Supporting Melissa Lavender

Though she be but little, she is fierce! 27842276_15190176960_r.jpeg
This just happened so fast...

UPDATE!!! Melissa has had surgery to fix her broken back. All counts so far so good. She has moved to a new floor / room where she will heal and start chemo to treat the cancer. Good news is that the type of cancer she has is able to be treated successfully but the road ahead is long and her stay in the hospital could last quite some time.

Any support you lend will help with medical expenses, time off work for both Marty & Melissa and minimize disruptions during this journey back to health!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT. Please share - the more help, less stress, better for healing.
Melissa has been suffering from what Doctors thought was severe sciatica on both sides for quite awhile. She tried many treatments but it just continued to get worse.

Finally she found a great doctor that got her in for an X-ray and followed up quickly with an MRI. Typically these things can take weeks for approval and tests and results. I was apparently on a lightening fast schedule that got me an approval, an MRI and results in a matter of only a few hours. Unfortunately what they found was not good news.

She has a cancerous mass on my lower back on the L4 and L5 which has weakened it and caused a complete break. While this is enough bad news they also found many other spots of cancer showing up all over her body. While those are still relatively small, it is a very fast growing and aggressive type of cancer.

For the first step they are addressing the broken back and stabling her to stop further damage. Surgery is Tuesday to remove as much of the mass as they can and put brackets and bolts in her back and start healing.

Next step will then be to address the other areas. This is going to be a long journey.  Melissa, her supportive husband Marty and beautiful daughters Amber and Ashley have many challenges ahead, including medical bills, time away from work to treat all the issues associated with treatments and continue healing. 

You can connect with Melissa, get updates on her progress and send thoughts and prayers on her Caring Bridge page:

She is so generous, kind, thoughtful and loving to others. Thank you for your support of this tiny, yet fierce fighter.
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Jules Van Sant 
Beaverton, OR
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