-they were high school sweethearts. They were married for nearly 25 years when Porky passed. This was devastating for her and their son Mark. Michelle and Mark have continued his legacy by coordinating an annual Harley Davidson Ride in his memory, which raises money for his favorite charity; The Make-A-Wish Foundation. We have tried to help fill the void Michelle feels from her loss, but not a minute goes by that she does not feel the sadness. Especially now, during the really hard times, Michelle longs to have him by her side.
January 2014 marked 11 years since her first diagnosis with breast cancer. Completely unexpected, in July 2003 she had lost her husband and now this? Ten years ago her treatment included a lumpectomy of the tumor and months of radiation. Fortunately, through her annual mammogram screening, the cancer was detected early. Once her radiation therapy was complete a daily regimen of tamoxifen would be the only further treatment necessary. She would live cancer free, yet she had that tiny voice in the back of her mind that kept asking at each mammogram appointment, "has the cancer returned?"
December 2013 was bittersweet. It was Christmastime and Michelle had just paid her final doctor bill from her January 2003 diagnosis-feeling like it was finally officially over. Cancer is not cheap. It never goes on sale. There are no coupons. Heartbreakingly, December 23, 2013, Michelle received the news again......breast cancer. This time more invasive. This time treatment will not be as "simple." It would begin with preparing for a double mastectomy.
After several pre-planning appointments with her team of doctors; a general surgeon, a reconstruction/plastic surgeon, an oncologist, etc... The double mastectomy surgery was scheduled for February 4, 2014. It is very hard to see her have to go through this again. It is an overwhelming feeling of mixed emotions that this time around something so traumatic has to occur. She will be healthy, but at a big physical and psychological cost. It is Michelle Myers, she is strong. She will continue to survive. She is our Hero.
Fast forward to surgery day. Michelle of course making light of the situation and making us all laugh up until minutes before surgery. Right before 10am she was going to be wheeled back, there were tears fearing the unknown, so we said our "see you laters" knowing she will be OK.....she had to be. Mid-way through the surgery her surgeon came to speak with us and gave us very, very promising news-there was no detection of cancer in the sentinel node! We celebrated together as we were given the news we all wanted to hear, the cancer had not spread, no chemo! No chemo! No, "stuff that would make my hair fall out," we could hear Michelle saying in our heads. Finally something good out of a crummy situation, finally something went in Michelle's favor. Twelve hours after it began, we were able to see her.
Post-surgery as you can imagine was, IS, very difficult. She had to spend 4 nights in the hospital and going home on a Saturday with the fear of having to recover and do "this" alone. Of course Michelle has her wonderful son Mark who has done a fantastic job taking care of her. Mark has been there every step of the way over the past 10 years, through both diagnoses, since the loss of his father. While experiencing his own health hardships he makes the health of his mother his top priority. His response to it all, "Anything I have to do for her will never be as bad as anything she has to go through." We are all very thankful for Mark and very proud of him. We, her family, do as much as we all can to be there for her, as she is always there for us.
Again, although a crummy situation, it was time to focus on recovery. There was no cancer detected in her lymph nodes, so no chemo. Now was Michelle's time to focus on her recovery and reconstructive surgery. Two weeks post-surgery, Michelle's had an appointment with her oncologist. Many times in life you can say life is a gamble. There is a 50/50 chance things could go in your favor. Although you would NEVER hear her say it, Michelle has the worst luck. She never gambles.
Michelle's oncology appointment she thought would be routine, something you have to do after surgery, no big deal, its part of her recovery. She had the double mastectomy, already received the good news that the cancer had not spread into her lymph nodes, no chemo! Not so. Michelle walked out of her appointment last week feeling defeated. She unfortunately got the news she did not want to hear-the big "C." Not cancer, as she had heard that one a couple times before, this time it was chemo. Michelle has to have chemo. All of the details of this decision are still not very clear. We do know the tumor was larger than they initially thought and she has to go through chemo. In a follow up appointment in the near future we will know more.
Michelle is always the strong one, this is her time to not have to be the strong one. This is where we, her family and friends can step in and help her to not be sick with worry. We are trying to help her as much as we can and this is why we have created this site.
Michelle has been off of work since February 3. She is a phlebotomist at a hospital and had two weeks of earn time to take-which paid for her time off for the surgery. Anything after that she would have to take unpaid. You can only try to imagine what a double mastectomy surgery, a lymph node biopsy and the beginning of reconstructive surgery can do to a body and a spirit. She has seen much brighter days. Michelle is strong and will survive and she really believes that she will be ok. We, her family, know she will be healthy. She would never ask for anything, but she is most worried about the time off work she is going to have to continue to take as she continues to recover, continue her reconstruction procedures and begin chemotherapy. The worry when the medical bills begin to arrive, especially with the unexpected addition of chemotherapy.
Friends, family and members of the community have asked how they can support their friend Michelle who is always helping everyone else before herself. We have created this website so we can collectively support Michelle and help her to have one less thing to worry about in the upcoming months. There is no contribution too small. Let's meet the goal! ALL proceeds raised will go directly to Michelle. We encourage you to pass this link along: http://www.gofundme.com/SupportMichelleMyers
Please keep Michelle in your thoughts and prayers, we will keep you updated on her prognosis and recovery. There are not words to thank you for your compassion and your generosity.
With love and gratitude,
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