Please Help Susan - Thank you

We are well aware that our lives can change in a moment.  When a young family member receives a devastating diagnosis, it hits closer to home and reality gives you a punch in the stomach.  This is my cousin, Susan Gibson’s, story.  She is willing to share it in hopes to remind us, that life is fragile and tomorrows don’t always go as we planned.

 Susan was recently diagnosed with colon cancer that metastasized to her liver.  Those of you who know Susan, know that her sense of humor and fighting spirit will carry her through this. At 48 years old, she and her family, have been forced to face this brutal diagnosis.  With your support, these funds will be used to pay for medical treatments not covered by insurance, medications, and expenses that will add up quickly while Susan is out of work.  This is her story…

In November, Susan was suffering from abdominal pain and a change in bowel habits.  She initially discredited it, attributing it to getting older, as any of us might.  Several weeks later she went to the doctor, who suspected diverticulosis and treated her for that.  Who would suspect colon cancer of a 48 year old? The adverse effects of the medication forced her to stay with her elderly parents, as she lives alone and was unable to keep anything down. 

On December 30, 2017, fearing dehydration, her parents insisted she go to the ER at the local hospital, Palm Bay Community Hospital.  A CAT scan and liver ultrasound was taken in the ER and a mass in her colon was discovered.  The next day, Susan had a colonoscopy, it was New Year’s Eve and all the nurses had party hats on.  I guess this might have eased the tension Susan was feeling at the time.  While alone in recovery, and still feeling groggy, the doctor informed her he discovered a mass in her colon and it was cancerous.  Unable to process the impact of that news, Susan replied, “Well, did you take it out?”  Just one example of her feisty nature.

Within 30 minutes, and still alone, the oncologist introduced himself.  Still thinking this was something that could be fixed, Susan didn’t call her parents to the hospital.  Alone in the hospital room, the oncologist informed her that the cancer had spread to her liver, there is no cure, she has a 3-5 year life expectancy, immediate surgery was required resulting in a colostomy bag for life and require chemotherapy for the rest of her live.   Susan called her parents to the hospital.  I just cannot imagine the shock and strength it took to accept that horrible news.

Looking for other alternatives than a drastic surgery, arrangements were made to transfer Susan, via ambulance, to Florida Hospital Cancer Center in Orlando.  She was put in the care of Dr. Ahmed Zakari, who recommended chemotherapy, as surgery at this time was too risky.  A Chemo port was put in January 5th, also Susan’s birthday, and chemo treatments began January 18th.   After just 4 treatments, Susan developed pulmonary emboli (blot clots in the lungs) and potentially life threatening on its own.  She is scheduled for a second scan after chemo treatment #6.  Those results will determine any adjustments to her chemo treatments.  Another scan will be necessary after chemo #12 to determine if radiation is the next course of treatment.  It’s going to be a tough road.  But Susan’s spirit is not broken, and she only complains about her current sinus infection.   Recently released from the hospital, Susan is staying with her parents, indefinitely.  After 8 more chemo treatments, another scan will be done.   She is a fighter with the support of her extended family and friends behind her.  We are all anticipating good news.

Donations ()

  • Sandy Lins 
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
  • Tyia Dawson 
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
  • Susan Jones 
    • $50 
    • 17 mos
  • Darlene Cherepon  
    • $200 
    • 25 mos
  • Dianna Campbell  
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Brenda Litolff Barber 
Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Susan Gibson 
Beneficiary
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