"My battle began in January of 2015. After a consistent amount of blood loss and weakness, I went to Pomona Valley Hospital's Emergency Department and, after two hours, I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Metastatic Cervical Cancer. I informed that I would be needing a blood transfusion. I stayed overnight where I received two transfusions and met my oncologist, Dr. Lisa Abaid. She asked me to come down to her office in Newport Beach and said we would go from there. Two days later, Madisyn and I met with Dr. Abaid and then checked into Hoag Memorial Hospital so I could have a radical hysterectomy. I was at Hoag for a week.
I promptly started my first chemotherapy treatment soon after being released. Every three weeks, Madisyn and I made the trip from La Verne to Newport for my six hour treatment. One month later, I graduated from the University of La Verne and was able to walk in my graduation ceremony.
For the next six months, Dr. Abaid and my radiation oncologist, Dr. Gorty, blasted my body with everything it could (and couldn't) handle: chemo, radiation, and brachytherapy.
In late August of 2015, I was officially in remission and had the PET/CT scan to prove it. I remained happily in remission for two and a half years. During that time, with the help of Madisyn and many friends in the ULV Athletics Department, I completed my Master's. Out into the workforce I went - until March of 2018. After a week of vacationing in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, a persistent cramp on my left side would soon become my second battle.
A tumor had formed on my aorta and was blocking my ureter causing hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney). I started treatment for the second time in April of 2018. Given the location of this tumor, my oncologist was unable to surgically remove it, so chemo and radiation were the next steps.
Topo-terrible. That was the nickname for the chemo I received. And terrible it was. Back down to Newport every three weeks for three days of infusions.
On my second cycle, I found out I was allergic to the chemo. Instead of switching the medicine, I was put on steroids and the chemo was given over eight hour periods. Since the tumor was in a previously radiated area, they couldn’t radiate the area again but rather used a more targeted therapy to blast the tumor. It was effective, but will likely rip my bowel to shreds in a few years.
In October 2018, my PET scan came back clean and I was officially in remission again. However, to prevent the return of anything, I was going to have to receive a small infusion of chemo every three weeks. I didn’t lose my hair, treatments only took one hour, and I was able to function as normal as possible after receiving treatment. I did this infusion every three weeks for nine months.
And then it came back.
On August 15, 2019 my PET scan showed that my third battle was about to begin. This time it had spread to my spleen and a lymph node in my armpit. A month later, a biopsy of that lymph node confirmed the next battle.
I started chemotherapy in October 2019. I received another three cycles of treatment and will be scheduling a splenectomy in mid-December."
This bio was written on Monday, November 25th. On Tuesday, Kay found out that she would not be scheduling a splenectomy because the chemo did not take. The cancer has spread to the nearby kidney and is beginning to fuse the two organs. There is also another area of cancer cells that has shown up near her pelvis. It seems amazing to say this, but somehow, this situation has gotten worse.
I don’t know how to ask people to give my friend money. To be honest, she doesn’t even want it. Kay has been vehemently against this idea since day one because she feels that there are people who need this more than she does. But this is the only way I know how to help my friend.
Katie and I decided we needed to do something. Kay has touched more lives than we can even imagine. We know that there are more people out there who hear this news and feel as helpless as we do. So if you can give something to help her and Madi with the medical expenses, that’s great, but whether you can or can’t, we wanted to present an opportunity to be there for her in any way you can and to be the kind of friend that Kay has been to all of us.
- Chuck Nordhoff
- Julie Shaw
- Allyson Jimenez
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