The day of that initial appointment finally arrived after what seemed like forever. We knew – going into it what was about to happen– but there’s no way you can ever fully prepare yourself for those looks you get when the medical professions know immediately that things aren’t looking good! And of coarse…. it was confirmed that Kirsten had a sizeable tumor and involvement in her lymph nodes that most likely were malignant. And so it would all begin….
Tests, and decisions, and tests, and decisions
Being the independent, tough as nails (lovingly referred to as stubborn) girl that we all know and love…. She decided to stay in Los Angeles where she’s lived so much of her adult life, rather than to come home and be babied by all of us that adore her. Truthfully , it felt defeating to her to give up her “life” – all that she had worked so hard to accomplish, professionally and personally- and we could expect nothing less of her, being who she is! But it was going to be tough! Her job as a Scenic Artist is extremely physically demanding. She lives alone, in a house in a canyon that requires her to walk up 30 steps to enter.
Her treatment began pretty quickly upon diagnosis. Given her age, and the size of her tumor – they weren’t messing around and very aggressively went after it as follows:
4 rounds of ADC aka “the red devil”- three weeks apart for 12 weeks
12 rounds of Taxol weekly
30 day break
December 2, 2014 bilateral mastectomy with skin expanders
This will be followed by 25 radiation treatments daily for 5 consecutive weeks
And finally, another surgery to replace the skin expanders with the permanent implants
We’ve been best friends for over 30 years! I’ve always thought she was inspiring and amazing, but through this, It’s been validated repeatedly how incredible her strength and character truly are! It was a very, very long hard summer for her – and truthfully it’s a long way from over! She ALWAYS has a laugh. She ALWAYS has some quirky funny spin on things! And she has ALWAYS remained independent and humble.
She worked very hard – even through the chemo to save money to support herself as she recovers from the surgery. She pushed herself beyond imaginable limits when she felt absolutely awful. She’s applied for some disability to help supplement, but is not yet sure if she will be able to get it.
I’d really like to be able to remove some of the burden on her while she recovers.
Please help me help her! Even a small amount might make a big difference!
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