On March 7, 2018, my friend and work associate Stacey Browning was delivered the worst news. After months of trying to figure out why she was
feeling unwell and experiencing unpleasant symptoms,
Stacey's gynecologist told her that she had Stage 2b cervical cancer.
Stage II cervical cancer means that the cancer has grown beyond the cervix and uterus, but has not reached the walls of the pelvis or the lower part of the vagina. ... Stage IIB: The cancer has spread into the tissues next to the cervix, the parametria.
I remember her telling me that it was inoperable, and instead the treatment plan included Chemotherapy and radiation.
After going through treatment, CT scans showed a reduction of the size of the lymph nodes (which was good news! A PET scan was scheduled for
That meant a whole summer of trying to not think about CANCER.
Stacey married Casey in March of 2016.
Together, they have Kyle (23), Alexis (18), Christian (14), Ethan (10) and Caroline (9).
I'm an avid Facebook stalker, and I was exhausted myself watching Stacey and Casey this summer, taking in concerts, and going to the beach. Jet
boating, and camping and hiking. Growing things, fair going, immersing themselves and the kids in all the best things the Pacific Northwest has to
And let's not forget PEARL! She's 5, and one of the family too!
So. This is where the story begins to suck really bad. Day before yesterday Stacey called a group of us into the kitchen here at work. I could see from the look on her face and the way she was wringing her hands that the news was not going to be good. The PET scan had revealed that the cancer had moved into her lymph nodes.
The cancer is now "recurring metastatic". She shared that they told her it is incurable. Her projected longevity is now 5 to 10 years.
I cannot adequately describe the collective agony that spread through the room as her words hit us. Stacey! Our beautiful, hilarious, tough as nails,
typing wizard, knower of all things important and all around incredible woman....Incurable? What? She's 32! She's a Mom. She is still a newlywed!
My friend for the past 5.5 years is standing in front of me crying and all I can do is hug her.
We talked about second opinions. We talked about plant based lifestyle. A bunch of us talked about people we knew who had beaten this terrible
disease. What was next? Next steps are a different form of chemo that will mean a certain loss of hair. Attempts to sign up for trials. What about
marijuana? We all hugged her. We pretty much group hugged her.
Mark asked if insurance was covering everything. Of course that answer is no. Currently, the out of pocket amount is sitting at $11000, and that will certainly increase as time goes by.
I'm someone who takes action. I'm a helper by nature. I am beside myself that creating this fundraiser is really one of the only things I can DO to help my friend. But I'm doing it. And I need your help to spread the message of this need so that paying bills is not on Stacey or Casey's list of things to
expend energy on.
We're in this together Stacey. You've got a whole work family that loves you and will do whatever we can to brighten your days, lift you up, support
you and yours, and lighten the load however we can.
Let's hope this takes some of the burden off. <3
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