My sister, Tennille Lewis was diagnosed with Triple Negative BRCA 1 Positive (Gene) Breast Cancer in December 2015.This is indicative of the rarest and most aggressive form of all Breast Cancer.
When Tennille first discovered the lump in December 2015, it was determined to be stage 1 Breast Cancer with a tumor 1.3 cm in size. Just a short 6 weeks later, the tumor had already doubled in size to 3.1 cm (stage 2).
Because of its quick growth, Tennille, along with her doctors, decided on an aggressive plan of Chemotherapy (adriamycin taxol carboplatin). Tennille endured 6 months of IV infusions given every Friday for 4-5 hours each time.
Tennille is a fighter and endured many painful side effects of the chemotherapy – losing her hair, muscle & joint pain, migraines, vomiting & extreme lethargy. Through all of this, she pushed on - working as much as she was physically able to. Her loving husband Jerry stood by her side, attending each & every doctor appointments and chemotherapy sessions.
In June 2016, Tennille had her first of what would ultimately become 8 surgeries – a Double Masectomy and Hysterectomy.
While she was recovering, she lost her insurance due to a mix up with her Husbands insurance. While waiting to straighten out the insurance issues, Tennille developed a severe infection in her Breast & headed into emergency surgery to clear the infection.
The year proved to be tough for her and her family as Tennille subsequently endured another 4 surgeries to clear several infections and to begin reconstructive surgical procedures.
In January 2017, Tennille and her doctors decided on another round of oral Chemo. In this same month, Jerry lost his job. As the bills began to mount, Tennille continued to work as a hairdresser even though she developed an extremely painful side effect from the oral chemotherapy – Hand & Mouth Syndrome. This causes severe, painful blisters on her hands & feet – making her work extremely painful & difficult. Ultimately, Tennille was forced to cut back her hours.
If the cancer wasn't bad enough, over the last year, Tennille developed carpal tunnel syndrome in her hands – making her work as a hairdresser nearly impossible. In March 2018, Tennille was forced to endure one additional surgery in an attempt to gain back the functionality in her hands and continue the work that she desperately needs.
A week following carpal tunnel surgery Tennille then finished her 8th and final surgery which required tissue grafting taken from both legs to replace the tissue that had been taken from her mastectomy.
As you can imagine, after the numerous surgeries, the loss of Jerry’s job & insurance and the painful side effects of chemo and the reduction in work for Tennille, the financial burden has become more than this family was prepared to deal with. However, through all of the ups & downs, Tennille & Jerry remain a united front for their family; including Tennille’s 2 sons – Teegan & Easton.
In this unfortunate phase of Tennille & Jerry’s life, we have set up this go fund me campaign to help them cover some of their medical bills, living expenses and help them get back on their feet. A donation of any size is considered a blessing to Tennille & her family. Thank you for taking your time to read this campaign for our cherished friend & sister.
- Jessica Seiple
- Don Rayburn
- Haynes Household
- Oliver Haynes
- Haynes Household
Organizer and beneficiary
Saint Petersburg, FL