My mother Julia Kesner was diagnosed with stage 2 Breast cancer in 2012 at the age of 40, when I was a junior in high school. In July of that year she underwent 18 hours of surgery for a double mastectomy with instant reconstruction followed by 38 hyperbaric chamber treatments to help heal surgical complications. Two months post operation, she started 6 months of grueling (and unfortunately unsuccessful) chemotherapy; after which she went into remission in March of 2013. Life was good for a while… until she started noticing the first signs of reoccurrence. Her oncologist ignored her requests for a re-scan despite her telling him repeatedly that something was wrong. Months of time were wasted trying to convince her doctors to run the necessary tests, so she fired her oncologist which resulted in 3 other doctors refusing to take her on as a patient. Finally, a gifted nurse practitioner listened to her pleas and did an MRI which, after being confirmed by a PET scan, showed clear signs of stage 4 metastasized cancer with several tumors along her spine and in the lymph nodes. My mom started anti-estrogen therapy and the treatment rendered her unable to move as the cancer progressed rapidly. The only treatment doctors could recommend to control the progression and ease her pain were several heavy doses of radiation therapy. Despite radiation, one of her tumors caused a spinal fracture and she was wheel chair bound for 4 months. She started a lighter chemo treatment in the form of a pill which with the help of a cane, gave her back the ability to walk. However, the strain completely eradicated the curvature of her spine so walking/sitting/laying down has become increasingly difficult and painful. The chemo began taking its toll again and was no longer helping in stunting the growth of her tumors. We took a trip to the prestigious Emory clinic in Atlanta hoping to get some good news and were told “there’s nothing we can do” right before Christmas of 2016. A local oncologist recommended another hormone treatment that sped up the growth of her tumors rather than stopping it. By the end of June 2017, she had undergone 10 different radiation treatments, none of which were doing any good. While she was recovering from the radiation, her left arm became so weak and riddled with pain that she couldn’t even lift a cotton ball. One wrong move and her humorous snapped and sent her to the hospital for emergency surgery to remove the cancer and reinforce her bone with cement and metal rods. After all this, she was sent home with yet another “sorry” speech and was given the contact information for Hospice.
Throughout all of this she has been following a strict diet protocol, taking dozens of natural supplements, and undergoing multiple other kinds of therapies in a search for relief. As a last-ditch effort, she found an alternative clinic in Atlanta that matches blood samples to different natural and chemo agents that might actually help save her life. Unfortunately, the costs of these tests and treatments are astronomical and are way more than she can afford on the meager $900 a month she gets from disability. Her first appointment for a consultation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 1, 2017.
We are asking for donations to aid in paying for these treatments. My mom hates asking for help, and I hate not being able to provide the monetary and physical support she needs as I am stationed 8 hours away with the US Navy.
I hate watching my mother go through this, it’s the hardest thing I have ever been through and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. She’s one of the most positive, uplifting people on earth; anyone who has ever come into contact with her can attest to that. She radiates light and happiness and makes just about anyone feel loved and accepted. Any amount of monetary support would be helpful and appreciated.
As my mom would say: “love and light”
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- Pat Snelsire
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- Shelby Armstrong
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