Last Thursday, July 20, 2017, Karissa underwent surgery to have her left kidney and ureter removed. This was her third surgery in less than a year. Since this surgery was going to be removing a kidney and ureter, we were prepared to help Karissa recover from surgery and adjust to life with one kidney. It would be an adjustment, but many people go on to live long productive lives with one kidney. She will too! Not to mention, this surgery was removing the source of the pain she had been experiencing for so many months.
The day after her surgery I went to the hospital to visit with Karissa and Trent. Karissa was back to her happy smiling self. She was alert, talkative, and patiently answering every question her youngest son, Sam, (4) had about the machines and tubes surrounding her. Seth (9) stood quietly waiting his turn to see his mom. She was delighted to have her boys there because she had been missing them so. It was wonderful to be able to see my friend doing so well after her surgery and surrounded by so many people who love her.
I wish this was the end and those surgeries were all this loving family needs help with. Sadly, this is just the end of one journey, but the beginning of a much longer one.
A few hours after I left the hospital feeling so positive and optimistic, I received a text message that knocked the breath out of me. My best friend, your loving friend, family member, teacher, coworker, classmate has Stage 3 Transitional Cell Cancer.
This is an extremely rare form of cancer for someone Karissa's age to have and usually removing the kidney and ureter is enough action to remove the cancer from the patient's body. However, that is not the case with Karissa. She will need to undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Karissa is going to be sent to M.D. Anderson, in Houston, Texas so they can develop her plan of action. Trent will be traveling with her. Hopefully, they will be able to develop her plan with the panel of doctors at M.D. Anderson and then receive treatments close to home in Pensacola, FL.
The Stewarts have a long road ahead of them, but Karissa is a strong woman with a strong, loving, and supportive family. I know that she can do this, but they need our help.
As I said earlier, medical bills have been piling up. With this recent diagnosis travel expenses are now going to be added to that pile. I am asking for prayers, positive vibes, and any assistance you can give to help this family in their greatest time of need. If you can't donate money at this time, please share this post on your facebook page, so that maybe someone else will feel lead to help. I have witnessed this family helping so many people throughout their lives, my family included. It is our turn to help them. Your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this.
- Angela Broderick
- William Blake
- Tammy Hardin
- Haley Mckinnon
- Micah Miller
Organizer and beneficiary
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