Those of you who know my mother know that she is strong in every sense of the word. She is strong willed, strong minded, and to put it plainly, she’s one tough chick. Her love for her friends and family is strong. If you’re lucky enough to be friends with her, you can attest to the benefits of having her in your corner. Her brothers and sisters would say the same. I can tell you, as one of her three children, that her love for us is second to none. My mum doesn’t back down and nothing changed when she got the news that she has cancer. This year has been a whirlwind for us all and we are prepared to do whatever we can to support my mother in her fight. Thank you for your interest in the cause and if you’re not fortunate enough to know my mum personally, you can read more about her below.
My mother, Jane Bearse Brown is one of my grandparent’s nine children. She was born in Dorchester but she and her siblings had always spent their summers in Pembroke. My grandparents eventually moved the family to Pembroke year round in 1970. Jane graduated from Silver Lake High School in 1981 and after high school, moved back to Dorchester where she had my brother, Alex, now 32 and me, Chelsea, now 29. Our family moved to Halifax, where my brother and I attended school. Years later, my mum met my stepdad, Bill, a New Bedford firefighter and in 2004, we welcomed my little sister, Maya. My mum, Bill, and Maya now live in Wareham, where my sister is about to enter 8th grade at Wareham Middle School. Jane is the proud Nana of Jacob and Dominic. She loves spending time with her family and friends. Cleaning is something that she has always been passionate about and until recently she had been cleaning houses for an income. She has met many, many friends in her 54 years, and has been the BEST of friends to so many!
In February 2017, our entire world stopped when we got the news that my mother had Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. At that point we knew our life would never be the same. My mum’s weekly work schedule came to a screeching halt and simple household chores like laundry, cooking dinner, and taking the dog out for a walk, would soon be impossible.
The doctors started my mum’s treatments within weeks of her diagnosis, which consisted of radiation and immunotherapy. The one positive to the stage 4 diagnosis was that she was eligible for Keytruda, an immunotherapy, instead of the traditional chemotherapy. Keytruda was supposed to be "easier" on the body and that meant she might be able to keep her hair.
With multiple scans, it was soon determined that the cancer had spread to my mum’s bones, specifically her spine, ribs and hips. She had daily appointments at St. Anne’s in Dartmouth for everything ranging from radiation, Keytruda, blood count checks, scans, and hydration. As you can imagine, all of this took a tremendous toll on her body and put her in an enormous amount of pain.
The pain in her bones has led to the inability for my mum to walk, even just around the house. After only two months of treatments, she succumbed to using a wheelchair.
After months of treatment, my mum was re-scanned to see the impact of her treatment.
The results were not good.
The Keytruda had shrunk the tumors in her lung, but had not helped the cancer in her bones. In fact, the cancer had metastasized throughout her bones and even caused small tumors in her brain. We were devastated.
At this point, after months of asking "How can we help?" and "What we can do for Jane?" We decided to move forward with raising funds. Not being able to work has been very stressful for my mum. My stepdad, who has been with my mum every step of the way, has taken a lot of time off from work to help care for her and take her to her designated appointments and has not been able to take on any extra shifts. We are hoping that with your help, we can make a difference!
Local people, we are holding an event on September 10that the Hanson Athletic Association. If you would like to attend, the entry donation is $20. If you would like to pay your entry donation ahead of time, you can Venmo me or you can choose to pay at the door. We are truly grateful for your willingness to help and as always your kind words and prayers are most appreciated.
- Wendy Edwards Ustach
- Sandra Carter
- Susan Toner
- Justin Nelson
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