As many of you know, Connie (wife, mom to both human and fur babies, sister, friend, and all around vivacious & loving spirit) was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer on October 19, 2016. This is not a recurrence of the cancer she had eight years ago, which was estrogen positive. This new cancer is triple negative with metastases in her liver and bones. There is no cure, but it can be treated to stabilize the cancer.
She is on chemo every week for as long as each treatment works, and as long as she can physically tolerate it. We recently learned the first drug is no longer as effective as the oncologist would like, so she has just started a new drug and is also receiving treatment for pain management. She will be in treatment for the rest of her life.
The first drug (Taxol) did a good amount of work, but learning it is time to move on to a new drug (Gemzar) has been difficult for the whole family, particularly Connie. She needs us all to rally for her in every way possible. Since October, we have all tried to figure out how to live with this devastating diagnosis and illness, but each day is a roller coaster. We are grateful for our friends, family, furry critters, and the small moments of joy we are able to create together. These treatments and co-pays are incredibly expensive and Connie is unable to work at this time. Ned, Ben, and I are working as hard as we can and we do not ask for help easily. For all of you who have reached out asking what you can do, this is it. Please consider making a donation for Connie. She is not able to receive visitors or spend much time talking on the phone, but any donation lets her know you care and you are by her side. Though we may not speak up as much as some, we hope you'll try to understand not only how isolating this horrible disease is, but how difficult it makes day to day life.
Connie also asks that you keep her and the family in your prayers. If you know Connie, you know her heart is bigger than the sun. Let's rally for a woman we are all lucky to have in our lives. We thank you with our whole hearts and will keep you updated on how she's doing on this site. Please also keep in mind when you text, call, or message, it may take some time for her to get back to you.
Thank you for understanding. Thank you for your love. It is needed, noticed, and appreciated.
Beth Gilstrap-Barnes (and Ben, Ned, Connie, Scott, & Kim)