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Penny Whitson

$4,470 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 45 people in 7 months
Created December 4, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Marisa Blair
Penny's story:
Some of you I've told in person, some of you may have already heard. I think it's best to hear it from me.
I've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 
I've been having stomach issues since the summer, which I thought was acid reflux or Gerd. I really wish it was. I went to get checked out because everything I tried wasn't making it better. At this point I'm thankful for the pain because I wouldn't have known otherwise. This type of cancer is sneaky that way, and usually found due to something else.
I've had my biopsy done but there are still some more tests to be done to determine what "stage" I'm in. Not that it matters because I want it out and gone because I've still got children to raise and things to do. At this point, where the tumor is located it's inoperable, so most likely my treatment plan will be chemotherapy to shrink the tumor enough to operate or go away. It sounds like a tough road and will most likely suck.
If your initial reaction is what you can do to help, please start with good thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and pretty much anything positive. It would be appreciated and helpful beyond measure. I love you all.

Update:
After this what seems like a forever waiting period, things are going to be moving quite quickly. I am at a stage 3, which has more to do with the treatment plan than actual "cureability". The treatment plan is as before, chemotherapy to reduce the tumor and kill the cancer cells. I have the more common, less scary version and I will be going in every 2 weeks for treatment starting on the 13th. I have a tiny spot on my lumbar that they want to check out, so I have an MRI on Mon. It doesn't change my treatment plan though. After about a 3 month course, I'll have another CTscan to see how effective treatment has been. So that's the gist of it. The Chemo is fairly aggressive, the side effects mostly unpleasant. Everyone responds differently, so that's the part which is intimidating and scary for me.
Thank you for the love and support you have all shown for myself and family. It's made a huge difference! There really are no words to express my gratitude.

Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.  -G.T. Smith

How you can help:
Penny's friends are helping to fundraise money to sustain her and her children while she is going through chemo treatments.  Penny currently suports her family as a massage therapist.  With Penny being a single Mom, we have a goal to be able to pay her bills while she is in treatment.  Your generousity will help take the financial stress off of her and give her the freedom she needs to focus on getting better.  No donation is too small, every little bit helps.   The need is urgent because she won't be able to work soon.  If you would rather give a product or service donation, we will be holding a silent aution in January to benefit Penny and her family. 
Penny is a positive, strong women and she is a fighter.  As she embarks on this unexpeted journey, lets show her the power of comunity as we rally around her with our support.  

Please consider sharing this gofundme link on your Facebook page. 
https://www.gofundme.com/penny-whitson

Thank you!
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There is a giving tree located at the Vessel in Bigfork to help out with Penny’s expenses. If you are local you can pop in and grab a card and an envelope.
Here is Penny’s update:
So it's been a week since my 1st treatment and I needed to take a beat to figure out what I wanted to say and how to share my experience.
Treatment is not fun, the recovery is REALLY not fun, although during my self talk during real-time recovery consisted of me saying, "it's not that bad", (if I'm being honest though the thought of going into another treatment fills me with a dread unlike no other.) The daunting list of side effects, turns out wasn't pick your favorite ones. It was more a guestimation of likely events, not necessarily in this order. Annnddd..there is really no explaining the flat out depletion of energy. Such a weird feeling for me. However a week out and I'm feeling pretty good. If today is an indication I should be headed into a my good week. Food tastes good again, my appetite is normal so I'll be making the most of it and shoring my strength for the next round on the 27th.
Thank you all for your support, I'm just the lucky one to have you all on my team!! Much love and Merry Christmas!!!!
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Penny’s update: 12/14/18
It was quite the day yesterday and it's taken me a minute to catch up.
So the results from my MRI were not what I wanted to hear. It looks like there is a tumor on my L1, that "behaves" like cancer. I'm having a bone scan done on Mon to gain more info. I could biopsy it to get definite results, however we decided that it would be too much for my body if I want to do treatment. That bumps me onto Stage 4.
My first treatment was long...6 hours. It
Went well and smoothly. I got sent home with a pump that continues to administer chemo for another 48 hours, then I go back to get unplugged. The only side effects so far is low energy, and sensitivity to cold. The cold sensitivity is weird..feels like pins and needles on my hands and feet. Plus when I drink something cold it feel down my throat and stomach. THAT is not as much fun as it sounds. Hopefully it will be a short term side effect.
If I could ask for continued thoughts and prayers, it has been so helpful with keeping my spirits up. I would like the cancer to go away, so that is my intention as well as continued strength for my 4 children and family as they navigate through this difficult time.
I love you all and am grateful for everything
Penny

How you can help:
If you feel lead you can make a dontation on this site, that act of kindness is greatly appreciated.
Another option is Debbie Savik from Dent It is selling these awesome bracelets to help support Penny’s family during this time. (see picture)
The bracelets have been posted on Facebook or look for them around town to purchase.
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$4,470 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 45 people in 7 months
Created December 4, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Marisa Blair
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