A couple weeks ago my cousin Diana, very unexpectedly, got diagnosed with late stage cancer.
Diana is that person in our family who arrives and gets the party started (in the good ways). The laughing, the dancing and the LIVING kicks up to a whole new gear when Diana leaps into the room.
Diana's diagnosis has shaken us as a family (immedate and extended). The strongest person in our entire mix is the lady herself. Resiliant, determined, focused and POSTIVE.
I don't have many fears but the Big C is one of them. I think that's a pretty universal anxiety. One of the reasons is that it shows up, uninvited, out of nowhere. Party crasher! There's no prepping for this, physically, mentally or financially.
I live an entire coast away from most of my family and the Adkins (Diana). I felt helpless to make a difference. And that's where this campaign comes in (created after talking this through with Diana and Kevin). For those of us who cannot be there, to pickup the kids (3), make dinner, or give a hug, etceteras, here's a way we can ease the impact of this journey. I'm kicking this off by donating three months of coffee (and I live in LA, so the prices are redonkulous). Do what you can. Every bit is a touch more ooomph in the knock-out blows that Di Di aka Gravel Gurdy aka Diana is dealing this uninvited guest. Thanks! Go Diana GO!!
Here's an amazing post my cousin made shortly before she headed into an extensive surgery to get in there and get THIS out!
Hello friends and family, most of you have heard by now that I have the big old C WORD, fallopian tube cancer to be exact; there's a 1 -2% of getting it, so I'm a lucky gal! Anyhow, I stole this idea from a friend. This is where I (mostly Kevin over the next couple of weeks) will post updates on how I'm doing and what's going on. I've been so overwhelmed by all the support, thoughts, prayers, texts, well wishes and positive energy coming my way, and I can't say thank you enough!
I am joining a clinical trial for people with my type of cancer and my next line of treatment is cytoreductive surgery (CRS) on June 1 at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. I'll have two surgeons (because two is definitely better than one) working on me, one will focus on my lady parts and the other will focus on the abdominal cavity. The goal of this surgery is to get rid of as much of the cancer possible, oh and I'll have a full hysterectomy too. I'm done with that stuff anyways, so might as well get rid of it!
There are two arms to the trial, one where I'll receive HIPEC during surgery, a hot chemo marinade (that's not the technical term, but that's what I like to call it) that will be washed over my abdominal cavity after surgery is complete to kill any of those nasty remaining cancer cells. After I recover from surgery, I'd then receive 6 rounds of IV chemo therapy (yes I'm going to kiss the curls goodbye, my mom is convinced my hair is coming back straight) The other arm is to have the surgery and then after recovery receive 6 rounds of IP and IV chemo. IP chemo is when you have an intraperitoneal port that delivers the chemo right to the walls of the abdomen. I'm hoping for option A, and could use all your thoughts, prayers, positive vibes on that one!
This is a big surgery and I'll be in the hospital anywhere from 7 - 14 days. All depends on which arm I'm in and how I'm doing post op, I have to be able to do things on my own and eat. So there's a small silver lining, I'll lose a little bit of weight. The preop literature is telling me to gain weight, and post op says drink shakes...I mean this has always been my dream to eat with reckless abandon! (don't worry mom, I'm not really doing that)
So many people have reached out and asked how they can help; I'll post some links in here with some sign-ups for all sorts of fun activities, like carting my kids all over Alexandria to feeding my family while I'm down and out and Ad Kev is trekking back and forth to Baltimore.
Feel free to post your Q's and we will get them answered as soon as we can.
Love to you all!
- Jessica Emerson
- Lawrence Studdiford
- Chesley Neubauer
- Tiffanie J
Organizer and beneficiary
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