Tina's Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis:
We are Leigh Strelka and Elisabeth Edwards. In July of 2020, our cousin, Tina Bembry, received some devastating news when she visited her healthcare provider for what appeared to be minor abdomen discomfort. She was ultimately advised that she had Stage IVB ovarian cancer with the particularly difficult small tumors ravaging many organs. As someone whose mother passed away from breast cancer and whose maternal grandmother passed away from ovarian cancer, this was the nightmare Tina and many other female members of our family worry about. But for Tina, it was now a reality, and one she did not have much time to process as she had to jump right into constant invasive medical procedures, including abdomen fluid draining, chemotherapy and, upcoming in December of 2020, a major surgery. If you would like to follow Tina's health journey in more detail, here is a link to her Caring Bridge Journal: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tinabembry/journal
In Tina's own words on September 17, 2020: I did confirm yesterday that my cancer stage is Stage IVB (aka 4b): The cancer has spread to the inside of the spleen or the liver, to lymph nodes other than the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, or to distant parts of the body outside the abdomen, such as the lungs and bones. This is definitely disheartening. Before, we thought it was IVA (I've been saying 4a). It's been comforting that I wasn't at the worst stage. Now that I know I am at the worst stage, I take comfort that for having such advanced disease in my body, I have been feeling quite good when the chemo and migraines aren't causing problems. And I am thankful that as far as we can tell, it hasn't spread to my bones or brain! But I see more than I did before the gravity of my situation. This is a fight for my life, and I'm going to prioritize things that will help me fight, heal, and enjoy the good times I do have.
Tina Needs to Focus on her Health, Not her Electric Bill:
Even in the face of this dire diagnosis, Tina has remained positive, focusing on her many adopted pets and foster pets, her gardening, her many friends in her Nashville community, and her Christian faith, but the grueling physicality of treatment for an advanced cancer diagnosis has taken a toll. Tina has pushed herself to continue working, so as to maintain crucial health insurance, but needs financial support as she faces final chemotherapy treatments in addition to a surgical procedure that will likely leave her unable to work for a long period of time. Both of Tina's parents have passed on and, while she does have a bevy of extended relatives and a community of friends who care deeply for her, her needs over the next several months have exceeded what close family members/friends can handle. These financial needs generally relate to necessary living expenses and a crushing amount of medical expenses. We are hopeful this GoFundMe will provide Tina with the financial cushion/support she needs so she can focus on her health and recovery.
On behalf of Tina, and the family and friends who love her and have supported her during this time, we thank you, as someone who might not know her personally, in sharing financially whatever you are in a position to share.
Also, please feel free to share the link to your Facebook Timeline, if you feel comfortable doing so. There is power in community and prayer so, in addition to any financial gifts, Tina welcomes any prayers/good vibes sent her way.
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