Kelly Potter

First post: Oct 30, 2020 Latest post: Mar 25, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of encouragement. Thank you for visiting ... with love from William (Kelly's husband), Evan (son, age 16) and Alex (son, age 13).

***Sadly, Kelly passed away Wednesday, December 9th, at 4:00 pm. See Journal entries for updates and comments from her family and friends.***

Kelly's story began not too long ago, when, some months back, she began to notice that certain foods that were once her favorites began to taste "nasty," and she could not tolerate certain smells, like hand sanitizer. This issue became so troublesome that she finally sought the help of an ENT doctor, thinking that perhaps there might be an issue with her sinuses, etc. His examination revealed no such issues, or any other problems, but he suggested that she get an MRI to determine if there might be something else going on. So she did. And that is where it was discovered that she had one large and one smaller tumor on her brain. 

The next thing she knew, she was meeting with a neurosurgeon (the best available, Dr. Steven Cook from Duke) to determine a course of action. His plan began with a biopsy. This was scheduled quickly and took place on August 13, 2020. Though she bounced back from the biopsy just fine immediately following the procedure, her condition deteriorated rapidly and emergency brain surgery had to be performed. With this, the large tumor was removed, the swelling and bleeding on the brain were relieved, and she was placed back in intensive care to recover. Things were touch and go for a few days, and many prayers were offered up during this time. By way of  a true miracle, Kelly survived this trauma, and we were all extremely thankful.  

Once she was released from the hospital, Kelly recovered very quickly from her surgery, due in no small part to her fighting spirit. However, shortly after her release from the hospital she met with Dr. Cook and was delivered a terrible blow: she had stage IV metastatic cancer. They then performed a PET scan to locate the area of her body from which the disease had originated, but found no cancer elsewhere. Dr. Cook determined that it was metastatic melanoma.

Now it was time to meet with an oncologist, Dr. Timothy Finnegan, to discuss radiation treatments, which would take place every day for a nearly a month. Her first radiation treatment was on September 9th. She began to experience side effects from the radiation, primarily fatigue and nausea. She slept a lot. Toward the latter part of the course of treatment she had begun to lose her hair. 

On the morning of Tuesday, September 29th, with only three treatments remaining, William awoke to find Kelly vomiting in the bed, and unresponsive. He immediately called an ambulance. Once at the hospital, Kelly was stabilized, and her mother and William took turns staying with her over the next eight days. During this time, Kelly's condition varied from alert and communicative to unaware and confused. On October 2nd a final MRI revealed how aggressive the cancer had become, and that there was no hope for recovery. William was told the following Monday, October 5th, that he would be taking Kelly home with hospice.

Kelly has been resting at home since that Monday, spending her time in a hospice-provided bed and occasionally in a recliner, though as of this writing she is generally confined to the bed. Kelly has given us so much affection and love over the years and now welcomes ours in return, so your words of encouragement will most certainly make a difference to our beloved girl. Thank you once again for visiting our site, and God bless you. 

PLEASE NOTE:  The "Tributes" button at the top of this page is just for donating to the CaringBridge organization. If you wish to help Kelly and her family financially, please click on "Ways to Help" and then visit the GoFundMe site. Thank you so much.

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