(Ways you can help us and where to send it can be found at the end of this story)
After battling breast cancer in 2012, we found out it had come back in 2014 - shortly after the birth of our perfectly healthy (praise God!) baby boy. It had come back while pregnant. A massive cellulitis infection took over in my right arm and while in the hospital we took tests to see just how far the cancer had spread. On February 18th we learned that the cancer was now considered to be stage 4 -- having spread throughout the upper body to both breasts, the sternum, ribs, spine, pelvic bone as well as the lungs. Treatments began with hormone blockers, bone shots, and lots of prayers. After being on other treatments that were not aggressive enough it became apparent that chemotherapy would need to begin. However, in August 2014, we learned it had also spread to the brain so underwent full brain radiation. Shortly after completing this, a port was placed so chemotherapy could begin in early 2015. Then, due to brain tumors increasing in size, surgery was done in June of 2015 removing a tumor in the right frontal lobe followed by pinpoint radiation (radial surgery) on an additional 4 spots in July. In the fall of 2015, I began a 2nd round of chemo. In January of 2016 chemo was changed as the cancer had stopped responding to the chemo I was on. It was a nice change as it made treatment time only 2 hours instead of 6. However, in July of 2016, it became clear through scans that the cancer was beginning to resist this chemo as well. Chemo has been changed once again and treatment is back to about 6 hours. Since March, scans have shown improvements in the brain, but the tumors below the neck continue to worsen - including the cancerous ulcers that have broken through the skin on both breasts as well.
In the midst of everything, the tone for this journey was set before we even recieved the diagnosis -- "This does not change who God is." was spoken by Ryan at my hospital bedside. I agree whole heartedly that God is worthy of praise not only when circumstances are good, but also when they stink. This is not always easy to do, but truth is not always easy to accept and follow-through can be even harder. Yet, I am blessed by a wonderful group of supporters, friends, prayer warriors and an amazing husband and family that have strengthened me, encouraged me, and carried me to God in this journey.
This site will keep you up to date on our lives, treatments, needs, and prayer requests. It may be updated by both family and friends, but usually just me. If you are wondering how you can help, continue reading.
Where to Send Help and Encouragement:
19622 Eastman Rd; Pacific Junction, IA 51561
Ways You Can Help:
-Of course, continued prayers!
-Send a card of encouragement
-Send an item from the practical pantry ideas
(If you are an Amazon Prime member, search under Prime Pantry you can ship up to 45 pounds for just $5.99. Costco may be another shopping option and I can pick it up at the Costco in Omaha. Some friends use thrivemarket.com to ship pantry items and love it! Jet.com is another option; however, I have never used them.)
-Help financially by sending a check, visa gift card, other gift cards (see below for ideas) or cash
-Make a deposit to help cover medical treatments using GoFundMe ( http://www.gofundme.com/daniellepintoxygen
**The following lists are continually updated. Some friends from the Omaha area can help deliver anything to us if needed -- their information is below.**
Practical Pantry Ideas:
(this list is continually updated; some friends from the Omaha area can deliver stuff to us for you if needed -- call 402.216.5618 for assistance)
-School Lunch Help
(apple sauce cups or squeezers, veggie straws, Annie's cheddar or graham cracker bunnies, Pirate's Booty [original flavor as it is soy free], Smart Puffs, organic animal crackers, organic peanut butter or cheese crackers, organic granola/cereal bars) -- please NO artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup, or soybean oil/soy flour
-Laundry soap (7th generation is a good one I know of, but I know there are others)
-Hand soap (method, 7th genration,)
-Paper Plates (8.5 inch)
-Organic coconut oil
-Organic creamy peanut butter
-Organic ketchup and mustard
-Organic granola bars (Cascadian Farm is a brand they like, but I am sure there are others)
-Organic cereal bars (Tasty and Cascadian Farm are good brands I have found)
-Organic grade B maple syrup or grade A dark/very dark
-Cereal (Cheerios [plain, multigrain, or honey nut], Barbara's multigrain spoonfuls, Cascadian Farm granola cereals or their other varieties)
Gift Card Ideas:
-Grocery Store Gift Cards (Costco, Trader Joe's, Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, HyVee, Baker's/Dillon's/Krogers)
-Walmart Gift Cards (for daily necessities, kids clothes, food)
-Gas Gift Cards (BP/Bucky's, Kwik Shop, Casey's)
-Great for Treatment Days - Restaurant Gift Cards (Panera, Papa Murphy's, Pizza Ranch, Jason's Deli, Culver's, Chik-Fil-A, Jimmy Johns)
-Menards Gift Cards (there always seems to be something that needs repair)
-Kohl's Gift Cards (for kids clothes and shoes)
**Important Dietary Needs: try to do organic meat & dairy (injected hormones and antibiotics are hard on the healing process of my body), and avoid high fructose corn syrup, modified ingredients, artificial dyes, and all soy besides soy lecithin and soy sauce as the other forms feed the cancer I was diagnosed with. If you are worried about ingredients, head to Natural Grocers -- they carry everything from cream soups to tater-tots to pastas to lunch meats, etc. Aldi's and Walmart also carry organic beef as well as other organic groceries. I have generally found the best organic meat prices for chicken (we buy the thighs as they are more affordable) and beef at Costco. Baker's has a great health market area and I have found them to be cheaper than HyVee. Sam's Club carries a variety of organic items as well.**
Meals Ideas: meatballs, meat loaf, beef lasagna, white chicken alfredo lasagna or another type of alfredo pasta, french dip, white spaghetti with chicken, chicken pot-pie, sloppy joes, stroganoff, stir fry (chicken cashew or broccoli beef), boneless chicken with rice hot dish, tater-tot hot dish, enchiladas, chicken casseroles, chicken noodle soup, beef stew, chili, ravioli, pizza, calzones, other soups or stews
Thank you for your help!