#LavondaStrong

Lavonda’s Cancer Battle




In April 2015, Lavonda noticed a small, dark, odd shaped mole on her right, lower leg.  After a biopsy was taken, it was confirmed that it was malignant melanoma.  This shouldn’t be happening to a 44 year old, she thought.  She was sent to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa for surgery.  The area removed had clean margins, and one of the lymph nodes removed showed cancer, but it was contained.  A few months later, another spot popped up on the leg.  A second surgery would be required.  This time the margins were not clean. Radiation would be recommended.  Dr. Anderson with Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute in Ocala would be the doctor in charge now.  After a couple of PET scans (indicating metastic melanoma to the hip and a couple other areas), and 2 more rounds of radiation, Dr. Patel with Florida Cancer Specialists would start Immunotherapy for 3-4 months along with another round of radiation.  After radiation and immunotherapy were completed, another PET scan was completed.  This time, the melanoma was in her right and left shoulder area in her bones, along with her pelvis.  Another round of radiation would be scheduled and 2 types of pills would be prescribed.  The melanoma was found to have a BRAF cell mutation, and these pills were BRAF inhibitors. The pills showed rapid results!  Another PET scan was had, and it was the best scan in 2 1/2 years!  The only cancer indicated was a spot on her right leg, just a few inches above her knee.  A 4th round of radiation would be scheduled.  Results again were swift!  

 

On Monday, November 6th, almost 2 weeks after the last round (round 4) of radiation, things would change.  Lavonda decided to stay home due to feeling a little wore down.  Around 8:30-8:45am while reclining on the couch watching TV, her right pinky started tingling.  The tingling kept moving to her other fingers, and down her hand.  She started feeling a little light headed.  She yelled a few times at her son,Tim, to call 911, and then everything went blank until about half way to the hospital in the ambulance.  She had a seizure.  After a CT scan & MRI, it was confirmed that the seizure was due to “seeds” of melanoma on the left side of her brain.  The seizure was a blessing in disguise.  It set treatment in motion.  Another round of radiation began today, November 9, 2x/day for 4-5 weeks - ROUND 5!

 

Lavonda is a wife of 27 years to Rick Smith, mother of 2 boys (Tim - 20 yrs & Collin - 15 yrs), a precious daughter/daughter-in-law, a friend to many, but most of all a woman with a strong faith.

 

Cancer can take a toll on a family in many ways - physically, emotionally, and financially.  She a humble woman that finds it difficult to ask for help; therefore, I am asking for help on their behalf.  One of the ways we as friends, co-workers, and family can help her & her family fight this cancer monster is financially.  No amount is too small and will most certainly be appreciated.  This is a fight, but one she is not fighting alone!  

 

Lavonda is “In it to win it!”  #lavondastrong

Donations

  • Julie Brier 
    • $200 
    • 30 mos
  • Foundation Partners Group 
    • $125 
    • 30 mos
  • Melissa Howsare 
    • $100 
    • 30 mos
  • Jackie Branch 
    • $50 
    • 31 mos
  • Michelle Nicholson 
    • $50 
    • 31 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Miles Stewart 
Organizer
Wildwood, FL
RICKIE R Smith Jr 
Beneficiary
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