The story I am about to share is about my best friend,
Cheryl A. Speller. She is a single mom of six children (5 boys and 1 girl) ranging in age from 11 to 26. Two sons will graduate June 2015, one from high school and one from middle school. The high school grad will attend SCSU (Southern Conn. State Univ.) in Sept, 2015.
Cheryl is a hard worker who has worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital for twenty years. She has taken a leave of absence due to triple negative aggressive cancer returning after three years. In January 2012 she was diagnosed with this cancer and in February 2012 she had surgery (a lumpectomy in her left breast). She appeared to be cancer free for three years since her three mammograms were negative.
However, in February 2015, Cheryl noticed a lump in the middle of her chest which was getting larger and larger. She saw her primary doctor who ordered an x-ray that showed a mass in her chest on top of her aorta and heart. A CT scan was done and it confirmed that it was a mass the size of a lemon. The doctor ordered a biopsy (performed by a pathologist), which confirmed cancer cells. He then ordered a PET Scan to determine if cancer cells were in any other part of Cheryl's body. It found no other cancer.
A second biopsy (needle guided) was performed by a radiologist on March 30th to get more tissue to test. The diagnosis from the 2nd biopsy is "Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma", stage 4. Cheryl had an Echocardiogram on April 1st to determine if her heart is strong enough to take Chemotherapy treatments. It was determined that her heart is strong enough. A port was placed in her chest on Friday, April 3rd, to prepare her to receive Chemotherapy treatments.
The first round of Chemotherapy treatments will begin on Monday, April 13th, once every two weeks for 8 weeks. The second round of Chemotherapy treatments continues once a week for 12 weeks (a total of 5 months). The doctor hopes that the Chemo will shrink the mass and prevent the cancer cells from spreading. He plans to perform surgery one month after the last Chemotherapy treatment. After surgery, she will have more Chemotherapy treatments.
Any size contribution you can give my best friend during this crisis in her life will be greatly appreciated by Cheryl, her children, her mom who is her caregiver, and me.
Please keep Cheryl and her family in your prayers!