Since 1999, the breast cancer repeated, it spread to peritineal and continues through pelvic.
1[phone redacted] (age 37) Initial diagnosis of breast cancer in her left breast. Had left mastectomy, transflap procedure for reconstruction (reconstructive surgeon did a poor job and this caused infections and extended recovery time).
At this time it was shared that most cancers go into remission for up to 5 years but that it seems to be a hurdle to make it past the 5 year mark.
2005 (age 42) 2nd diagnosis of breast cancer in her right breast. (Almost made it past that dreaded 5 year mark.)
-right mastectomy, declined reconstruction due to all issues faced with first attempt
2009 (age 46) diagnosis of Periteneal cancer. Transferred to top notch facility where her family was essentially told that according to scans that it has spread too badly and that there wasn't much hope. Thank goodness prayer showed these top rated physicians that our God is capable of anything. Once in surgery they admitted that there wasn't as large a spread as they had assumed.
2012 (age 50) diagnosis of pelvic. Was referred to a clinic that cared more about the number of patients they were seeing than the care they delivered. Would sit in a waiting area to receive treatment with her drip bag thumb tacked to a wall. Witnessed a fellower fighter have a strong reaction to his medication while receiving treatment and forced to wait until the only nurse on duty finished the IV set up on another patient. (this is what we call the Best Standard of Care in America??)
2013 (age 51) 2nd diagnosis of pelvic. Thankfully found Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The best place for care since she's started this fight. They've made her feel like a human and not just a walking disease to be treated. The only downside is that it is a 6 hour drive from home.
2014 (age 52) She's just entered the ring for her 6th round of battle. 3rd diagnosis of pelvic.
Through all of these diagnosis and treatments her body has aged internally and externally. And yet Shirley has not lost her resolve. As if she is wearing the fight as a badge of honor, she will say "If my fight brings one more person closer to God then it is worth it."
The reality is that the cancer has limited her ability to hear, has affected her memory, pulls at her energy, and aged her much faster than expected. All of this ulitmately led her to making the difficult decision to leave the workforce in 2011. While this impacts her finances and ability to support her medical expenses, she never gives up faith. Instead she uses her new time to help others in her community, love on her grandchilidren and to volunteer for activities in her church.
Her husband, Randy (aka Night in Shining Armor) boldly pursues avenues to make additional money, in addition to his full time job, so that she never has to feel like a burden.
Unfortunately, money can often limit his ability to be with her as she seeks care and can often mean that she has to make tough choices about her healthcare (what she care she can receive versus what she can afford).
How do I know all of this? I am her daughter, sometimes nurse and biggest fan (aside from my brother). Since day one I have looked for ways to help her in this fight and make sure she new that she was not alone. As a family we have pulled together and took a stand against cancer. But we need help.
That is where YOU come in.
As supporters you can help Shirley in her fight to beat cancer once and for all. We can ensure that she does not have to be selective in her care but rather receive all the treatment, tools and support she needs to keep strong in the ring!
Your donations will be used to support travel to the various centers she must visit. It will support medical bills in those instances where insurance does not cover all that was charged. It will also be used to give her the gift of sound. Through hearing aids she will now be able to hear her family, friends and doctors with clarity and understanding.
Let us surpass our goal and show cancer that it doesn't have a fighting chance. As a community we can ensure that cancer loses its power. By exceeding our goal we can expand our reach by supporting other fighters that Shirley has met.
Join us is in the ring! Let Shirley know that she is never alone, that she has a community behind her to make sure that she is here when her grandsons graduate college and have their own children!
Thank you for your support, we will keep you updated on the Fight of a Lifetime!
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